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Common to throw White Sox 1st pitch

April 13, 2012 4:50:07 AM PDT
Grammy award-winning rapper, actor and South Side of Chicago native COMMON will throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the White Sox home opener at U.S. Cellular Field.

COMMON will host the annual Awards Gala and Fundraiser for The Common Ground Foundation, his non-profit organization, Saturday, April 14 at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. This year, the organization will honor Harry Belafonte. Academy of Country Music award winner and Big Machine Records artist Jack Ingram will perform the National Anthem. All fans in attendance will receive a 2012 White Sox magnet schedule, courtesy of U.S. Cellular.

Grammy Award Winning Artist, COMMON, Hosts Common Ground Foundation Annual Gala and Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 14th at 6:30PM in the classic Ritz Carlton hotel, world renowned hip-hop artist and actor Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., famously known as COMMON, will host the Common Ground Foundation Annual Gala and Fundraiser, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund. The black tie optional event will benefit his non-profit organization, the Common Ground Foundation and honor men who have made a difference in their respective communities and careers.

Guests of this exclusive event (tickets are sold out) will enjoy, a silent auction reception, a photo exhibit of COMMON's momentous visit to Haiti, live band, dinner made by Executive Chef, Mark Payne, and dancing. In order to pay homage to people of color that have achieved success all the while impacting their communities in a significant way, the Common Ground Foundation began hosting the Gala in an effort to highlight the accomplishments of African Americans and help fund COMMON's Summer Youth Camp.

This year CGF will honor famous activist and actor, Harry Belafonte as well as Executive Vice President of the Boeing Corporation, James A. Bell, Chicago Bear, Israel Idonije, and CEO and founder of MillionDollar$cholar, Derrius Quarles. All honorees are nationally and internationally acclaimed notables in entertainment, business, professional sports and community service. The evening will conclude with a red-carpet after party.

Last year's event was hosted by Chicago's ABC news personality, Cheryl Burton, and honored respected author and poet Dr. Mya Angelou, actress Keke Palmer, business leader, Dee Robinson Reid, and actress/comedian, Sherri Shepherd.)The Mission of the Common Ground Foundation is to use creative arts to expose youth to new opportunities. The organization's primary focus is to teach and impact youth, ages 13-15, in the areas of character development, creative expression, and healthy living. Because of its great influence on today's children, the Common Ground Foundation was recognized by CNN Heroes in 2011 and the BET Hip Hop Awards as a philanthropic organization doing great work in urban communities in 2010.

The Annual Gala and Fundraiser is an upscale, fun, and successful event that effectively brings celebrities, sports figures, and philanthropists together to raise funds in support of the Common Ground Foundation's mission. The foundation is confident that the Annual Gala and Fundraiser will continue to be a success and raise awareness surrounding at risk youth.

COMMON and the Common Ground Foundation are fervent about improving the lives and educational opportunities of adolescents. The Annual Gala and Fundraiser will certainly help to continue this cause. Sponsors for the Annual Gala and Fundraiser include, Ford Motor Company Fund, The Boeing Co, AON, Williams Morris Endeavor (WME), Profit Investments and Michigan Avenue Magazine.

About Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. (COMMON): COMMON first came on the scene in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? and maintained a significant underground following into the late 1990s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians. His first major-label album, Like Water for Chocolate, received widespread critical acclaim and tremendous commercial success. COMMON received his first Grammy award in 2003 for Best R&B Song for "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" with Erykah Badu. Its popularity was matched by May 2005's Be, which was nominated in the 2006 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album. COMMON was awarded his second Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "Southside" (featuring Kanye West), from his July 2007 album Finding Forever. His best-of album, Thisisme Then: The Best of Common, was released on November 27, 2007. Aside from being a pioneer in Hip Hop, COMMON has also initiated a burgeoning acting career, starring in significant roles in such films as Smokin' Aces, Street Kings, American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, Happy Feet Two, and New Year's Eve. He also narrated the award-winning documentary Bouncing Cats, about one man's efforts to improve the lives of children in Uganda through hip-hop/b-boy culture. COMMON currently appears in Hell on Wheels, a dramatic television series on AMC that debuted in November 2011. He is known for being socially conscious and is passionate about impacting the lives of today's youth.

About the Common Ground Foundation: The Common Ground Foundation is an organization dedicated to developing youth in underserved communities into upstanding citizens and outstanding community leaders.

Created by respected Hip-Hop artist, Children's author, and Actor, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, also known as COMMON, the Common Ground Foundation has made waves in the city of Chicago through its unique outreach programs and unwavering dedication to ignite the desire of knowledge in Chicago's youth. Through three programs, BE Empowered, CGF/Lighthouse Youth Leadership Program, and the Readers ARE Leaders Program, the Common Ground Foundation has been able to achieve its goals. In 2012, the Foundation launched COMMON's Summer Youth Camp. In August, 30 students from the Chicago Public School System will participate in a week-long camp experience at Anokijig Campground in Plymouth, WI. These Programs provide today's youth with life, career and educational mentoring, holistic leadership and educational principles, and promote literacy and reading. The Common Ground foundation has put on numerous events in the city of Chicago to aid its fundraising opportunities.

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For additional information, and the latest, on the Common Ground Foundation please visit: www.commongroundfoundation.org


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