Slam Dunk or Foul? Dwayne Wade Partners with SANDALS for Youth Charity Program

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Dwayne Wade in Turks & Caicos with kids from Sandal Foundation. Image Courtesy: Instagram

Newlywed Miami Heat baller Dwayne Wade is taking his charity Wade’s World Foundation overseas. The NBA champion will take his philanthropic talents to the Caribbean (and, of course Miami) where he’ll enlighten at-risk teens about the benefits of a good education. And provide sports and rec centers for them to stay fit.

Not unlike what he does in the states, except this go ’round he’s teaming up with Sandals Resorts Foundation, an org that matches Wade’s World Foundation mission to create education and environmental projects for teens. In Sandals case, they cater to Caribbean communities–Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados– they have their resorts in.

The “game changer” program (yes, that’s the official name) aims to upgrade 11 multipurpose sports courts in the Caribbean and South Florida for kids to have a place to play and stay fit.

So why did the M.I.A baller decide to venture into foreign territory with his charity?

The opportunity to partner with the Sandals Foundation was a natural progression to the work we do and affords us the chance to continue to expand our reach internationally providing today’s youth with safe and fun places to learn explore and develop their potential.

Those willing to water those seeds of promise can make a donation to the game changer program here, or if you wanna give your fingertips a workout text GAME to 41444 to donate.

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited to hear that Mr. Gabrielle Union was partnering with the resort, given their homophobic past. Learning years ago that they banned same-sex couples from their resorts cast a shadow over their sandy white beaches, for me.

Yet, nothing is forever, including same sex bans, but I can’t lie and say I don’t feel some type of way about it. On one hand it’s a fitting way to synchronize two charities with one specific goal: enriching kids lives. Buuttt they’ve banned a whole group of people based on their sexual orientation for 23 years. Two decades!?. I know it’s time to let it go. The ban has been lifted. It’s a new day. Maybe so, but does it give anyone else pause over what kind of teens (is it straight AND gay or “Or”?) their willing to help?

Let me know what you guys think below.

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tinacharlesIn other sports related news, WNBA player Tina Charles slashed her salary in half to jump start her charity Hopey’s Heart Foundation, which purchases and distributes defibrillators to local schools around Michigan. The New York Liberty center launched the org in her aunt’s honor, who died of organ failure last year, and spent over $14K (she makes $100,000, according to Black Enterprise) purchasing 10 defibrillators for donation before she passed.

She’s raised $48K for the foundation so far and wrote a $50,000 check to go towards the charity’s goal of getting 100 defibrillators.

No qualms about this one. You go girl.

Ace in the Hole for Charity!! Jamie Foxx and Dwayne Wade Raise Moola for Florida Youth

Three distinguished gentlemen on golf course. Image Courtesy: Jamie Fox Instagram

Three distinguished gentlemen on golf course. (from L. Jamie Foxx, Irie and Dwayne Wade) Image Courtesy: Jamie Fox Instagram

Singer/actor Jamie Foxx and NBA Heat player (for now) Dwayne Wade were swinging the club like Tiger at last month’s 10th annual Irie Weekend. The event–made up of celeb golf matches bringing out Alonzo Mourning, Kevin Dillon and Shawn Marion, a youth workshop Jamie took part in (of course, he did), silent auction, comeback performance from Ma$e and pop up basketball hoops–was to benefit go-to award show DJ and Miami Heat’s official music man Irie’s Foundation.

The IRIE Foundation‘s mission is to develop programs motivating South Floridian kids to stay in school and increase the grad rate. The Foundation keeps tabs on middle schoolers with mentorships and extracurriculars. Then doles out scholarship money once kids reach high school.

The three-day event kicked off with Ma$e rocking the Irie Weekend Hotel at the National in Miami with a welcome concert. Earlier, Jamie met the kids at the FORE Life Golf Clinic event. Friday was the celeb golf tournament where they got pointers from Pro golfer Rickie Fowler (see if it paid off with the video below). Wrapping up the star-studded weekend was a Celeb Bowl where Foundation kids were matched with their famous idols.

Damn. If that’s not a jam-packed weekend…I don’t know what is. Good look, DJ Irie.