The 2nd Annual Celebrity Golf Classic at Bethpage State Park on Thursday, July 29th kicked off the festivities with an incredible turnout. The weather did not deter the fundraising efforts and The MJF raised enough money to continue funding the Mike James Scholarship Endowment at Amityville High School.
The golf classic was sponsored in part by Hyundai, Outback Steakhouse, Dasha Wellness, NBA Legends, NBA Players Association, SportsStar Relocation, Stradford Funeral Home, William K. Group, Hempstead Employees Federal Credit Union, Skyy Spirits, Truth Be Told, Grandstand Sports, Hollywood Banners and the Amityville School District.
The weekend itinerary also included The Mike James Basketball Experience (MJBE), a free invitation only, youth basketball and life skills camp. Mike also appeared at Amityville Public Library on Saturday and read from his memoirs, Fight For Your Dreams, about his journey from Amityville to the NBA. The weekend ended with the 6th Annual Mike James Day at Bolden Mack Park on Saturday, July 31st with a record breaking number of attendees.
The Foundation partnered with MANNA, Rock the Block and Teen Challenge to host the largest free event the city has ever seen. The family friendly, free day in the park included free bbq, sno cones, popcorn, face painting, carnival games, rock walls, caricatures and balloon animals.
Mike James Day featured a FREE hip hop gospel concert starring Shai Linne and John McClure, hip hop break dancers and a celebrity basketball game with Mike James' Amityville All Stars taking their first loss in six years to the Hoops In The Sun All Stars. The Mike James Foundation's 2010 Scholars were also presented with their scholarship checks for Fall 2010.
In 2005 the Suffolk County city officials handed the 2004 NBA Champion the keys to the city after Mike's financial donation to assist with revitalizing the park. On that day the park was officially renamed, The Mike James Courts at Bolden Mack Park. This gracious gift prompted James to return to the city each year to provide a day of free family fun for the residents of Amityville. Since then, the weekend has continued to grow into a bigger and more successful event each year.
"I want the kids I help to see they are no different from me. If I can make it they definitely can make it. Now they have someone they can measure up too. I love helping these children." Mike added, "I am still very connected to Amityville. My family is here, my heart is here."
About the Mike James Foundation: Mike James Foundation strives to help at-risk students from disenfranchised communities get financial assistance to pursue their post-secondary education. Awarding scholarships ranging from $250 to $10,000 the MJF helps young people reach their full potential and realize their higher educational dreams. The Foundation also hosts the Mike James Basketball Experience, a summer basketball and life skills camp for boys and girls ages 8-18. Since its inception, the Mike James Basketball Experience has served over a thousand kids across the country.