5th Annual Irie Weekend Celebrity Golf Tournament

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 This year, we will throw a pool party on Sunday at the Shore Club, which is a new element. Kevin Rudolf will host the event, and he is also performing at Friday’s opening party.

DJ Irie, born Ian Grocher, may be best known for getting the party going with his unstoppable beats (he is the official DJ of the Miami HEAT and Jamie Foxx) his golf classic to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters has become one of Miami’s favorite fundraising events. In its fifth incarnation, this year’s Irie Weekend is on track to be the most impressive to date, with new activities (including a Sunday pool party), unsurpassed talent, and a full schedule of fun, all to benefit a very worthy cause.

Haute Living
Where did you first get the idea for the Irie Golf Weekend?
DJ Irie I spent years helping others with their philanthropic efforts, including Shaquille, Dwyane Wade, and Dan Marino. One day I realized it was time for me to step up for something I believe in and call on others to help me out just like I helped them in the past.

HL Were you involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters in the past?
DJI Yes, but I was never in a place before to raise funds for them. I provided entertainment for the little brothers and little sisters. When I actually got to see first hand the impact that Big Brothers Big Sisters was having on the youngsters’ lives I thought, ‘wow, this needs to be continued.’ It was life changing.

HL When did the event first launch?
DJI The first Irie Weekend was in 2005, and it’s been going strong ever since.

HL What does the weekend entail?
DJI Every year has been kind of different, but there are elements that have been consistent since day one. We always have an opening party and concert on Friday night, usually at one of the South Beach nightclubs. We’ve had some amazing artists come in and donate their time to really kick off the weekend, like Nick Cannon and Fat Joe. Saturday is the actual golf tournament, and athletes, such as Alonzo Mourning, Shaq, and Dwyane Wade, and celebrities come out to perform and play in the tournament. Community leaders also come to support the event.

In the past we held a dinner gala on Saturday night, but this year, we are scaling it back because of the economic climate. We are putting more effort into getting people to come out and show their support, while keeping our costs down as much as possible.

This year, we will throw a pool party on Sunday at the Shore Club, which is a new element. Kevin Rudolf will host the event, and he is also performing at Friday’s opening party.

HL Who else is participating this year?
DJI Confirmed talent includes Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade, Kristin Cavallari, Alfonso Ribeiro, Robert Iller, Akin Ayodele, Udonis Haslem, Kevin Rudolf, LMFAO, Antrel Rolle, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Joey Fatone.

HL How much did you raise last year?
DJI $70,000

HL What do you hope to raise this year?
DJI This year we are aiming for $100,000. That would be wonderful.

HL Can you share some exciting tales from past Irie Weekends?
DJI The second Irie Weekend took place right after the HEAT won the World Championship. During Friday night’s opening party at Mansion, HEAT owner Micky Arison and coach Pat Riley-obviously not big club goers-showed up and were on stage doing the “It’s Going Down” dance. People really were blown away.

That year, we also had the Longest Drive competition, and Shaq competed against Lil’ Jordon, the 11-year-old golf phenom. This kid can swing a golf club! Everyone was crowding around, and Shaq whacked it, then Lil’ Jordon hit it farther than Shaq. He got beat by a kid!

And I can’t forget Alfonso Ribeiro and his classic Carlton dance, which is one of the most-watched videos on YouTube. The only place you can see that live is Friday night of Irie Weekend.

HL Do you play during the classic?
DJI I do. I’m out there with my gloves on and my clubs, and I have my own little caddie. I’m good, I’m about to do it up.

What is your favorite golf course in the Miami area?
DJI The Miami Beach Golf Club hosts the tournament, and they were my No. 1 choice. Great people, great service, and a great course.

How can people become more involved?
DJI A number of ways. Not every event is for everybody; the pool party may not be your cup of tea, or the club might not be for you. But what we do on the golf course is for everyone. You don’t have to play golf. We have people volunteering and fundraising, so feel free to come in and donate. If you won’t be in town and want to do something to contribute, you can call to the office and make a check out directly to the cause.

Who DJ Irie and local athletes and celebrities
What 5th Annual Irie Weekend Celebrity Golf Tournament
When June 26 to 28
Where Miami Beach Golf Club
2301 Alton Rd.
Miami Beach, FL 33140
How $650 singles; $1,750 foursomes (includes celebrity/athlete as 4th golfer)
Why To benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami
More info www.IrieWeekend.com

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