Casino Royale, one of Birmingham’s most popular fundraising events, returns this fall as the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center 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 1920s casino with food and drinks, 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, M.D.
Guests will enjoy games of chance and skill at 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., who will team up the YP Board’s second president, Corey Hartman, M.D., founder and medical director of the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama. Local WVTM news anchor and comedian Eunice Elliott will be the mistress of ceremonies.
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 and 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,” said Mona Fouad, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine and the MHRC. “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. Without community support, we couldn’t provide the resources needed to help children learn to live a healthy life.”
Primary sponsors include Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Wetumpka, Brownstone Healthcare, UAB School of Medicine, Alabama Power, Decontee “Dr. Dee” Jimmeh, M.D., Mineral District Medical Society, Southern Nuclear, Renasant Bank, and Skin Wellness Center of Alabama, among many local businesses.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and the event is open to the public. “Great Gatsby” costumes or cocktail attire is encouraged.