A community fundraiser is being held for Flint Northwestern High School student Claressa Shields who will be going to the Olympic Trials February 13-19 to compete for a spot on the 2012 Olympic Team.

Shields, 16 years-old, is a boxer at Berston Field House. This is the first time for women's boxing in the international Olympics and the trials are being conducted in the state of Washington for Team USA.

The fundraiser is being organized by Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, 3rd Ward Councilman Bryant BB Nolden and Flint Community Schools. "Claressa Shields has worked hard to get to this point. She is an exceptional young woman who is beating the odds and showing Flint pride," stated Councilman Nolden. Northwestern Principal Cheryl Adkins added "anything we can do to help our young people obtain their goals, is wonderful. Clarressa is a model for all young people, male and female, as to what can happen when you are willing to work toward your goals."

The public is invited to attend the fundraiser on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at Wize Guys Pizza located at 500 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person at the door and include pizza and pop. Proceeds will be donated to the FWC-Berston boxing club to assist with travel costs. Contributions can also be made by check to "FWC-Berston" and then mailed to: FWC-Berston, Attn: Jason Crutchfield, 6196 Magnolia Dr., Mt. Morris, MI 48458.

"I am asking everyone to come out and meet an amazing athlete. This is an opportunity for all of us to support one of Flint's rising stars and show that our community cares about our youth," said Walling.

For more information, contact Mayor Walling at 810-280-7684 or dwalling@cityofflint.com.