One Punch at a Time

PhotographerTom Vani
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Melanie Anaya is a boxer with The Coachella Boxing Club run by Lee Espinosa. His club gives people a place to start, a place to improve, or a place to get a second chance. Melanie stands with hundreds of others who have benefited from Lee's kindness, caring, and determination. All of them have been impacting their community one punch at a time.


Melanie Anaya is one of the many boxers from the Coachella Boxing Club. She is 26 and the mother of a one year old daughter. At 4’10” she is a force of nature. She represents one of the hundreds of boxers that have benefited from the kindness, caring, and determination of Lee Espinosa. The name Coachella is mostly associated with an annual music festival, legendary performers, and upscale events. However, it is also the name of a city that ranks as one of the ten poorest in California with personal income being among the third lowest. In a place where life can be especially tough, Lee Espinosa has channeled that toughness into building a community of boxers. At the Coachella Boxing Club people can get a start, they can improve their skills, or they can look for a second chance. Lee takes everyone who wants to try. He has been impacting lives one punch at a time.

About Photographer

Tom is a self-taught photographer engaged full time in creating images. His areas of interest and concentration include portraiture, candid street photography, the built environment, and abstract compositions. Several of his photos have received awards in juried competitions and his work has appeared in several group shows.