On July 18, Colorado MMA ringside doctor Alex Constantinides lost his wife and three young daughters in a tragic accident.
The Constantinides family was asked to evacuate the campgrounds they were visiting in Wyoming due to a flash flood warning. Within 30 minutes, the family was packed up and on the road home. Driving down Highway 130, their Volkswagon van plummeted into a nine-foot deep, 25-foot wide gap in the road that had been washed away by the flooding.
The Constantinides family had no way to know the road was missing. Alex was the only survivor in the vehicle, losing his wife, Laurel, and his three daughters, Hannah, 8, Zoe, 5, and Lucia, 2.
The Colorado MMA community was grief stricken with the news. Everyone within the MMA community jumped into action to do something. A fundraiser for the Constantinides family was started on Wednesday and donations were already coming in by Thursday. By Friday afternoon, the fund had reached $3,000 by 5 p.m. MT.
One of Colorado’s MMA promoters, Fight to Win (run by Seth Daniels and Jamie Addie), was hosting an event on Saturday night. Fight to Win organized an autograph signing with UFC fighters and veterans Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub, Eliot Marshall, Duane Ludwig, and Justin Wren to raise as much money as possible. Meanwhile, many other Colorado promoters, family, and friends were diligently helping as well. The goal was to reach $10,000 by midnight on Saturday to pay for the Colorado memorial taking place on July 27 in Colorado Springs.
Before the doors opened for the event and the autograph signing began at 6 p.m., the fund had reached $6,500. The autograph signing had accumulated quite the line. After every fight, the MC made an announcement for donations and the progress held steady. After the fifth fight, during intermission, the fund had reached $9,000… in less than four hours.
Daniels took to the mic and warned the fans, “Y’all need to make a donation please. If the show ends and we have not reached our goal, I will grab y’all and turn you upside down to shake the change out of your pockets!”
Addie went to each individual V.I.P table, thanked them for their business, and asked them to match his donation of $100. A short 15 minutes later, the intermission was over and Daniels again grabbed the mic.
“We did it everyone, we raised $11,200, thank you for your support!”
The giving didn’t stop there. At the end of the evening, the results were tallied with donations totaling $12,083. Not only was the Colorado MMA community able to meet the goal of $10,000, they raised a staggering $12,000 in less than four days!
Amidst the tragedy of this horrific occurrence, the light was shining that night.
Below is a statement written by Alex Constantinides that was read at the event that evening, expressing his gratitude for the support he has received:
In this time of loss and immense grief, I apologize I am not yet strong enough to be in attendance or speak in person. I do want to express my extreme gratitude to the MMA Community in my time of need.
I feel honored to be accepted as part of this sport and have always considered those involved to be the hardest working, most honorable, and genuine men, women and athletes I have every worked with.
Your efforts, outreach, and support since the loss of my family has far exceeded anything I could have ever imagined. The calls, messages, emails, prayers, fundraising, events and support is truly overwhelming. I must believe that surrounded by this group of people I will survive this event.
I plan to return ringside soon, as healing permits, and look forward to shaking each of your hands, looking you in the eye and thanking you in person.
I would like to thank in particular: Seth Daniels, Jamie Addie, Al Pallone and Fight 2 Win Promotions; JR Gordon, Lindy Matthews, and the MMABuzz community; fighters Shane Carwin, Duane Ludwig, Eliot Marshal, Brendon Schaub, Nate Marquardt, Chris Camozzi, Bobby Lashley, Thomas Denny, and Josh Cavan; Sven Bean and Ring of Fire Promotions; Natalie Mort, Gary Elkins, and NME Fighting; Steve and Shelley Alley and KickDown Promotions; Mike Laurita and American Ground and Pound Fight Gear; Luke Henderson; Bill Torres; Guy Thomson and Ink’d Out Fight Gear; Leister Bowling; Michael Sullivan; Jeff Martinez; Ricky Vasquez; Keith Schmeltzer and Rocky Mountain Bad Boyz; Gabe Charbenau, Armondo Chavez, and Steel City Rumble; John Fabbricatorre; Pure Fight Gear; MMAMeltdown Radio; Xyience; MMA.TV/MMA Underground; John Burkard Photography and Phenom Management.
I am forever in your debt. Please continue to pray for my four angels.
– Alex Constantinides
How You Can Continue to Help
Even though the current sum of $12,083 has been transferred to Alex’s account, the fund remains open and we encourage you to make your donations. Alex and his wife Laurel were passionately involved with adoptions from China. All three of the Constantinides children were adopted from China and Laurel was a counsellor for Chinese Children Adoption International.
You can also make a donation on behalf of the Constantinides family at www.halfthesky.org. This is an organization that offers care for China’s orphaned children. The front page of their site has a “Donate Now” button. Please give all you can so that others may benefit from the passion of the Constantinides family.