The Vine Prevention: Frank Ski, Celebrities Raise Money For Kids

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Movie stars, political leaders, entertainers, professional athletes, wine connoisseurs and novices alike lifted their glasses – ahem, wine glasses – over the weekend in support of a local prevention program for at-risk youth.

The Frank Ski Kids Foundation, the namesake of the V-103 Radio personality and host of the number one urban morning radio show in Atlanta, celebrated its seventh annual Wine Tasting & Live Auction.  The Sunday evening affair featured a live auction of authentic autographed memorabilia, vacation packages and rare bottles of vino. Funds raised at the $250-a-ticket soiree held at a swanky Buckhead mansion, will benefit the non-profit Foundation’s programs, which seek to expose young people to promising futures through science, technology, athletics and the arts. “Our efforts to date have helped many children, but the needs of our children remain immense,” said Ski. “We must continue with unfaltering determination and dedication.”

Here’s what some of the notable attendees who spoke to JJIE’s Chandra Thomas had to say.

Chris Tucker, Native Atlantan, Movie Star and Comedian

Chris Tucker poses for JJIE's cameras.

On The Importance of Prevention Programs

“I think it’s great what Frank Ski is doing.  He just introduced me to one of his [foundation] kids who’s going to Harvard. Frank is doing more than a lot of people in his position and I think it’s wonderful. I think more young people need to get exposed to events like this and do more of what Frank Ski is doing. “

On The Juvenile Justice System

“We all just need to do more as a community to set an example and prevent kids from getting involved in the system. Frank Ski is a good example of that.”

(L-R) Former Warner Music Group Executive Kevin Liles, student Norman Hayes, Mayor Kasim Reed and Frank Ski mingle before the live auction.

Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta

On The Importance of Prevention Programs

“I think Frank Ski is doing what he needs to be doing; he is a person of action at a time when a lot of people are making excuses. He is leadership in action. He is doing as much as he was doing three or four years ago, at a time when a lot of people are cutting back on their efforts.”

On The Juvenile Justice System

“The system needs to be adjusted to ensure that the juvenile justice system is connected to a more positive life outcome. We need to do more to facilitate [juveniles] exiting the system and not returning. We need to be doing more to ensure that young people don’t return to the system.”

Frank Ski, Radio Show Host and Foundation Co-Founder

Frank Ski and mentee Norman Hayes.

On The Importance of Prevention Programs

“I like to use football as an example. When you’re on a team you start training in July and don’t finish until December. If you want to keep kids on the right path, you’ve got to keep them involved throughout the year. That’s why organized sports are so important. We also feel that there are some kids who are intelligent enough to really be leaders, but you’ve got to try and expose them to the right opportunities to help them succeed. Whether it’s taking them to the Amazon rainforest to study science or whether it’s taking them to Italy to learn how to draw, providing that opportunity is so important. That’s why we’ve done these types of programs over the years, because we know that there’s a very thin line between a kid picking academics and a kid picking the streets.”

On The Juvenile Justice System

“When it comes to the criminal justice system, rehabilitation does not exist.  To help a kid out and to take him or her to the next level, we usually have to rely on private foundations to fund the prevention programs. We need more programs in the system focused on getting kids back on track after they’ve gotten in trouble; that’s the problem. On the one hand we want to complain about our young people when they get in trouble, but on the other hand we’re saying that we don’t have the money to invest in the process. We’ve got to be willing to do more to help them to turn their lives around before it’s too late. We need to put our money where our mouths are and make that a priority.”

Ne-Yo says he wants to see more prevention programs for at-risk youth.

Ne-Yo, Grammy-Award Winning Songwriter and Entertainer

On The Importance of Prevention Programs

“This Foundation is all about a program that does more than just talk the talk. A lot of people will just give the young people a pat on the back, but Frank Ski is taking action. He knows that if he ever needs any help from me I’m just a phone call away. Our young [African-American] men in particular need more inspiration, more positive men to look up to.  That’s why I make it my business to go back to my neighborhood where I grew up. I want [the kids] to see me. I want them to know that I experienced the same problems that they do and look at where I’ve been able to go. I want them to know that this can be you too!”

On The Juvenile Justice System

“The system has always been flawed. At the age of 17 you are considered an adult in the system, but you can’t have a drink until you’re 21.  At the age of 18, they’ll let you go off to war and fight but you’re not old enough to drink. Something is very flawed about a system like that. It needs to change.”

Norman Hayes, 17-Year-Old Harvard University-Bound Student, Tucker High School “Tigers” Quarterback, Ski Foundation Beneficiary

Norman Hayes says he aspires to lead by example.

On The Importance of Prevention Programs

“This is the most publicity I’ve ever received in my life. I’m extremely grateful to Mr. Ski for investing in me. I think he’s a great man and I appreciate everything he’s doing for me.  A lot of kids need help, because peer pressure is real. Students need to stay in school and listen to their teachers and parents. The positive pressure from the 9th graders at my school has helped me a lot. They look up to me and that pushes me to want to do and be better.”

More videos from the previous wine tasting and auction events:

One thought on “The Vine Prevention: Frank Ski, Celebrities Raise Money For Kids

  1. I’m not a fan of V-103, but I must acknowledge the good work of Frank Ski. I agree, Atlanta needs more individuals like Frank that work within their capcity to make a difference. I’m inspired to do more. As a single woman with no kids, I’m making 2011 my year of service!