/PRNewswire/ -- Obesity, which often leads to kidney disease, will be a major focus of the Shad Ireland Foundation's Great Unsigned Benefit Concert and Health Fair in Atlanta on November 12th and 13th.
Designed to reach underserved communities in the African-American and Latino neighborhoods in Metro Atlanta, the weekend will feature health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, entertainment, and lots of activities for children and families on Saturday, November 13th and a Buckhead Theatre concert and fashion show on Friday, November 12th. Celebrities from the athletic and music industries will be on-sight at both events for appearances and performances.
Shad Ireland, the only man on kidney dialysis in the world to start and finish an Ironman Triathlon Competition (20 triathlons in all), started his Foundation in 2004 and is dedicated to education, prevention, access and awareness regarding kidney disease and its major causes, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. "The Urban Music Initiative is a great step forward in reaching a community which is at much greater risk of contracting this disease than normal," he said. "Music has the ability to inspire, educate and unite. It is also a medium the young folks listen to and heed."
National statistics show that African-Americans and Latinos are four times more likely to develop a renal (kidney) diagnosis and nine times less likely to have the disease diagnosed in the early stages when the likelihood of a cure is at its greatest.
Marcus McNeill, an Atlanta native who was a two-time All-American lineman at Auburn and is currently a two-time Pro Bowl lineman for the San Diego Chargers, will co-host the events, along with Atlanta rap stars Yung Joc and Reec. McNeill's Foundation, Mack's Miracles (MM), is dedicated to educating children about living a healthy lifestyle and fighting childhood obesity, among other related objectives.
MM works closely with Boys & Girls Clubs in San Diego and notes, "Many of the teens who come to the clubs prefer to sit at computers or chat with friends rather than participate in physical activities. Eating disorders can be high among this group. I'm glad to play a role with events like the Urban Music Initiative which can encourage them to change a lifestyle which could lead to early death or, at least, handicap them tremendously."
Marcus, Shad and Yung Joc will be visiting a selected group of schools in the Atlanta area to educate children on healthy living during the day November 12. Mack's Miracles, the United Athletes Foundation (UAF) and the Shad Ireland Foundation have partnered together to provide innovative technology focused on impacting childhood obesity and will unveil that technology at the schools they visit.
UAF's President Reggie Howard is delighted to be a partner for the Music Initiative Event and health fair activities. The group works with active professional athletes to guide and counsel them about how to get involved in helping their communities, now and when they retire. "This is important work and we feel we can play a key role in reaching kids in the high risk groups especially. Our people are very happy to play a role with Shad, Marcus and the other co-hosts," he said.
Health screenings, free to the public, are scheduled to be headquartered at the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA in Atlanta on Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The Shad Ireland Foundation's Great Unsigned Benefit Concert will be hosted by Yung Joc, Reec, Reggie Howard, Marcus McNeill and Shad Ireland on Friday, November 12, 2010 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Urban Music Initiative Concert will be held at the newly renovated Buckhead Theatre with a star-studded red carpet event filled with celebrities, media, professional athletes and artists in attendance to watch both unsigned and national recording artists perform.
Hot Java Clothing Company will have a fashion show, featuring the band Glory, to start off the concert. There will also be performances by Kaye Styles, Snipe, and Laura Luke along with Atlanta's own, The Riot. To purchase tickets, visit http://shadirelandfoundationmusicinitiative.eventbrite.com.
Proceeds from the Buckhead Theatre event will be used to fund the free health fair and to continue education and awareness programs around the country.
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