Since being drafted into the NFL, wide receiver Torrey Smith hosts an annual charity basketball game in Baltimore, MD. Pixilated co-founder Nic China has been friends with Torrey and his wife Chanel for years, and has been a long-time supporter of the Smith's community efforts. Pixilated has been involved with this event in years past and 2017 was no different.
Torrey and Chanel founded the Torrey Smith Family Fund "to provide youth with the tools they need to identify, unleash, and reach their full potential." Past initiatives include the Reading Oasis projects, Back to School Fun Fest, Holiday Cheer, the Tevin Jones Scholarship Fund, and their latest initiative: the L.E.V.E.L. Up movement. The basketball game and events that surround it are focused on raising awareness and support for the Torrey Smith Family Fund.
The weekend began with a VIP dinner at the Center Club which was attended by friends, partners, players, and supporters. Torrey and Chanel discussed the success of the Fund in 2016 and their plans moving forward. There was dinner, music, and a Q&A with Torrey, Chanel, and Qadry Ismail. Pixilated provided attendees with the opportunity for a photo shoot with Torrey and also allowed guests to cut loose after the formalities. There was a positive tone surrounding the plans the Family Fund had made for 2017 and guests showed off their excitement in the booth. People who got a photo with Torrey also received an autographed frame for their photo as a thank you gift.
The main event, the charity basketball game, took place the next day at Royal Farms Arena. Two teams compiled with current and former NFL players, musicians, comedians, and other stars hit the court to face off. Teams were headlined by Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Ed Reed, Qadry Ismail, and Terrance West, all current or former Ravens. Before the game started, fans poured into the venue and were able to get Pixilated before making their way to their seats. Families posed and laughed (and maybe got photobombed) as they learned about the L.E.V.E.L. Movement.
L.E.V.E.L. is an acronym for Leadership, Education, Vision, Effort, and Love. Each is a value that Torrey and Chanel want to teach and nurture in the school students they support. The Torrey Smith Family Fund does this by providing mentorship and resources to students as they progress through middle school, high school, and into college.
Pixilated also provided roaming photographers for the events. We were able to catch moments outside of our kiosk space as well as inside the arena! From on the court action, to intimate dinner conversation, Pixilated captured the weekend from every angle.