Multi-platinum-selling R&B record producer Kashif, a ten-year Marina del Rey resident, has gone from making records to making a difference in the lives of foster children. An upcoming cruise and “Old School R&B Dance Party” aboard a yacht in the Marina is his latest effort to raise funds for his iCare Foundation.

The iCare Foundationís mission is to re-brand the face of foster care to one of a positive nature as well as enrich the lives of foster and adoptive children and their caregivers by creating resources and opportunities, according to the group.

Festivities will take place Saturday, May 19th, aboard the FantaSea Yacht One, at 13509 Fiji Way (Dock 52), Marina del Rey. First will be a 3 ‡ -hour Mentorship Dinner Cruise that will tour the Santa Monica and Marina del Rey basins. The “Mentorship Dinner Cruise” is an invitation-only event where 200 foster and emancipated youths will join 100 business executives from various industries for an afternoon of sailing, dining, and discussing career opportunities aboard a luxury cruise liner. These executives will seek to be “mentors for a day to the youths who attend,” organizers say.

Following the cruise that same evening will be an “Old School R&B Dance Party,” open to the public for a $50 donation.

The party begins at 8:30 p.m. and goes until midnight. Proceeds from ticket sales to the dance party will be used to help build transitional housing for homeless women who have been in foster care. The iCare fundraisers were organized during the month of May, which is considered “National Foster Care Month.”

Kashif himself grew up a foster child toughing out eight foster homes in a climate that he describes as abandonment and abuse. He never knew his real parents.

His first break came when he was able to join the street funk group BT-express as a teenager. Through hard work and determination, Kashif went from penniless foster child to becoming a six-time Grammy nominated producer and artist, and an R&B Hall Of Fame honoree.

His recordings have sold approximately 70 million copies worldwide. He has written and produced a list of smash hits for artists including Whitney Houston, Kenny G, George Benson, Barry White, Janet Jackson, Lil Kim, DMX and Da Brat.

Currently, Kashif is a national spokesperson for National Foster Care Month and Casey Family Programs, a Seattle-based foundation established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, that has served children, youth, and families in the child welfare system since 1966.

“Many of these youths have never seen the ocean and certainly have never been on a cruise,” says Kashif. “I feel like my 35 years in music and entertainment have prepared me for service to the 513,000 youths in foster care. I want to always give these young people a unique experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Sponsors of the event include Casey Family Programs, Department of Children and Foster Services, Fantasea Yacht Club and Sempra Gas Company.

Information, (310) 827-1819.

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