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Damien Lopez came to the Burbank Boxing Club when he was 10 years old, looking for an outlet and a way to hone his physical skills in the ring. Burbank Boxing Club’s longtime coach, Steve Harpst, quickly learned that he had something special on his hands.

Lopez, now 20, emerged as one of the Burbank Boxing Club’s brightest young stars, and now he is eyeing a bid to compete for the United States in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lopez has advanced through the first two stages of qualifying, according to Harpst, and will be competing in the third stage of qualifying in Memphis Oct. 24-Nov. 1. In an effort to help Lopez chase his dream and offset the cost of travel expenses, the Beachside Animal Hospital in Capistrano Beach is lending a hand.

Beachside Animal Hospital, located at 34205 Doheny Park Road, is holding a fundraiser meet and greet with Lopez on Oct. 17, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monies raised will go toward Lopez’s travel, food and board. Aside from raffle prizes, giveaways and live music, the hospital is offering a special $10 vaccination fee for cats and dogs to the first 100 customers.

Lopez will be on hand to give boxing demos and run through training exercises as well as sign autographs and take photos.

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