Wilmington native and NFL player, attends inaugural The Signature event to benefit youth-focused nonprofits

Alex Highsmith at The Signature inaugural event. April 9, 2022 (Photo: Celeste Smith/ WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A derby-style inaugural event took place at the Marina Grill on Saturday, featuring guest guest Wilmington Native and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith.

The event, dubbed “The Signature,” rolled out a red carpet and encouraged attendees to dress in their best derbies, sports fascinators, seersucker suits and bow ties. The event took place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and was intended for an adult audience. It featured best-dressed contests, music and dancing, and giveaways.

Event organizers Highsmith Branding Group and DyHard Productions said the event’s goal is to bring together family, friends of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and other members of the community during the one of Wilmington’s biggest weekends.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alex Highsmith Family Foundation and the Barbara Highsmith Reading Academy in Wilmington, both dedicated to helping young people.

“My family, my cousin and I have always wanted to do something fun, different, and we can also have the opportunity to give back to the community,” said Highsmith Branding Group President Ronnie Highsmith, organizer of the event.

“Everything I’ve done has really been geared towards young people. So, I’m just grateful I’m going to be able to have it, because I remember when I was in their shoes, and how old they were. So I just want to be able to have an impact, like a group of athletes had an impact on me. So that’s what I feel like God called me to do,” Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith said.

The Alex Highsmith Family Foundation is dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of underserved youth in Wilmington, Pittsburgh and Charlotte. the mission of Barbara Highsmith Reading Academy is to eliminate the literacy deficit of emerging second graders who are functionally illiterate.