Irie Foundation fund-raising weekend raises $90,000 for at-risk youth

DJ Irie has the ability to get people excited about basketball games, parties, music and charity.

During his annual fundraising event known as Irie Weekend, the celebrity DJ mixes his passion for entertainment and giving back, by throwing several parties that will raise money for the Irie Foundation, a nonprofit focused on at-risk youth.

This year, Irie Weekend raised $90,000 in ticket sales, auctions and raffle sales, with profits going to programs for kids living in low-income neighborhoods.

“This year they collected funds to build a brand new music center that will provide free music lessons to students within the community,” said Kyle Post, director of operations and programming for the Irie Foundation. “It will be state of the art music facility and we are looking to open up in January.”

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The Irie Foundation’s provides children and teens with music and arts-oriented programs free of cost, by partnering with South Florida After-School All-Stars, The Motivational Edge and Big Brothers Big Sisters. The goal: to keep students focused and off the streets.

Irie Weekend is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization.

The annual fundraiser is known for flocking in celebrities and athletes to drink, party and play golf. On its 12th year, the scene was no different.

Chris Bosch, Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem, Joey Fatone, Anthony Mackie were among the famous faces spotted to support Irie and the cause. Artists Fat Joe, B.o.B and Trap Beckham also performed.

“I didn’t think we were going to get past two or three years, much less 12,” said Irie during the Irie Foundation #InspIRIE Dinner Gala as he pointed to actor Jamie Foxx, who stood by his side. “It’s really all possible because of people like this man right next to me. I can’t do this alone. It takes support. It takes commitment. This man has been so committed. “

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The hectic and celebrity-filled weekend began Wednesday, June 22, at a commencement gala at the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach. Children from the Irie Foundation showcased their artwork and musical talents.

Thursday morning, the #InspIRIE Kids Golf Clinic welcomed 35 children and teens from Irie Foundation to Miami Beach Golf Club. Irie, Foxx and Burnie, the Miami Heat Mascot, were all present.

During the golfing event, Ashly Solino, 14, heard a message from Irie that motivated her.

“He was talking about us not being scared and that if we want something for our future to not let anybody let us down,” said Ashly, a 7th-grader from Kinloch Park Middle School.

With more than 2,000 attendees, Irie Weekend, which ran through June 25, also included a VIP concert hosted by Foxx; a celebrity golf tournament; a Friday night party at LIV; a barbecue pool party known as BBQ Beach Bash; and a Saturday night finale at E11EVEN nightclub.

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