J.R. Smith Hosts Charity Casino Night Gala To Benefit His Youth Foundation
Cleveland Cavaliers baller J.R. Smith hosted the first ever Charity Casino Night Gala on Friday, March 25th for his nonprofit, the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation.
Organized by New Generation Management, the swanky black-tie affair was held at Stage 48 in New York City and raised a whopping $45K for the Foundation. 100% of proceeds from the evening will go towards fulfilling the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation’s mission in supporting young people through the arts, education, sports and other beneficial activities such as scholarships, grants, and programs designed to help further their goals. The event was powered by clean fashion technology brand Crep Protect, as guests arrived dressed to impress for an evening of philanthropy and positivity.
The event was emceed by renowned TV and radio sportscaster, Tina Cervasio. The night included unlimited light bites, an open bar with guests sipping on specialty cocktails curated by Hennessy, and a VIP gifting suite and custom photo booth courtesy of mattress company, Casper.
Guests gambled for a good cause — enjoying a poker tournament, silent auction and raffle consisting of luxurious in-kind donations from big-name brands including EA Sports, Equinox, Recovery Pump, Skullcandy, Rockstar Games, John Allan’s and others. With items like tickets to this year’s ESPYS and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony among other amazing products up for grabs, select guests even got to score an exclusive meet & greet with J.R. during the night thanks to a partnership with Charitybuzz.
Tons of celebrities graced the room, with special appearances from notable NBA and NFL players and Hollywood influencers, including:
Victor Cruz (NY Giants), Iman Shumpert (Cleveland Cavaliers), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Brooklyn Nets), Jaiquawn Jarrett (NY Jets), Ty Lawson (Indiana Pacers), Teyana Taylor (Singer, Actress & Entrepreneur), DJ Clue (Power 105.1) & Carl Lentz (Celebrity Pastor to the Stars)
But the most extraordinary champion of the evening was Special Olympics Gold Medalist, Brad Hennefer. A personal and inspirational friend to J.R., Brad doesn’t let adversity stop him from changing the world. Hennefer is the founder of Golf for Life, an organization that offers golf clinics for individuals with Down Syndrome.
As his first-ever Casino Night Charity Gala came to a close, Smith expressed gratitude for the night’s overwhelming support and the impact it would have on youth nationwide on behalf of the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation, sharing:
“This is all about the kids. I’m a firm believer in investing in the youth. At the end of the day, they’re all that we have.”
Continuing his trend of giving back, the next stop for J.R. will be in his backyard of Cleveland, OH where he will be hosting a bowling tournament on March 30th for his Foundation.
For more information about the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation, please visit http://www.teamswish.com
(Photos: Shareif Ziyadat Productions)