NBA point guard Ramon Sessions, who played with the Charlotte Bobcats this season before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, is among a handful of athletes with ties to the Myrtle Beach area who will be featured speakers Saturday at the second annual Kicks & Ties Gala at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes.
The event is a fundraiser sponsored by Athlete’s Impact that will raise money for a pair of organizations that assist youth and teens in the area.
Other speakers include former NFL quarterback Tyler Thigpen, two-time U.S. Olympic track & field athlete Amber Campbell, University of South Carolina women’s basketball point guard Khadijah Sessions, former Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark and Myrtle Beach High football defensive coordinator Reggie Alston.
Thigpen and Campbell are Coastal Carolina graduates, Khadijah and Ramon Sessions (unrelated) both led Myrtle Beach High teams to state hoops championships, Alston played football at both Myrtle Beach and the University of Utah, and Clark now lives on the Grand Strand and has played professionally for multiple teams including the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
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Kicks & Ties Weekend encompasses two days of activities culminating with Saturday’s 6 p.m. gala, which costs $45 per person or $85 per couple. The gala includes dinner, drinks, a silent auction, music from the bands Tru Sol and FauxShow, and a room with games including a basketball court and Ping Pong table.
Gala hosts are Myrtle Beach High football coach Mickey Wilson and actor/comedian Carl Payne, whose credits include the roles of “Cockroach” on The Cosby Show and “Cole Brown” on Martin. The dress code is formal/semi-formal with sneakers/tennis shoes.
The event benefits Athlete’s Impact and the Hope House of Myrtle Beach. Athlete’s Impact seeks to involve adolescents in sports while mentoring and training them for success in life. The primary mission of Hope House of Myrtle Beach is to provide a healthy environment for Myrtle Beach High students who are deemed homeless.
Athlete’s Impact executive director Dee Dee Alston said sponsorship of the event has increased since 2013. “We have a lot of repeat sponsors from last year’s event and we have some new sponsors that have come on board,” she said.
Tickets for Kicks & Ties II must be purchased in advance and are available at www.kicksandties.charityhappenings.org, or by calling Myrtle Beach High at 843-448-7149 or Dee Dee Alston at 843-241-0969.
The weekend also includes the inaugural “Kicks 4 Hawks Dance” for youth 16 and under from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday at the donated Elks Lodge on 27th Ave. North in Myrtle Beach. The $5 admission includes food, beverages and music, and dress is similar to the adult gala.
Gala and dance attendees are asked to bring a pair of new or gently used sneakers/tennis shoes for donation to the clothing closets for the benefiting organizations. “If you get kids in the habit of giving young they’ll turn into giving adults,” Dee Dee Alston said.
Payne will perform “Comedy After Hours with Carl Payne” at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Payne has also played “Reynaldo St. James” on the BET series The Game and has directed and produced music videos, web series and short films while continuing to tour the country as a stand-up comic.
Tickets to Payne’s show are $20 per person or $40 for upgrades to the box suites and can be purchased by calling the speedway box office at 843-353-1692.