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First Annual Okike Fundraiser to Benefit Inner-City Youth Nationwide held at Char Friday Evening, Nov. 16

By Samantha Hudson

Nov. 13, 2012. Appalachian State student Kingsley Okike will be holding his first annual OKIKe Fundraiser this Friday, Nov. 16 at Char. The event is a silent auction and will raise money to help create programs for inner city youth across America with the help of professional sports franchises.

“I started this company because, being from Philadelphia, I was able to see first hand the plight that is inner-city education. We are currently seeking investors to help fund the Hardwood Education Fund,” Okike said.

The basic premise for this is that, “A basketball team sells 50,000 T-shirts with slogans based on their most popular player at $20 a pop. That creates over $1,000,000 in revenue. The team involved keeps $250,000 for their community relations department (non-profit department). They donate $50,000 to my company and then the other $700,000 goes to the worst inner-city school in their area,” Okike said. 

The goal for this company is to help young people who are from deprived areas in the country that have shown a desire and drive to succeed.

“I want to help them out even if it is only a little bit, a little bit is better than nothing,” Okike said.

Along with local sponsors from the Boone community Okike has received help from the NFL, the NHL and the MLB. The NFL has donated two autographed pictures, one of a quarterback and one of a running back. The NHL donated an autographed hockey puck and the Chicago Cubs donated an autographed baseball.

“Over $2,000 worth of items have been donated,” Okike said.

Tables will be split into categories with titles such the Onassis table and the Sports Fanatic table for those interested in bidding on particular types of items such as sports memorabilia or items specific to women. Items to be auctioned include a three-day two-night stay at Echota, a $20 gift card for Lucky Penny, Wine, two weeks of tanning at Under the Sun, a sterling silver necklace and an autographed hockey puck, along with many other items. 

It is Okike’s hope that this will become an annual event and that eventually it could be successful enough to occur on Homecoming weekend to encourage alumni to attend. 

Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the auction will begin at 9 p.m. Hourderves will be served throughout the night and two bands will perform, Dr. Bacon and The Get Downs. Final bids for the auction will be accepted until 11:15 p.m. and winner will be announced at 11:30 p.m. A D.J. performance will proceed until midnight. Tickets will be $20 in advance and can be purchased at Char, they will be $25 at the door. Dress for event is cocktail attire.