Countdown to Fight For Independence 10!

Time is running out to be part of Fight For Independence 2014! Still wondering what all the fuss is about? We’ve got all the details!

Now in its 10th year, Fight For Independence is a Great Gatsby / roaring twenties-inspired charity boxing event and silent auction that pits Bay Street’s top bankers against one another in a classic battle of fisticuffs for the noblest of causes. These professional pugilistic protagonists trade hooks and jabs to help raise money for Nazareth House, a transitional home where single mothers and their infants, women fleeing abusive relationships and homelessness or struggling with addictions and mental health issues are cared for safely until they are able to heal and turn their lives around.

Fight For Independence will feature a silent auction, some interactive surprises, and of course, the main event, Bay Street Fisticuffs! Here are some of the match ups that are currently scheduled. Be sure to check with the main site to meet and support your favourite participant as well as to verify the actual bout listings:

Nazareth House is a sober home with a strict no alcohol and drugs policy, and as such is not eligible for government funding. Because of this, your support is absolutely crucial to helping Nazareth House continue offering healing and hope to women and children in need.

With only three days remaining, we’re counting on you to help make Fight For Independence 2014 the most successful ever! Click here to donate or buy tickets now!


Last Minute Costume Ideas

If you’re panicking about what to wear tomorrow night, worry not! We’ve got your sartorial needs covered with a few basic ideas for Great Gatsby-esque costumes you can find in your closet. Ladies and Gentlemen, we present you with a few items to quickly transform you into a West Egg resident:
For the Gents:
- Black dress pants + a black jacket
One can never go wrong with the classic black suit. Any combination of black jacket and pants will do, but for those shooting for real historical accuracy, try a jacket with narrow lapels and a high waist, and pants that are slightly shorter than normal. Slicking back your hair will add just the right amount of Gatsby-era style and sophistication. Top off the look with a classic piece of haberdashery – the bow tie.
- Sweater vest
For a slightly more casual look, try a sweater or buttoned down vest with a pair of dress pants and dress shoes. Finish off this look with a fedora and you’re ready to take the town by storm.
For the Ladies:
- A black dress
The simplest way to achieve a 1920’s era look is through accessories. Try adding a string of pearls and a headband to a simple black dress for an instant 1920’s style upgrade.
- A straight/shift dress
Another example of simple additions that can make a huge difference is adding a pair of t-strap or Mary Jane heels and a ‘finger wave’ curl to your hair. These additions will be sure to turn a straight or shift dress into the perfect piece of Gatsby-esque fashion.
- A knee length skirt
If you have a knee-length skirt, a sleeveless t-shirt and some stockings, you’ve got the makings of a quick and easy ensemble to turn you into a stylish resident of West Egg.
Whether you’re a man about town or a flapper girl, finding your 1920’s era glad rags may be as easy as opening your closet. With your all of your sartorial ducks in a row, you’ll be ready to step out in style on May 29th for the Fight for Independence 2014! 

Do you know your Boxing Lingo?

Do you know a feint from a parry? If someone said you had a good set of whiskers, would you now what they meant? What if they called you an upstart southpaw stylist with a glass jaw?

If you’re going to attend the Fight For Independence Bay Street Fisticuffs Main Event, you’ll want to understand the language used by our pugilistic professionals!

Luckily for you, we’ve gathered some of the most common boxing terms, ensuring you won’t be caught cold!

Bob and Weave: When a fighter moves his upper body in an up-and-down motion, making him more difficult to time correctly.

Bout: Another word for a boxing match.

Brawler: An aggressive fighter who likes to fight on the inside.

Break: The moment when the fighters are separating from a clinch.

Buckle: When fighter’s legs give way, as in “that punch buckled him.”

Card: The list of fights happening in a single boxing event.

Caught Cold: Term used to describe a fighter knocked out early in the fight that was not mentally prepared or warmed up properly.

Clinch: When fighters hold each other.

Combination: A seamless sequence of consecutive punches.

Counterpunch: Punch thrown in response to another fighter’s attack.

Covering Up: Defensive tactic where a fighter goes into a shell to thwart his opponent’s offensive.

Cross: Power punch thrown straight with the rear hand.

Eight Count: After a fighter is knocked down, the referee must complete a count of eight even if the opponent rises before that.

Feint: When a fighter acts like he’s going to punch but does not in order to get his opponent to react.

Glass Jaw: A trait of a fighter with questionable punch-resistance.

Go the Distance: Lasting for the complete scheduled duration of a fight.

Haymaker: A wild punch intended to knock out the opponent.

Mauler: An inside fighter who tries to prevail by smothering his opponents.

Neutral Corner: One of two unoccupied corners in the ring, and where fighters are sent after they knock down their opponents.

On the Ropes: Term used to describe a fighter in a dangerous situation trapped with his back against the ropes in a boxing ring.

Parry: Changing the trajectory of an opponent’s punch using the gloves to slap away the shot.

Paw: To meekly poke a jab out.

Play Possum: To act hurt in an effort to get an opponent to over-commit.

Pound-for-Pound: Term created to rank fighters based on excellence and not weight.

Roll with the Punches: When an opponent bends and twists with the punch, minimizing its impact.

Rope-a-Dope: Allowing an opponent to go on the offensive while covering up on the ropes and waiting for him to tire.

Rubber Match: When opponents fight for a third time, each having won one bout apiece.

Saved by the Bell: When a round ends, saving a hurt fighter that was on the verge of being knocked out.

Southpaw: A left-handed fighter.

Spar: Boxing for practice.

Stylist: A fighter who relies on skills rather than brawn.

Sucker Punch: A punch thrown at a distracted or otherwise unprepared opponent.

Technical Knockout: When a fighter is taking too much punishment and the referee stops the bout without completing a ten-count.

Throw in the Towel: When the trainer in a fighter’s corner wants to stop the fight, he throws a towel into the ring.

Toe-to-Toe: When both fighters stand in front of each other and engage.

Upstart: A new fighter with potential.

Whiskers: Chin. Used to describe a fighter’s durability, as in “he has a good set of whiskers.”

Only three days remain until Fight For Independence 2014! You can buy tickets or donate here, and please be sure to share this with family and friends. With your help, we’ll all be champions.


Nazareth House

We hope you’re getting excited for Fight For Independence 2014! Your ticket purchases and donations are making an impact through Nazareth House and helping change the lives of women and children who depend on the support of this event to fund this unique home in Toronto. 

Have you wondered how Nazareth House helps? Here’s a list of a few ways they support these women in need: 

  •  Once a resident has settled into a routine, Nazareth House encourages them to consider doing volunteer work, going to school or finding employment in preparation for independent living.
  •  They help women regain their independence, support their children and join the workforce with confidence and hope for the future.
  •  Nazareth House provides young women with the confidence and tools to complete or further their education. 
  • Many of the women residents are provided with a support group, which assists with relapse prevention and dealing with the circumstances of their addictions. 
  • Nazareth House Staff teach daily life skills, offer conflict resolution and offer support to help prevent relapse. 
  • Residents attend therapy and group work with partnering agencies.
  • Main goal is to transition women to health and independence.

Have you purchased a ticket or donated yet? Have you shared the event with your family and friends? Help us make the biggest impact possible! Click here to donate or buy tickets now!


What to Wear: For The Gents

Whether you are channeling the Great Jay Gatsby or a 1920’s mobster, dressing for Fight For Independence will be easy for the gentlemen.


Many of you will just be able to shop right out of your own closet. Vintage stores are a great place to source those little details that will complete your outfit. Check out our post on Vintage shopping in Toronto.

Here are a few ideas: A slim suit with a jazzy bow tie or a wide silky tie will do just fine if you want to keep it simple. Think abut how comfortable you would be this summer in Toronto’s humidity sporting a linen suit, which is very reminiscent of a Gatsby summer.


Courtesy of Warner Brothers

You really can’t go wrong with a tuxedo but be sure to add a few authentic 1920’s details: 

Step up your game with a fedora, slick back your hair and throw your boats (feet) into a pair of two-tone shoes. Watch chains are a fantastic edition, and what better excuse to invest in a classic model than the big bout? Pocket squares look very sharp tucked into a waistcoat pocket and are an easy way to get the Gatsby look. image

If you want to go more casual, argyle patterned vests and a pair of suspenders. 

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out Leonardo DiCaprio’s fantastic outfits in the 2013 Baz Luhrmann movie The Great Gatsby. While you may experience some serious outfit envy, we guarantee it will make you excited for Fight For Independence 2014!


Guide to Vintage Shopping

Where to find your Fight For Independence Glad Rags:

Whether you are looking to splurge on your complete Great Gatsby outfit for Fight for Independence or just looking for that perfect accessory to complete your outfit, Toronto has an amazing variety and selection of vintage stores. Here is our little selection of places to find everything from pearls to wingtips and waistcoats.

Flashback Vintage
-King of Kensington
35 Kensington Avenue, Toronto 
+1 416 546 2413 
33 Kensington Avenue, Toronto, 
+1 416 598 2981 
- Flashback II 
25 Kensington Avenue, Toronto 
+1 647 343 5569 
Flashback Vintage is a trio of vintage stores, one catering specifically towards the discerning gentleman. King of Kensington offers premium vintage at a higher price point while Flashback II has a lower price point and a huge range of men’s and women’s vintage wear. They re-stock often and even rent out a selection of vintage cars.

V by 69

702 Queen St. W., (647) 748-9119
This is a fabulous place to look for that t-strap heel or oxford to complete your Fight For Independence outfit as they boast a large selection of reconditioned shoes.


1300 Queen St. E., (416) 463-1254
Gadabout in Leslieville has a huge slection of dresses and skirts dating all the way back to the Edwardian era. You should have no problem finding that perfect dropped waist, bedazzled, silky or velvety number.

Bungalow and Bungalow West
273 Augusta Ave, Toronto, (416) 598-0204
Offering both furniture and fashion across the street from each other, these shops are spacious and clean, making the vintage shopping experience so much easier than digging. We’re positive you’ll be able to find something to add to your Great Gatsby outfit or, a piece of furniture to bring the Fight For Independence spirit to your home.

Cabaret Vintage
672 Queen St W, Toronto, (416) 504-7126 
One of the most elegant and classiest vintage boutiques, this is the place to find that stunning flapper number you’ve always dreamed of wearing. Fight For Independence is your opportunity to wear it! Rack of beautiful evening gowns live alongside some wonderful men’s accessories.


Boxing Matchups: Who’s Fighting Who


Bay Street Bankers are in the ring on May 29 to support Nazareth House, a home where single mothers and their infants, women fleeing abusive relationships and homelessness or struggling with addictions and mental health issues are cared for safely until they are able to heal and turn their lives around. FFI’s support will ensure these women at risk continue to recover and not just survive - but thrive.

As always, Bay Street Fisticuffs is the main event – check out who’s fighting who, and be sure to donate to your favourite boxer!


Shahriar Siddiqui vs. Mike Di Zio

Siddiqui is a Business Analyst with RBC Capital Markets while Di Zio is an IT and Financial Industry Recruiter with TES. Siddiqui is jumping into the ring for our noble friends at Nazareth House that do the real fighting to keep vulnerable women safe. Di Zio is friends with some of the past boxing participants and now feels like it’s his time to enter the ring.

The two will pair up at 6:40 PM.


Brain Quittenton vs. Asim Hussain

Quittenton is a Copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather, and Hussain is an Underwriter with Siemens Financial Services. This is Hussain’s first time attending the event, but has heard from “Bill’s Buzz” and decided to sign-up on a whim because it sounded like a challenging and fun way to support a noble cause.

The fight will happen at 7:00 PM.


Darryl Tasios vs. Jeff Fan

Tasios is an Executive Director of Capital Markets at CIBC Mellon while Fan is a Telecom and Cable Equity Research Analyst with Scotiabank.

Tasios’ friends on Bay Street told him about Fight For Independence and he figured he’d attend for the first time seeing the event from inside the ring – he’s excited to be able to support Nazareth House and their amazing work with at-risk women and children.  Fan was first inspired by FFI-9 participant Evan “the Hammer” Hughes. Participating in the event is a great opportunity for him to both stay active and contribute to a worthwhile cause. Fan is proud to support Nazareth House and the women and children who will directly benefit from the event. “Now watch me try and survive in the ring for six long minutes!” 

The match will happen at 7:20 PM.


Jeremy “The Real Deal” Kaliel vs. Lou “The Monster” Mouaket

Kaliel is an Equities Analyst at CIBC and Mouaket is the Executive Director of Trading at CIBC. 

Jeremy “The Real Deal” Kaliel is ready to get punched in the face for charity while Lou “The Monster” Mouaket has been involved in the event for the past six years, and is currently the Boxing Committee Chair. 

These two will pair up at 7:40 PM.


Sean Mooney vs. Scott Emberley

Mooney is in Commodities Sales with Citibank and Emberley is a Senior Analyst in Investment Banking with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

This year will be Mooney’s and Emberley’s second time participating in the event – after having such a great time getting punched in the face in their first year, they both figured they’d come back.

The last fight of the night will happen at 8:00 PM.


What To Wear: For the Ladies

Your Dress: 

You’re looking for something knee length with a dropped waist, most likely sleeveless. The 1920’s were the dace of fringe, lace, beads, sequins, chiffon, satin, and shiny and shimmery fabric. Go to town with a wild fabric!
If you don’t feel like splurging on a dress, check your closet. Slips can work since they have no defined waist, as can anything with a straight waist. You’re looking to appear as boyish as possible, the desirable look du jour. Get rid of the pushup bra! 

Your Shoes:

Anything with a round closed toe, a t-bar strap or a buckle will work like a charm. Leave the stillettos at home and enjoy the comforts of a flat or a chunky heels. 

Your Accessories:
If you want to look like a real flapper girl, throw on a pair of stockings and roll them down to just below your knees. This will go perfectly with your knee length dress. A naked neck just wont do! A long and skinny scarf is the quintessential flapper girl look. 

Alternatively, pearls were the very in fashion during the 1920s. The longer the strand of pearls, the more authentic you will look, regardless of whether they are the real thing or not. 

We hope we’ve inspired you to go full out Gatsby for Fight For Independence 2014. This is your opportunity to get glammed and glitzed up for an amazing cause.


Fisticuffs for First Timers: Stances

What is your boxing style? There are a few different approaches boxers take to achieve the coveted knock-out, which determines who has won a bout. It’s a bit like a game of rock-paper-scissors where one tends to dominate over the other: boxer beats brawler, swarmer beats boxer, and brawler beats swarmer.

There are three main boxing styles: The Out-fighter (“Boxer”), The Brawler (or slugger) and The In-fighter (“Swarmer”).

 tend to use their defense skills to avoid and block shots. They catch their opponents off guard with well-placed and timed punches. This style of boxing is precise and well thought out. You’re less likely to see an out-fighter in a bar brawl, and more likely to see one in the professional boxing ring. 

In-fighters or the Swarmer,
 attempt to stay close to an opponent, throwing intense flurries and combinations. A successful In-fighter often needs a good chin because swarming usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective. They fight fast and hard, and rely on their quick moves to land punches. 

Brawler, or a Slugger, is a fighter who generally lacks any kind of real style and footwork in the ring, but makes up for it by throwing some mighty strong punches. This is the style of Jack Dempsey and all those boys who start throwing the punches at 2 a.m.

If you care to see some fighting style in action, grab a ticket for the big Fight for Independence bout and see some first-class Bay Street traders giving it their best shot! Buy your tickets here.


Why Nazareth House Needs Your Help:

Attending Fight For Independence 2014 pretty much guarantees you an incredible evening. We’ve got Chiado food, drinks, Steamwhistle Pilsner, Mombacho cigars, plus the big match: Bay Street traders taking each other out fisticuff style. We’re hoping you’ll get dressed up in your Great Gatsby attire, and make it out to one of the best nights Toronto offers. 
We’re doing it for a good reason:

Nazareth House is a non-profit, registered charity funded partly by the City of Toronto. The rest of their funding comes from the residents, who contribute reasonable rent rates on a monthly basis as well as third party donations from events like Fight For Independence. 

Nazareth House relies on this support to provide programs and services including things like Counseling, Conflict Resolution, Life Skill Development, Health and Nutrition, Building Self-esteem and Positive Self-image, and the Mom and Babe program, among others.

Fight For Independence raised $54,000 in the first year of the event in 2004 to support these programs. In total, Fight For Independence has raised well over 1.5 million dollars for Nazareth House during the past nine years. They rely on this singular event to provide a third of their annual operating budget. This event has become a huge part of the lives of the women it has changed. We’re hoping to really out-do ourselves this year!

Nazareth House helps these women by providing long-term support to help them overcome the struggles they have faced during their lives. We help Nazareth House be able to provide the facilities and programs to give these women an opportunity to take a step into a more positive direction.

We party for a reason! Join us in making the tenth annual Fight For Independence the most successful one yet. Buy your tickets or donate here.


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