COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A masked ball with a cause is coming to town. On Sept. 16, Columbus Karate Academy International and All About Fitness Family will host their masquerade kickboxing ball at the Escapology Sky Lounge on Gentian Boulevard.

Proceeds from the event will go towards travel expenses for a local athlete as he travels to compete in the 2023 WKO Open British Championships in the United Kingdom.

“I think it’s a good way to inspire the kids in the next generation,” said 25-year-old Ethic Dejaun, who will compete in the British kickboxing championships in late September. “If I can do it, then they can do it.”

Columbus-based Dejaun started his athletic career in Oklahoma City, but moved to Columbus, which he plans to make his permanent home, three years ago. Today, he is a six-time world karate champion and WKO world kickboxing champion.

Despite winning a spot to compete in the British kickboxing championships earlier this year, Dejaun didn’t have the money to travel for the upcoming competition. His coach Tyrone Muhammad stepped in by contacting All About Fitness Family’s Dewayne Webb to organize a fundraiser to help pay for Dejaun’s travel.

They hope to raise $2,000 to cover hotel fees, food and air fare.

Entry to the masquerade costs $25 per person, which will go directly toward supporting Dejaun’s expenses. Additional food and beverage purchases are not covered by the entry fee, however Webb emphasized guests are welcome to attend the event without making additional purchases.

The event is divided into two parts, including a masquerade raffle hour from 6 to 7 p.m. and the main event, which will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Raffle hour prizes contributed by local organizations for bidding by guests will also go toward covering Dejaun’s travel.

Muhammad and Dejaun both said while the fundraiser goes toward supporting the athlete’s international competition, it will benefit the community.

“We hear everyday about how somebody got shot, somebody got killed,” said Muhammad. “How about let’s see something where people in the community…supported something that was greater than the negative events going on in our city.”

Dejaun reiterated similar sentiments. The competitor said, “This is really an opportunity to bring light to our community and show something to look at and show something positive.”

The athlete, who is also an actor, hopes his success at the upcoming championship will inspire local youth to follow their dreams.

According to Webb, community members can contribute to helping Dejaun without attending Sept. 16 event. The ticket purchase page for the event also includes an option for locals to donate to support Dejaun instead of buying tickets to the masquerade. Businesses and organizations can also email him at to contribute items for the raffle.

Muhammad encouraged community members to join in. He said, “Anyone will want to be there… it’s going to be a night to remember.”