Rony Seikaly, the former NBA center who has transitioned from swatting shots to blasting beats, will be headlining this year's Hearts & Stars Gala in Miami Beach sponsored by the Little Lighthouse Foundation.
The annual event, one of the largest charity functions in all of South Florida, will bring together more than 1,000 of Miami's movers and shakers for a good cause. This year the gala will take place at Terra Veritatis, the $40 million waterfront compound of the Bill Dean, CEO of the electrical contractor M.C. Dean.
When Aaron Resnick, one of the founders of the Little Lighthouse Foundation, got in touch with Seikaly, the 7-footer said he was happy to lend his support.
"I feel like I've been blessed," Seikaly told ThePostGame. "When you're blessed, you have to feel for others that are not as blessed as you are, especially when it comes to the kids who are suffering. Anything that anybody does to give back, it's what we're here for. If you've been given that blessing, then you need to come back and also help others and bless others, even if it's one day or one night or one hour or whatever it is."
Saturday’s gala isn't just any charity event. Resnick told ThePostGame that organizers anticipate it will be sold out, with around 1,200 people attending. A host of athletes are expected to be among the guests, including Baltimore Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie, Carolina Panthers linebacker and Miami native Jon Beason, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice.
The weekend's theme is Casino de Monte Carlo, and the compound will be full of the finest food and drinks South Florida has to offer. Not to mention a luxurious 156-foot yacht.
"This is not sitting at a table, listening to a speaker, eating bad food," Resnick told ThePostGame. "It’s an experience in and of itself."
All proceeds from the event will go the Little Lighthouse Foundation, which works with South Florida organizations to support needy children. The Foundation, which was started by Resnick, Rob Sena, Charlie Venturi and Aracibo Quintana four years ago, has about 200 volunteers who do 12 days of community service a month.
Resnick says the Foundation is looking to double those numbers by the end of the year
"The idea is to truly improve our city," Resnick said, “by starting with the children."
Below is a video from last year's event:
For more information about the Hearts & Stars Gala, see here.