The Common Good Awards
These four winners inspire philanthropy in their employees, not by writing a check but by going into the community to help.
Winner, micro category: 1–9 employees
What the company does: Instruction in kickboxing, cross training and yoga for adults and kids.
Where it’s located: Johnston, rkblive.com
Teaching people to feel empowered is what has motivated professional kickboxer Christina Rondeau for twenty-seven years. It’s important that students not only feel fit as they learn the art of kickboxing, she says, but that they also know they can protect themselves. “Our passion is making sure you are not a victim and have the confidence that comes along with being fit and learning real kickboxing and self defense,” Rondeau tells students who come to her studio.
Rondeau launched “Knockout Wishes,” which offers free self-defense classes to women in homes that shelter victims of domestic violence. Knockout Wishes has also fundraised to grant the wishes of people with serious medical issues. In addition, each Rondeau employee is asked to donate three hours a month of their time to a cause of their choice.
The judges praised that level of social commitment by such a small business. “Domestic violence victim training is huge,” one judge noted. Rondeau also reaches out to others in the small business community, offering free space in her gym weekly, to give them the chance to find new customers and increase sales. Rondeau attributes the longevity of her business to the fact that she cares about each person who comes through the door. “We care about our community.” –Sarah Francis
Knockout Wishes is a spinoff of Rondeau’s Fight Like a Girl and Fight Like a Dad fundraisers.
Rondeau has written several books, including Hit It, The Elements of Staying Safe and Power Parent.
She began kickboxing as a hobby.
She has a fifth-degree black belt in karate and is a member of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.