Dwyane Wade Sr.’s ProPops Foundation, Inc. is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with an illustrious fundraiser in Miami on March 16 at 7 p.m. The milestone event will be held at the luxurious Private Key Club (567 NW 27th St.), and will also commemorate Wade’s birthday. The ProPops Foundation strengthens families by offering fatherhood initiatives and programming, career support, bond-building activities, wellness campaigns, and other outreach activities throughout the country. Events such as their Annual Father’s Day Weekend, Camp RED (Real Education Delivered), and town hall meetings have supported the success of hundreds of families over the past decade.
The 10th Anniversary Fundraiser will be hosted by Ultra Music Festival’s Damian Pinto, and DJ Epps will provide the sounds. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Chefs Winston Bristow of Ball & Chain Restaurant and Justin Sherrer of Cinebistro will be served at the semi-formal event, with tickets available now through Eventbrite. Miami’s philanthropists and tastemakers will be in attendance, including Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade Jr. In an exclusive interview with byteclay.com, Dwyane Wade Sr. discussed his impactful organization, and what the ProPops Foundation has in store for the next 10 years.
byteclay.com: What inspired the founding of ProPops?
DWYANE WADE SR: I grew up without a father in the home, and the experience weighed heavily on my heart. A lack of both parents in the home can lead to so many dysfunctions within the family structure and children as individuals. I was determined to spend my life helping the family understand the importance of everyone’s role in keeping balance in the home. A strong father’s presence can make a world of difference in the eyes of a child.
E: What objectives have the foundation completed in its 10 years?
DW: One of our main goals was to get parents more involved in their children’s education with the help of our educators. We have been able to become a namesake and a driving force in the Miami-Dade County Schools. We have [school] principals on board helping us to identify families that can benefit from our program and curriculum, and encouraging parents to take and active part.
E: How do the ProPops programs reflect the needs of the communities they serve?
DW: First and foremost, we work closely with the educators, courts and community leaders to first identify problem areas that are lacking resources. Once we key in on those, we start introducing the program that can best tackle the problem: The Better Fathers Forever Program, Camp RED, or the Annual Father’s Day Weekend, especially. Each of these events has components that can help build momentum in an underserved community.
E: What activities are planned for Father’s Day Weekend?
DW: Our coalition comes in from all over the country to help with this weekend: NBA and NFL fathers alike, family, local politicians, law enforcement and educators, board members from Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, and many other areas. There will be team-building events, a carnival, an essay contest, one-on-one with fathers, innovative classes, worship, family hour, brunch, and motivational classes, just to name a few.
E: What are the Foundation’s 2016 and long-term goals?
DW: We hope to take our program to other cities outside of the Miami area: Durham, North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are currently working with educators and community leaders in these cities. Our goal is to build a ProPops Foundation Center so that we can have a place where families can get the tools and resources needed to become stronger.