Thirty kids from DJ Irie’s foundation got together June 18 at the Miami Beach Golf Course to play golf for the “#Inspirie Kids Golf Clinic,” the first event of the 11th annual Irie Weekend.
“These are kids that wouldn’t ever have an opportunity to just walk onto a golf course,” said Irie, the official disc jockey for the Miami Heat and founder of the foundation in 2011. “They can go outside and throw a football around and bounce a basketball, but for them to have the opportunity to really learn the game of golf is what we are all about: Having opportunities that they wouldn’t usually have, and you see them out there; seeing the smile on their face is awesome.”
Irie Weekend focuses on raising funds by hosting events featuring celebrity appearances and sponsorships. The foundation’s main focus is supporting “at-risk youth” by promoting a better education and future for them. All proceeds collected during the weekend’s festivities are invested in the foundation and in various other local and national nonprofits.
Thursday morning’s golf tournament was followed with the VIP Kick Off Concert, which started at 8 p.m.
The pool area at the Surfcomber Hotel in South Beach welcomed guests and celebrities for a night of celebration and special performances. Fat Joe, Cee Lo Green, Jermaine Dupri and Big Lip were all seen mingling during the evening.
“It’s about giving back to the community,” said singer Natalie La Rose, who made an appearance and later hit the stage to perform her single Somebody. “I think it’s important that if you gain success and power, you do something good with it, so I appreciate and respect it a lot.”
La Rose was followed by musician Wyclef Jean who promised a night of partying, fun and good energy. His show included singing, backflips, guitar playing and dancing in the crowd.
The Celebrity Golf Tournament began 11 a.m. June 19.
The attendees were welcomed with a “Target tent” outside by the golf courses, where they could socialize, enjoy drinks, eat candy at a candy buffet and listen to music. After Irie gave a speech of appreciation to the attendees and the national anthem was sung, the celebrities went off in their golf carts to play. Familiar faces included Nina Agdal, Chris Kirkpatrick, Reggie Bush, Uncle Lou and Jason Jackson.
“The thing that I love about what he does here is that his foundation pinpoints the most important thing: at risk youth, combining it with education,” Jackson said. “The young people that he impacts; this is a trampoline outside of what would have probably been a dead-end situation.”
The “IWXI BBQ Beach Bash,” a cookout and pool party at the Surfcomber hotel, ran from noon through 5 p.m., offering burgers and hot dogs, a bar of coconut water, photo booths and colorful chairs for guests to sit and sip on drinks. YesJulz, Miami’s self-proclaimed “director of vibes,” hosted the pool party next to DJ Irie. Singer Pitbull also made an appearance on the stage overlooking the pool. He greeted the crowd and ended his speech with a jump in the pool along with Irie.
“Irie weekend is the main funding aspect for the foundation,” said Kyle Post, director of operations and programming for the Irie Foundation.
“All the fundraising efforts here help us support the kids of South Florida. They are the future of us and we need people that can move and grow and graduate and move on and be fruitful in their careers, and we need to help them out to get to that level.”
For more information: http://www.iriefoundation.org/