Irie Weekend celebrates a decade of celebrity-fueled fundraising in Miami

The Miami Heat’s DJ Irie hosts his annual weekend charity fundraiser, a series of events that attract starpower from across the country to raise funds for his charitable organization, Irie Foundation. The events, which kick off June 19 and continue through the 21st, begin with a “takeover” of the newly renovated National Hotel and include a golf tournament, a bowling tournament, plu several VIP parties and cocktails.

DJ Irie chatted with about this year’s festivities.

You’re taking over the entire National Hotel for Irie Weekend. What kind of a hotelier are you going to be? Can guests expect chocolates on pillows?
Ha ha! You know I’ll be the best! Hospitality is my middle name! This is really exciting for us and for me personally as this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. Our guests can expect the ultimate IWX VIP treatment at the Irie Weekend Hotel and we’ve gone out of our way to bring the Barry’s Boot Camp workout, The Beats Box VIP Experience by Beats Music. We purposely programmed some of the best events there for the convenience of staying right in the middle of the action. Chocolates on pillows…that’s soo passé. We treat our guests with memories that will last a lifetime.

Who do you expect to be checking in to this year’s event?
We’re going to have some amazing guests checking in this year including Jamie Foxx, Kevin Dillon, Cassie, Nick Cannon, Jermaine Dupri, Terrence J., MA$E and a whole lot more.

Who do you think is going to dominate on the green this year from your celebrity roster?
Hands down my money is on Jamie Foxx to dominate the field. Not only does this guy have a natural extraordinary ability for the game but he’s been practicing more than ever for this moment. I think he’s ready!

And which one of your celebs always take charge in the bowling competition?
Last year the big man on the bowling lane was Norris Cole. I think we changed his name to Norris “Strike” Cole by the time he was done. We expect him to keep his hot streak going again this year.

Which celebrity golfer talks the most trash?

Oh boy. Last year it was Sky Blu from LMFAO! I mean he was relentless but absolutely hysterical and entertaining at the same time! We hope he comes back to take that title again.

Who wears the most ridiculous golf gear (the pink shirts and the plaid pants)?

This award also goes out to Sky Blu from LMFAO! But he wears it well!

This will be the tenth year of Irie Weekend. How have you been able to keep people motivated to help out with a charitable through the economic ups and downs?
This is a great question and I can tell you that I remember between 2007 and 2009 there were many times that things were looking pretty grim and some tough decisions had to be made. The option that was never on the table was to cancel the event for the simple fact that in good or bad economic times the one factor that remains consistent is that the youth we serve need us. They need us even more in bad economic times as other arms of support are not available. That’s what keeps us motivated to get it done no matter what the obstacle.

What makes you the proudest when you reflect on the work Irie Foundation does?
There’s so much that brings a smile to my face when I think about the work we’ve done and our accomplishments. I’m extremely proud of our Irie Foundation Impact Scholarship. I personally interview our candidates along with the rest of the Irie Foundation team and it’s so inspiring to hear their stories and how they’ve been able to overcome what seemingly would be insurmountable circumstances to get to a level to peruse their dreams of higher education. We’re making that happen and have already awarded over $60,000 in scholarship funds.

You have become like an unofficial ambassador for the city of Miami. How do people treat you when you spin in New York, Vegas and overseas?
It’s really funny you say that because I’m greeted in cities like New York and Vegas as “The Mayor of Miami.” That always cracks me up but I get it because they look at me as someone that they can come to if they need something in Miami.  They know Irie knows somebody or knows somebody that knows somebody – he can always make it happen. 

What is the most common myth out there that people have about Miami?
In my circles it’s probably that Miami is this big nonstop party and everything is just palm trees and flamingo’s and perfect. For those of us that live in Miami know that’s not true and even though Miami is truly an exceptionally amazing place to live our city faces a lot of the same issues that other cities grapple with and even though I encourage anyone heading our way to visit Miami Beach there’s still a lot more to discover in Miami, the city as a whole.

How intense were the NBA Finals for you this year?

Intense would be an understatement! It’s been an all-out emotional rollercoaster but then again what would you expect from the two best teams in the NBA clashing for the NBA Title.