The Baha Mar Foundation received a $25,000 injection from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, Inc., which will be used towards youth causes in The Bahamas, in alignment with the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer’s Turn 2 Foundation which works with young children in different communities to inspire and motivate them to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2” a healthy lifestyles through community service, various specialized programs and events.
Graeme Davis Baha Mar president said Robert “Sandy” Sands, Baha Mar’s head of government and community affairs, and the Baha Mar Foundation team will work quickly to ensure that the funds gets out to the right causes in The Bahamas.
“It will certainly be used towards the same alignment that the Turn 2 uses – and that’s toward our youth,” said Davis.
The recent Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational Gala at Baha Mar raised more than $1 million with professional athletes, entertainers, media personalities, and influencers in attendance from Anthony Anderson, to D-Nice, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, CC Sabathia, Joey Fatone, Paige Spiranac and Ryan Rustand some of the notable names over the weekend.
It was the first iteration of the invitational gala in two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the first time it was held outside the United States, and in The Bahamas.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us – exceptional in every way that we can be the host hotel and resort for the Derek Jeter Turn 2 charity invitational. This is, I believe, an alignment of our foundations which truly focuses on the youth, and we as well with our Baha Mar Foundation and our three pillars of community, conservation and culture,” said Davis.
It was important to Jeter to give back.
“When we first started talking to Baha Mar, we knew it was important for us when we came down here, not just to take, take, take, but to also give back to everything they stand for as well. I hope we can be supportive to Baha Mar and their Foundation moving forward,” said Jeter, Turn 2 founder.
“The support we received from this year’s event will enable Turn 2 to provide more young people with opportunities to excel in their academics, lead healthy lifestyles, ignite positive change in their communities, and develop into future leaders,” he said.
“To strengthen programs you need money, and one thing we’ve been blessed with over the years is great partners and our partners have continued to support the foundation over the years. Our partners have been consistent over the years, and that’s what you need to have success.”
Jeter, who is no stranger to The Bahamas and visits often, was in his first visit to Baha Mar.
“Heard so many great things about it [Baha Mar]. It’s above and beyond what I could have expected. Hopefully looking forward to coming back for many more years.”
Sharlee Jeter, president of The Turn 2 Foundation said while the gala was scrapped for the two years due to the pandemic, they noticed the foundation’s work was needed more than ever, and that they were lucky to have amazing partners that still stepped up and donated, which kept them going.
The Baseball Hall of Famer’s sister also described the transition of the celebrity invitational gala from Las Vegas to Baha Mar as “easy” and said everything worked out.
“It’s so beautiful here, and so much potential for us to give back in this area as well, because we’re getting so much from being here, so it’s exciting,” said the foundation president.
The Baha Mar Foundation is built on three pillars: community, culture and conservation. Through volunteerism and monetary donations, the mission is to champion sustainable conservation efforts, celebrate the diverse cultural traditions and artistic expressions of The Bahamas and strengthen the community through improvements in education.
“The foundation mission aligns very well with ours, and we are excited to partner with them and help continue doing the same work we do in the States, here.”
Grammy award-winning artist Pitbull headlined the star-studded gala; and acclaimed radio personality, author, hip hop artist and actress Angie Martinez emceed the evening.
This year’s event partners included Baha Mar, ICON International, JP Sports + Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Discovery.