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Staxtacular: Wine, Dine and Grind


On any given day, people frequent the Stax Museum to capture nostalgia in the form of rich Memphis music history. And on Saturday night (Feb. 11), guests piled into the museum for the largest annual fund-raiser of the year.

On any given day, people frequent the Stax Museum to capture nostalgia in the form of rich Memphis music history. And on Saturday night (Feb. 11), 600-plus guests piled into the museum for the largest annual fund-raiser of the year – Staxtacular 2012 to –  “Wine, Dine and Grind.”

 Memphis Grizzlies newbie Quincy Pondexter attended his first Staxtacular event and snapped candid photos of teammates (including Rudy Gay above) and attendees after asking to borrow the camera of New Tri-State Defender reporter, Kelley Evans. “I’m very shy. This camera helped me get to know people. It made my night friendly. I was able to bond with our fans and I thanked them for attending such a beneficial event,” Pondexter said. (Photo by Quincy Pondexter)

 Grizz star forward Rudy Gay (left) connects with injured power forward Zach Randolph, who has been cleared to begin non-contact basketball drills. Staxtacular provided a reunion of sorts that included Mike Conley and Marc Gasol (right). (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

 As the band performed “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson, some the Grizz girls checked out the footwork. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Soulsville Foundation teamed up for a soul shaking celebration and all proceeds benefited the Stax Music Academy. Exceeding last year’s amount, the joint effort aised $120,000 from ticket sales, an online auction, a live auction, a silent auction and donations. The highest bid of the live auction was $4,250 for a ticket package that included floor seats and a hotel stay at the Westin Memphis. The highest bidder ($2,200) for the silent auction received an authentic, Kevin Durant-signed jersey from the Oklahoma City Thunder star.

This year’s event was hosted by Memphis Grizzlies Rudy Gay and Mike Conley (five year particiants, who were joined by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. One by one the rest of the team players walked into Stax Museum greeting guests and taking pictures.

 “For the fifth year I’ve had the opportunity to see how this particular event benefits the talented students of the Stax Academy,” said Conley. “They always inspire me. It’s also great to see that our fans care about the community so much that they donate to the event and take time out to attend Staxtacular every year.”

The night also featured great cuisine, cocktails, complimentary valet parking, live music by the DMP Band and a performance by the Stax Music Academy.

There was also a special musical tribute to Stax legends Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love of The Memphis Horns. Both were in Los Angeles receiving the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.

“This marks the fifth time in five years that someone from Memphis has received either a Lifetime Achievement or Trustee award from The Recording Academy,” said Stax Museum spokesperson Tim Sampson. “This speaks volumes about Memphis and its music. It’s all the more fitting that the Memphis Grizzlies and the Soulsville Foundation are celebrating Staxtacular and supporting a new generation of musicians on the same date The Memphis Horns receive the highest honor the music industry bestows.”

Stax Music Academy is a renowned learning center focused on inspiring young people and enhancing their academic, cognitive, performance and leadership skills by using music and mentoring, with a strong focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.

Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation is committed to placing volunteer mentors in the lives of at-risk kids in Memphis. The Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness and builds partnerships throughout the community. It has donated $28 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception.

To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call 901-205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org.


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