The IDEAL Magazine
Writer, Justin Mabrie
Photographer, Phill Cooke
Friday, September 21, 2012 KiKi Shepard’s K.I.S. Foundation hosted the 9th Annual Celebrity Bowling Challenge at PINZ Entertainment Center in Studio City, CA. The focus of the event was to raise awareness for the Sickle Cell Disease and celebrate the 100th year of discovery of the disease.
Celebrity guests and supporters of the cause arrived ready to bowl and have fun! The event brought awareness to the Sickle Cell Disease and an overall good time as attendees had dance sessions while still bowling in the tournament. Many of which spoke on their dear kinship with KiKi Shepard, the event’s guest list consisted of Jenifer Lewis, James Picken’s, Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy), Kim Whitley, Obba Babatunde, Sheree Fletcher (Hollywood Exes), Dawnn Lewis, Dorien Wilson, Elise Neal, Dondre Whitfield, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Mari Morrow, Michael Jai White, and many others in the entertainment industry.
Many of the guests had actual personal reasons to support the Sickle Cell Disease. Dondre Whitfield and Salli Richardson-Whitfield expressed, "Our Best friend’s daughter has sickle cell, if we do an event and the money is going to charity, we are there! Actor Alimi Ballard also spoke on how he has numerous cousins that have suffered from the disease and stated, KiKi is an icon and person I love, had to support without question."
"Think we all have a personal relation to Sickle Cell being that it affects African Americans so greatly." – Daphne Waynes & Sheree Fletcher;
"I have friends that have relatives that did fight for it… good to be here and bring awareness to what’s going on in real life." – Porsha Coleman.
Although everyone did not have personal connection with the disease, all had similar thoughts such as: "I’ve seen how it has affected our community through the years." – Norwood Young;
Dawnn Lewis expressed that the K.I.S. Foundation continues to create opportunities for Sickle Cell honorees, aid in providing healthcare they need, and participate in efforts for continuing education, like going to college. In response to currents talks of A Different World reunion, she excitingly expressed, It’s amazing that people are still interested… and they in works of establishing a speaking tour for the cast to commemorate their 25th anniversary.
K.I.S. Foundation correspondent for the night, Miss Sabah briefly shared her story as a Sickle Cell Disease survivor. Being diagnosed at three weeks old, she knows the pain that goes with medicine, surgeries, and almost having her life at risk a few times. She appreciates that people want to know her story and expressed that most people do not know: It’s not just in African Americans… it’s genetics, in your blood… and you often don’t see it on the outside appearance. Through medicine and vitamins, she remains a survivor!
KiKi Shepard shared that the event was finally able to reach a lot of corporations and get their participation. We know that means even more resources to work towards the cause and we congratulate the K.I.S. Foundation on another successful Celebrity Bowling Challenge to raise Sickle Cell Awareness.
A very special thanks to Lisa and Premier Concepts PR!