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Casino Royale Returns with Harlem in  the ‘Ham


UAB News

Photo courtesy of UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC).

Casino Royale, one of Birmingham’s most popular fundraising events, returns this fall as the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) Young Professionals Board presents Harlem in the ‘Ham to help prevent childhood obesity.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, The Harbert Center will be transformed into a 1920’s casino with good food & drinks, great music, gaming fun, and chances to win great prizes. “We are so excited to bring a fresh, new take on Casino Royale,” said YP Board president, Rayna Dyck, MD.

Guests will enjoy games of chance and skill such as Texas Hold’ Em, Roulette, and Blackjack tables. Celebrity Diamond Dealers who will hold court at the gaming tables include the YP Board’s first president, Donald Watkins, Jr., will team up the YP Board’s second president, Dr. Corey Hartman, Skin Wellness Center of Alabama.

Local WVTM news anchor and comedian Eunice Elliott will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. Also showing their support for Harlem in the ‘Ham will be Caprenia Anthony, local performer, director, entertainer; Danny Carr, Jefferson County District Attorney Pro Tem; Chris Coleman, French Broadcasting; Jason Eppenger, Citizen’s Trust Bank; Josh Gauntt, WBRC Fox 6 News; James Gettys, The Birmingham Times; Gabriel Henderson, Keller Williams Realty, Anthony Hood, UAB; Jeremy Norman, Keller Williams Realty; Jamiese Price, Fox 6 News anchor; Jay Roberson, City of Birmingham; Natasha Rogers, Negro Southern League Museum; attorney Alexander Shunnarah; Krystal Swann, Raycom Media; Lynneice Washington, Bessemer District Attorney; Hot 107.7 DJ Sly King, DJ Chocolate, and DJ Slim Robb.

Proceeds from Harlem in the ‘Ham will benefit Healthy Happy Kids, the MHRC’s childhood obesity intervention. Since the first Casino Royale in 2009, more than 2,500 young professionals, business and community leaders have raised more than $210,000 to help children learn healthy living skills.

“In the United States, obesity occurs at higher rates in racial and ethnic minority populations. Also, cultural factors influence dietary and exercise behaviors, and research has shown these play a major role in the development of excess weight in minority groups,” said Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, Director of the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine and Director of the MHRC. “We focus on these groups of children for this program to help them learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

“Without community support, we couldn’t provide the resources needed to help children learn to live a healthy life,” said Fouad. Over 1,100 students from 16 Birmingham City schools have learned healthy living lessons and taking them home. “Each year we are moved by how much these children learn and are able to teach their families and community members,” she added.

YP Board president Rayna Dyck, MD said, “The outpouring of community support is phenomenal.

Primary sponsors include Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Wetumpka, Brownstone Healthcare, UAB School of Medicine, Alabama Power, Decontee “Dr. Dee” Jimmeh, MD, Mineral District Medical Society, Southern Nuclear, Renasant Bank, and Skin Wellness Center of Alabama, among many other local businesses.

The event is open to the public. Great Gatsby costumes or cocktail attire is encouraged. Doors open at 7 pm.

For more information, contact Susan Driggers at the MHRC at sdriggers@uabmc.edu.