MANCHESTER – The group is known as “Blackbelts For Butterflies”, and there is plenty of strength in numbers.
They are a group – mostly comprised of Brazilian Jujitsu artists -- who donate their time and talents to raise money for charities in memory of the Sandy Hook shooting victims.
Rich McKeegan, who helps to run Manchester Brazilian Jujitsu is the founder of Blackbelts For Butterflies and got the idea to help after his son was born on the day of the Sandy Hook shooting. “I felt this deep need to do something,” McKeegan said. “And it was the Jujitsu community I reached out to.”
Through social media, Blackbelts For Butterflies began to gain steam, attracting some of the top Brazilian Jujitsu masters in the country to come to Manchester in support of the cause. With a focus on Autism awareness, McKeegan also became aligned with Ian Hockley, the father of Dylan, who was killed at just 6 years old, a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting. Hockley, said of McKeegan, “he’s created movement of people in Jujitsu that do so much good for so many people and so many different causes.” Hockley added, “that’s the butterfly effect made real.”
Blackbelts For Butterflies is now in their 6th year. McKeegan also visits other martial arts locations across the country hoping to spread his message of charity and Autism awareness. To find out more about Blackbelts For Butterflies and to donate time or money, click here.