Known for taking charge on the basketball court, Miami HEAT forward Shane Battier is using his celebrity platform off the court, living by the motto “Do Good. Do well.” Shane and his wife, Heidi, created the “Take Charge Foundation,” which encourages and inspires leadership qualities in South Florida’s youth by awarding scholarships to at-risk high school students. The Foundation currently supports 12 South Florida high school students, awarding each a full four-year scholarship for college.
Every year, Battier hosts an event dubbed “Battioke,” which features Miami HEAT players singing karaoke for a cause. All proceeds from ticket sales are donated directly to the Foundation’s scholarship fund. This year’s Third Annual Battioke event will be held Monday, January 27th at the Fillmore in Miami Beach (buy tickets at www.battioke.com). Karaoke will never be the same.
Soundbytes caught up with Shane for an exclusive Q&A. Here’s what he had to say:
Soundbytes: What was the inspiration behind the Take Charge Foundation?
Shane Battier: My wife Heidi and I wanted to make a tangible, positive change in the communities in which we live. We believe that education is the best way to achieve your dreams and we wanted to be a part of making those dreams come true. It’s our civic responsibility to use our platform to bring positive social change through education.
Soundbytes: Where did the idea of Battioke come from?
SB: Karaoke is my guilty pleasure. I guess my secret’s out now!
Soundbytes: Do you and your HEAT teammates partake in karaoke together for fun on the road, outside of Battioke?
SB: The magic of Battioke cannot be replicated outside of that night. It is truly a once a year lighting-in-a-bottle.
Soundbytes: How did you approach your HEAT teammates and engage them to participate in Battioke?
SB: Ha, very carefully! The first year we held Battioke, my teammates had no idea what it was about. That all changed when I sang the first song of Battioke 2012, “Eye of the Tiger.” I looked ridiculous with my Bret Michaels wig and my teammates instantly knew that this was a night of fun and swagger! I have unbelievably great teammates who have poured their souls into Battioke to make it the huge success it is. Now, they can’t wait for January 27th!
Soundbytes: What’s your best memory of previous Battioke’s?
SB: Chris Bosh doing his best Barry White impression, singing “My First, My Last, My Everything,” as a Vegas lounge singer. That performance crowned him the Battioke champion. I just remember just laughing until I cried. All in all, Battioke is really is an unforgettable experience!
Soundbytes: Whose performance are you most looking forward to this year?
SB: James Jones! He is best vocalist by far, and he’s going to bring his A-game this year. But don’t discount the reigning champion, Chris Bosh. He’s an absolute pro! Every song is personally selected by the performer, and each performance is heartfelt and passionate. Battioke is 100% authentic.
SB: At the first annual Battioke, we raised $80,000. Last year, we raised $180,000.
Soundbytes: How do you make time for the Foundation during the busiest part of basketball season?
SB: I have a very demanding schedule but I can always try to carve out time to help grow the Foundation and help fulfill our mission, because I know in my heart that we are making a difference. No matter how busy you are, it’s important to make time for things that fulfill you in life. After meeting our scholarship recipients, you would be inspired to do more and help more great kids.
Soundbytes: What can attendees expect at Battioke 2014?
SB: Be prepared to laugh and experience quality entertainment like you never have before at any charity gala. Many guests tell us that Battioke is the best charity experience they’ve ever attended. High praise.
Soundbytes: How can one make a donation to the Foundation?
SB: To make a donation, please visit www.takechargefoundation.org and click on the “donate” link at the top.
And lastly, don’t miss this (rather hilarious) preview for Battioke:
To purchase tickets for Battioke 2014, please visit www.battioke.com