Pay It 4ward: Nonprofit owner, wrestling coach thanked for helping local children

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There’s no better feeling as a parent, than knowing your child is happy and feels safe. That’s the exact environment created by a free junior wrestling program in northwest Albuquerque.

One local wrestling parent was so amazed by what the Mini Avengers have done for other families, she asked KOB 4 to help her Pay It 4ward.

“My daughter is seven, she’ll be eight this summer, and she’s been wrestling for about four years, and she loves it. My son is four, and he just started wrestling,” said Mariah Salazar, Pay it 4ward nominator. 

Salazar’s children are not Mini Avengers, but they are a part of the wrestling world, and she thought the program deserved some special recognition.

“They’re a program who helps kiddos who don’t have the opportunity to wrestle, be a part of the wrestling community, and they just do so much for them and their families,” said Salazar. 

Way more than just teaching children how to wrestle for free.

“It’s a safe space and a family for kids to figure out how to stick up for themselves, build up confidence,” said Gabrielle Poissant, a Mini Avengers parent. 

The junior wresting nonprofit serves children ages four to 14. They raise money to get Christmas gifts for the children and their siblings, it even takes them on an annual summer boating trip.

Which is why Salazar decided to Pay It 4ward with $400 to the owner and head coach, Chris Chavez.

“He does a lot of fundraising for the kiddos, they don’t pay for any of the gear, registration fees, anything like that. They tried to really just help them with any of the tournament fees costs,” said Salazar. 

What better way to say “Thank you” than to give a little something back to him.

Watch the video above to see Chris Chaves recognized.