Some people bring a significant other, some bring a parent, but for CBS Sports anchor and MMA Awards co-host Molly Qerim she decided to bring two very special dates to the red carpet for the most recent awards ceremony.
Qerim was serving as host for the second year in a row, this time alongside controversial badboy Chael Sonnen for the World MMA Awards.
“Last year I went by myself and as a sports fan and a fan of MMA, it’s such a fun event to see everybody in the industry. I was just thinking this year I really want to share it with somebody, and I really want to share it with somebody who will appreciate it,” Qerim told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’m not really in the position yet to fly people out myself and that kind of thing, so I’ve known Jen Wenk for a while and I reached out to her and I knew all her connections with PR in Las Vegas and working for the UFC for so many years and right away she connected me to the Boys Town organization.”
Boys Town is an organization that helps at-risk youths in a particular area in several different programs. The Las Vegas area Boys Town club was more than happy to connect a couple of kids from the area, who were huge MMA fans, to be Qerim’s honorary dates for the evening.
The boys selected lived the life of a celebrity that evening with limo service to and from the event, dinner with Qerim, and of course walking the red carpet and meeting their favorite MMA fighters and figures from around the industry.
Qerim admits that the boys definitely had stars in their eyes and soaked in every moment of what was a big night for the both of them.
“At first I think they were just a bit overwhelmed, and a little bit shy. Then I think they were just really enjoying it and relishing in the moment. I could really tell that they were thrilled and I think they’ll remember this night for a very long time,” Qerim said.
“Some people will never experience that in a lifetime, and to see these kids light up, honestly it really just meant the world to me.”
When Qerim was in college and making her way into the broadcasting world, she says it was meeting some of her own personal heroes that inspired her to continue to work hard and try to make it to the top of her field.
She hopes it can be much the same kind of inspiration for the kids from Boys Town who got to meet all of their favorite fighters and people from around the industry.
“I think for these kids and something I felt personally, that somebody would take out the time to care and choose them and share a special night with them,” said Qerim. “It means so much to me. I hope that the more I continue to grow in this industry, and I’m just getting started, there’s more and more I want to do.”
Qerim’s long term goals are to start her own foundation for charity, and she got a good first step of what it feels like to help somebody experience the time of their lives.