A weekend in Vegas is usually surrounded by late nights, lots of alcohol and memories or remembering nothing from the night before. However, that wasn’t the case for comedian Kevin Hart when he had the idea to host a charity benefits weekend in Vegas.
In 2014, the sensational comedian started Hartbeat Weekend as a way to hang out with his friends in Vegas. But the event grew into something bigger than himself. In an interview with ESSENCE he explained, “It was just supposed to be one weekend, then we saw we could grow it into so much more.” He continued, “We added charitable components to it and the weekend stands for so much more now. It’s not only a good time, but it’s a movement.”
Since that first weekend, the event has done nothing but grown into a huge three-day celebration. This year was no different as Hart does his best to improve each year.
He explained, “I don’t know how to do anything half-way, if I’m going to do it I’m going to give 110 percent to it.”
That 110 percent is no joke. Headlining his performance at the charity weekend were singer Usher and comedian Dave Chappelle. If that wasn’t enough, he kicked the event off with a $150, 000 donation to the BrittCares International during a private dinner celebrating the founders, Brittiana Renee’ Henderson and her parents Jamie and Shirell Henderson.
In 2004 Brittiana was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma at the age of 10. In the midst of batteling the illness she would visit other children with cancer to make them happy. In 2007 she lost her battle with cancer and her parents started BrittCares International.
Jamie Henderson spoke of his daughter as, “a special young lady. She always thought of other people.”
The Henderson’s didn’t know Hart before he started working with them in 2014. Shirell Henderson explained, “His mom passed away from cancer and we have a childhood cancer foundation and he really liked what we were doing because it’s a real mission.”
The comedian said, “For the founders of BrittiCares to have that idea and present it in a way where we felt we could be of help and draw more awareness to the movement they have in place, it was a no brainer for us.”
(Photo Credit: Laurence Agron / PR Photos)
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