Osi Umenyiora of the recently crowned New York Giants held his annual Strike 4 A Cure Charity Weekend in Atlanta. I told you about his visit to Carver High for the Senior Stop, but he didn’t stop there.
On Friday night there was a Black Tie Affair at the W Hotel in downtown Atlanta. It’s a beautifully constructed place thus far. It’s still being worked on, but I’m sure it will be fantastic when they finish it.
The space the event was being held in was still under construction I assume because there was not a whole lot going on in there. It was basically just a big open space. They did a good job with the tables and scenery in their attempts to make it look official.
The event itself could have gone a little better. The crowd was very loud and very rude when people like Vernon Jones (US Senate Hopeful) and Ramona Debreaux of V103 was on stage trying to give speeches and awards. They had a young lady come up and speak about AIDS and the importance of awareness and she also spit out a lot of statistics about those being affected. Unfortunately 85% of the people didn’t hear any of it. I could barely hear her and I was standing right in front of the stage. I tried to record it, but it’s all muffled. I couldn’t even hear her name. They also gave out the first ever Make Plays For Africa (Osi’s foundation) award to Grand Hustle for their work in the community, but the crowd couldn’t be bothered to listen to or acknowledge that either.
I know the purpose of the event was to raise money so they needed to make the entry fee somewhat reasonable, but it was only a $25 minimum donation and because of that the event was filled with a lot of people who have no idea how to act at a Black Tie Fundraiser. On any given night you might have to pay $20 to get into any club in Atlanta so what’s $5 more to go rub shoulders with athletes and entertainers. And, Valet parking was complimentary. You can’t beat that.
I was embarrassed at how they were acting and I don’t even know what or who I was embarrassed for. I’m not going to dwell on all of the negative things about an otherwise very positive event. At the end of the day those people made donations and that’s what it was all about.
Football players, radio personalities and city officials came out in droves to support Osi and his foundation. Everyone from, Adewale Ogunleye, Sean Merriman, Gibril Wilson, Takeo Spikes, Carlos Emmons, Lavar Arrington, Israel Idonije, Vernon Jones, Charles Mathis, Rashan Ali, Doug and Ryan Stewart (The 2 Live Stews) and many more.
Saturday the festivities moved to 300 a bowling spot in Atlanta for the celebrity bowling challenge. They (Osi, Wale, Israel and other players) weren’t horrible, but they probably won’t be joining the PBA after their NFL careers are over. ESPN.com’s LZ Granderson was there covering the event for the site. Meeting him was easily the highlight of my weekend. He’s a really cool dude, very down to earth.
There was a pool party at Osi’s mansion, but it was exclusive. Let’s just say I’m not that big time yet! At the end of the day, they raised money for AIDS and Alzheimer’s so it was a pretty successful weekend.