Take my little pumpkin, for example.
and thank you to Hans Gutknecht for the photo). Actually, he is with us, his name is Jose Gonzalez and he is the teacher who for the last five years volunteered after school so Gompers could have a judo program. (You need a credentialed teacher who is an LAUSD employee to supervise.) Ronda got him a ticket to sit with us. He offered to talk to any of the media, in either Spanish or English, about how she started the program, taught for free for two years and auctioned off her TUF gear on ebay to raise money to send the kids to Kansas City this year. When they needed an extra $500 to bring another student, she handed over her credit card. No one was interested in talking to him, so he just came to dinner with us and ate chicken wings. (Ronda Rousey, host of the world's least drunken after parties. No drugs, little drinking and usually mom and a few sisters. Lots of chicken wings, though.)
In case you are interested, here is the whole Gompers crew
Then there is the charity stuff. Here are just two :
- Ronda is auctioning off her wraps from the last fight to benefit St. John the Baptist Church. On top of that, she'll be adding thousands of her own money to see that the chapel gets finished.
- The magazines were donated by someone to raise funds for a young man who competes in judo in the visually impaired division. He wanted to know if he could send his collection of Ronda magazines for her to autograph and auction off, with all of the money going to the paralympian. She said, "Sure". Sorry, I don't even know either of their names.
There is the free rice competition, for which she donates autographed posters, fight gear and money (matching cash donations). For the past two fights alone, her groups raised over 43,000,000 grains of rice for the UN World Food Programme.
Here is a fourth, where our good friends/ family at Armbar Nation are auctioning off posters that Ronda will autograph personally with anything you want (within reason - nothing pornographic or libelous). The funds go to provide awards for high academic achievers at John Leichty Middle School in downtown Los Angeles.
My point is that she gives A LOT of herself, her time, her money, her stuff - and yet no matter how many times I, or Jose Gonzalez or Jessica Bueler offer to talk to people about it there is seldom a wisp of interest. I didn't say never, but I will tell you this, she has helped with charity events far, far, far more times than she has flipped anyone off, but you'd never know it by what you read on the web or see on TV.