One of 20 Long Island business professionals gearing up for annual Long Island Fight for Charity in November
By Rachel Siford
Mount Sinai’s Rhonda “Master of Financial Disaster” Klch is heading back into the ring on Nov. 23, 2015, for her second Long Island Fight for Charity match.
Klch is the founder and CEO of Equity First, LLC, a financial advising firm based in Coram. She started the company in 2004.
The charity boxing match raises money for the Long Island Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that provides short-term financial support to needy families and individuals who have suffered a crisis. Last year, Klch left her match victorious.
Klch was inspired to participate in the fight when she heard the money was going to the Community Chest. More than $850,000 has been donated to Long Island charities since its inception 12 years ago.
“Due to the fact that my firm works heavily in budget planning and helping clients that are in financial distress, I felt it was very close to what we do,” Klch said.
Preparing for the match takes time. Fight for Charity requires all participants get a physical exam. Fighters also have to check in at certified gyms to track how much they are training. Boxers typically need to complete three to four days of cardio a week, with two or more days of sparring.
Klch will have to wait until September to find out who she will be fighting on the night of the event.
“Right now, I have to train like I’m going to get my butt kicked,” Klch said smiling. “I have no idea who it is going to be yet.”
Klch and her company try to get involved with many organizations.
Equity First is also involved with The Starkey Hearing Foundation, which supplies hearing aides to those who can’t afford them, and Pink Tie, a cancer research fundraiser. Last year, the company sponsored 160 children from the Longwood community who were either homeless or in transient housing and provided them with their holiday gifts. Klch is also on the Friends of Karen, which supports critically ill children and their families, Long Island advisory board.
“We have a pretty good corporate culture here,” Klch said. “Everyone wants to chip in and help out; it’s almost a prerequisite for their employment.”
Prior to founding Equity First, Klch was a branch manager for First West Mortgage Bankers. She actually started Equity First as a side business while still working at the bank.
“I’m just very entrepreneurial by nature,” Klch said. “I feel like I am a good leader and I like having my own concepts and being able to see them through from start to finish.”
Klch said staying involved with charities helps people learn about their communities and issues they may not have realized existed.
“You just never know enough about yourself until you put yourself into an uncomfortable position,” Klch said. “You’ll never grow if you never go out of your comfort zone.”
For more information on the event go to www.lifightforcharity.org.