MPMA and Golden Gloves - Unlikely Combination Lasts 42 Years
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
What do manufacturing and boxing have in common? The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association’s 42nd Annual Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Banquet & Boxing Exhibition, which takes place Tuesday, January 16, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., at the Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Highway 55 in Medina.
What started out as an unlikely combination in 1976 has flourished for 42 years because Chuck Hales, founder of Hales Machine Tool and an MPMA member, put his heart and soul into the partnership. “I brought the two together and no one (from the industry) knew too much about boxing,” Hales said. “But it was for a good cause and everyone had so much fun, it just kept growing and growing.”
The partnership was popular from the start. It is the MPMA’s largest annual event, with about 500 attendees coming to the Media Entertainment Center each January to enjoy a prime rib dinner, networking, and eight rounds of boxing bouts. MPMA members pay $80 a piece, or $600 for a table of eight, to attend the event, and many companies also donate money to be corner sponsors, provide raffle prizes, or they can directly sponsor a boxer in a bout.
Last year, the event funded $5,000 worth of scholarships for young athletes in the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves program. Another $2,000 donation was made at MPMA’s Annual Meeting this year to honor the memory of another long-time Golden Gloves supporter and MPMA member, Dale Greenwald, who passed away last fall.
The scholarships encourage young boxers to pursue higher education and to attend colleges, universities, or trade schools.
The mission of Golden Gloves of America Inc. is to “provide an activity and safe environment that promotes and enhances the physical and emotional well-being and social development of young athletes; develop individual athletic skills, work ethic, disciple, sportsmanship, self-respect and pride.”
Hales said the lessons he learned in Golden Gloves as a boxer, coach and referee - compassion and respect for others, courage and patience - have given him a leg up in what became a highly successful business career.
Early on, Hales was a machinist and eventually started his own business – Hales Machine Tool, which today his operated by his sons. He grew up in Staples, graduating from Staples High School, and now resides in Maple Plain.
After he retired from coaching, Hales became involved at the administrative levels at Golden Gloves, serving in all of the roles over the years, including president. He is currently the executive director. Hales has also served as the Upper Midwest team manager at national tournaments. In 2016, he was inducted into the National Golden Gloves Boxing Hall of Fame, only the fourth Minnesotan to achieve such an honor.
For over 60 years MPMA has been the leading voice in the precision manufacturing industry in Minnesota. MPMA introduces, leads, and supports the initiatives and education that keeps manufacturing in Minnesota a strong and vital component of the state’s economy.