Bryan “Birdman” Willams and Ronald “Slim” Williams embarked on their 17th Annual Cash Money Turkey Giveaway in honor of their parents, via the Johnny and Gladys Williams Foundation, Tuesday afternoon at A.L. Davis Park in New Orleans benefiting over 3,500 families.
For the second year in a row, Cash Money co-CEOs expanded the event’s offerings to include free medical screenings courtesy of United Health Care. In hopes to encourage the community to participate, attendees had the opportunity to jump the line if they received a screening for high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, STD’s as well as an eye exam or dental cleaning. The incentive drove huge participation for those lined up at 6AM in an abnormal 40 degree high wind day.
Dr. Corey Hebert of Black Health TV, who you may have seen on Dr. Oz or MSNBC, was on hand to evangelize Aorta Disease and Marfan Syndrome heart screenings as well as introduce Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu and Congressman Cedric Richmond as they awarded the Williams brothers and Lil Wayne with a special honor.
“Let me just thank the Young Money/Cash Money family for not forgetting where they come from. It’s so easy when you get to be so successful, to find new friends and find new places to go, but it says a lot when you decide to stick with the community you grew up in. That is why it is so special to have Baby and Slim come back home every year to do this.” Congressman Cedric Richmond said as he recognized Cash Money for their contributions to the community.
“We want to thank you for your big hearts. Seventeen years is a long time. That is commitment and astounding resilience.” Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu stated before introducing City Council Memeber LaToya Cantrell who presented Bryan “Birdman” Willams, Ronald “Slim” Williams and Cash Money a proclamation on behalf of the city.
Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell expressed her sincerest gratitude, “This is not just a meal, it is about you reconnecting families therefor reconnecting our community… It is because of your commitment and unwavering support of this city that gives us the hope to continue to win.”
Lil Wayne was not in attendance but his daughter Reginae accepted the awards on his behalf. Reginae’s mother Toya Wright was also in attendance.
In addition to the annual turkey giveaway held in New Orleans, this was the second year Birdman and Slim held two additional Cash Money Turkey Giveaway events in New York, N.Y. and Miami, Florida.
“We wanted to go big this year,” said Bryan “Birdman” Williams. “We’re blessed to have everything we do, but the real blessing is the opportunity to help everybody we can everywhere possible.”
Ronald “Slim” Williams comments, “It’s an honor to share this tradition with New York and Miami this year. Ever year this event has grown in the most wonderful way. It inspires Cash Money Records each day leading up to it and after.”
It was “Thank Yous” galore at the second annual Cash Money Turkey Giveaway in New York, Tuesday afternoon.
Despite the rain and gray clouds, spirits were high as families in-need packed a Harlem YMCA gymnasium to receive food for the upcoming holiday. Volunteers dressed in red-and-white Cash Money T-shirts as they handed out turkeys and stuffed 1,200 to-go bags with canned goods including vegetables, boxes of macaroni and cheese, Jiffy cornbread and other Thanksgiving essentials.
Senior Program Director, LaToya Jackson said 100 families were chosen from 8 of the YMCAs after-school programs to partake in the charity event. While this is the second year Cash Money hosted the giveaway in New York, the record label has given out turkeys every Thanksgiving for more than 15 years in their hometown of New Orleans and recently branched out to Miami to also help families in need.
Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cash Money Records, Katina Bynun estimates about 7,000 turkeys in total among all 3 states will be given out to families this year.
The relatively small gym, which doubles as a youth facility during the summer, holds a maximum of 250 people and almost ran out space because of all the food they had to giveaway, which Erik Pettie, Senior Director of Marketing, believed was a good problem to have.
“I’d rather we have more food than people because that’s what this is about,” he said.
After the event wrapped up in New Orleans, Slim sat with Ashley “AC” Trybula, Regional Editor for Radio One to discuss the future of this event. Is Cash Money planning to bring the turkey giveaway to other cities and if so which ones? Find out in the exclusive interview and recap below.