COBB COUNTY, Ga. - One of the most popular rappers in the world right now is using his fame as a platform to give back in a big way to a cause close to his family’s heart.
Kiari Cephus, also known as “Offset” of the Atlanta-based rap trio Migos, announced Tuesday an alliance with the American Cancer Society.
Offset hopes to raise $500,000 for the organization.
Offset and the American Cancer Society announced their alliance at a private event held at Main Event Entertainment in Cobb County Tuesday.
The event lasted from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., but was much more than an average news conference. After formally announcing the campaign as he stood behind a gold, glitter-encrusted display of the goal amount of $500,000, the award-winning rapper introduced his mother, took photos with guests, and then spent the next hours making memories with cancer patients and survivors.
Offset bowled several games, sliding from lane to lane as he made his way through the teams.
Guests included adults and children currently battling cancer, as well as cancer survivors and people who have been directly affected by the disease, as recently as having lost a loved one hours prior.
“He just lost someone today,” Offset said, shocked, after the event, having learned one of the young men he had challenged to a game had a death in his family just before the event.
Offset did not know that when he challenged the boy, saying he had to get a strike on the next bowl, which he did, to everyone’s excitement.
They cheered, high-fived, and took videos together, which is why Offset was likely stunned to hear of the boy's loss.
But that was the point of the party: to celebrate life and help save lives. The event did just that.
Celebrity guests included Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, Atlanta Hawks’ first-round draft pick forward John Collins and guard Tyler Dorsey, members of Quality Control Music record label to which Migos is signed, V-103’s DJ Greg Street, and others.
Offset’s mother, Latabia Woodward, has been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society for more than 11 years.
She said she is thrilled to see her son staying involved as well as encouraging people to support the cause.
“I’m very proud of him,” she said. “Losing a loved one to cancer is devastating, and we need to continue to help educate our communities about early detection and screening guidelines. I am incredibly proud of Offset’s desire to help save the lives of others, genuine heart, and talent as an artist.”
His desire to help comes from one of his biggest influences.
“Offset lost his grandmother to cancer, and he felt like this was the perfect way to honor her and give to the cause,” Evelyn Barella, National Media Relations Manager for the American Cancer Society, told Channel 2 at the event.
It was clear upon walking into the event that the inspiration was a huge reason behind the movement.
“My grandma motivated me to do my best and go for it, one of my biggest coaches: Sallie Ann Smith,” read a collage with family photos signed by Offset at the entrance to the bowling area.
Smith, who was a significant role model in his life, died of bladder cancer in 2012.
After her cancer diagnosis, his family learned first-hand about the impact the American Cancer Society programs and services make on families.
Offset is teaming up with the American Cancer Society and assembling his fellow artists, corporate sponsors, athlete friends and passionate fans to raise $500,000 for the organization.
To donate, text "Offset" to 41444 or visit his fundraising campaign page on the American Cancer Society website.
You could also enter to win a trip to Los Angeles to go shopping with the stylish rapper.
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