Proving he’s more than just a great talent on the basketball court, Cleveland Cavaliers star J.R. Smith hosted his first Charity Casino Night Gala earlier this month to benefit his organization, the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation.
“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,” Smith said during the event, which was held on Friday, March 25 at Stage 48 in New York City.
This black-tie celebration brought in $45 thousand for his non-profit organization. Smith donated all the proceeds to his foundation’s mission to support “young people through the arts, education, sports and other beneficial activities such as scholarships, grants, and programs designed to help further their goals.”
Celebrity guests included NY Giants star Victor Cruz, fellow Cavs player Iman Shumpert, Brooklyn Nets’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, NY Jets athlete Jaiquawn Jarrett, and Carl Lentz, aka Celebrity Pastor to the Stars.
Guests enjoyed entertainment by sports broadcaster Tina Cervasio while gambling for a good cause to raise funds for Smith’s charity. There was also a luxe silent auction and raffle including donated items from brands including EA Sports, Equinox, Recovery Pump, Skullcandy, Rockstar Games, and John Allan’s. The prizes were impressive with items like tickets to this year’s ESPYS and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony along with an exclusive meet & greet with J.R. during the night thanks to a partnership with Charitybuzz.
Also, Special Olympics Gold Medalist Brad Hennefer made a special appearance to support his friend, J.R. Hennefer is the founder of Golf for Life, an organization that offers golf clinics for individuals with Down Syndrome.
Smith’s first-annual Charity Casino Night Gala was a success and helps him continue to give back to underserved children to help with their health, education, and personal growth. To learn more about the J.R. Smith Youth Foundation, visit his website: www.teamswish.com