A fighting tournament to help Avery Dingus

LEBANON, Mo. – A Tae Kwon Do school in Lebanon is helping the family of a deceased student by hosting a fundraising tournament.

On Saturday, April 9 at 9:00 a.m., the tournament fundraiser for Avery Dingus will begin at the Summit Tae Kwon Do Center at 22975 Perimeter Lane, Lebanon, MO.

There will be a limit to the number of competitors and spectators. Entry fees for competitors will be $55. Spectators will be asked to donate $10.

All proceeds will go to support the family of Avery Dingus.

Avery Dingus, 21, was battling Grade III anaplastic ependymomas, a fast-growing cancerous tumor often at the base of the brain that sadly caused his death on December 28, 2021. Dingus was a second-degree black belt, studying at Summit Taekwondo Center in Lebanon.

“For us, he was always there to help teach, to help instruct,” Summit Taekwondo Center owner and instructor Jonathan Reagan said. “He was just a good, positive person to be around, everyone loved Avery.”

Reagan said Dingus was extremely talented, being one of only two black belts to never fail a test while rising through the ranks.

Reagan planned a fundraiser to help Dingus, but his death came sooner than expected. Reagan decided he would continue fundraising to help his student’s family.

The result of his plan turned into something called Spar Wars, a tournament fundraiser to honor and benefit Avery. The tournament invites any taekwondo student from Missouri and Arkansas who is ranked green belt or higher to participate.

“What’s different about this tournament is when everybody comes here, they sign up, they’re going to get a white belt,” Reagan said. “So it doesn’t matter if they’re green belt, blue belt, red belt or black belt, you know, in class for the tournament everybody gets a white belt which I think will make it a bit more interesting because you don’t ‘re not really sure who you’re going to face.

Since there are no ranks, the splits will be based on height, age and gender.

For more information, you can email Jonathan Reagan at [email protected], text 417-718-0712, or check out the Summit Tae Kwon Do Center Facebook page.

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