It was a morning to remember for our students, parents, team, community (and the entire nation). The crew from ABC’s Good Morning America, the most watched morning show in the U.S. with millions of viewers nationwide, came to the Downtown Boxing Gym for a live broadcast and a big surprise for our founder and CEO Khali Sweeney. Click below to watch the full “Ray of Sunshine” segment which celebrates exceptional individuals making a positive difference.

What viewers did not see behind the scenes was the hard work that went into transforming our DBG STEAM Lab for the surprise broadcast. Just days before the show, the DBG STEAM Lab, located inside a repurposed garage, was getting a much-needed facelift to create a better learning environment for our students. It’s something the kids and Khali have wanted for quite some time. Special thanks to ROSSETTI, Gold Star Commercial, Gardiner C. Vose, Sherwin Williams, and our dedicated team who helped get the STEAM Lab floor painted and drywall added along with acoustic tiles and new lighting. Our long-term need is a new STEAM Lab building and that is a dream we’re actively pursuing.

ABC News correspondent Ike Ejiochi was hiding outside with our students and a camera crew when he came walking into the gym to tell Khali, “You’re live on Good Morning America.” This screenshot below shows the moment Khali realized what was taking place. A few minutes later, they walked together into the STEAM Lab where Khali saw the space for the first time, confetti filled the air, and our students waved signs that said, “We Love Khali!,” “Khali’s a Knockout,” and “Khali is a Ray of Sunshine.” The GMA crew also surprised Khali with custom varsity jackets for our students, something he’s dreamed of one day providing.

“It’s not a Khali thing, it’s a we thing,” Khali told Ike and the morning show’s viewers. “This is teamwork. This is our community coming together for something that we all believe in which is our kids and our future. I’m just proud to be a part of this journey. We all came together for the same purpose which is these young people right here… it’s not about me, it’s about them and all of us working together for them.”

As part of the broadcast, our students, alumni, staff and supporters got the chance to say “thank you” for the life changing impact of DBG. Click below to hear more.

“You have a positive impact on this world. You are just an amazing person. Thank you for everything you’ve done for this community,” said DBG student Marc.

And there’s more! To keep the good vibes going, we are thrilled to announce KLA FOUNDATION will match every donation to DBG up to $100K and The AA VAN ELSLANDER FOUNDATION will match every dollar donated up to $20K – now through June 23. Help support our STEAM Lab programming in our amazing updated space and double your impact by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you Good Morning America for a truly unforgettable day!!!