Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
9/19/2006 12:00:05 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include DMC. Hip Hop, Rap and Events.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a non-profit group, will honor Darryl McDaniels of the legendary hip-hop group Run DMC, Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback Daunte Culpepper, and the documentary film Invisible Children tomorrow as National Angels in Adoption™.
The annual gala, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, will recognize the efforts of Culpepper and McDaniels, both adoptees themselves, to improve the lives of foster children.
McDaniels learned he was adopted in 2000 while working on an autobiography. The then 35 year old sat down with his mother to ask about his early childhood in Hollis, Queens. It was only then that she revealed he was adopted in 1964, soon after his birth.
“Finding out I was adopted, going though all of the emotions and then meeting my biological family changed my life,” said McDaniels. “I have a new reality and a new purpose.”
McDaniels joined forces with casting director and fellow adoptee, Sheila Jaffe, in February to create the Felix Organization. The charity provides opportunities and new experiences for children who have been neglected or abandoned by their parents. In August, more than 150 children attended Camp Felix, a three week summer program.
“I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who opened their hearts and home to me,” said McDaniels. “But in reality, there are so many kids out there that don’t have that. I want to help as many children as I can to become strong, independent and successful adults.”
McDaniels and Jaffe hope to double the number of camp attendees next summer.
DMC’s journey is reflected in his newest album Checks, Thugs and Rock n Roll which was released in March. He focuses on emotional struggles, political stands, and a heartfelt goodbye to Jam Master Jay.
Equally committed to helping foster children, Culpepper is both an adoptee and the adoptive parent of his nephew.
He was born in an Ocala, Fla. prison in 1977 to a teenage mother who was serving time for armed robbery. His adoptive mother Emma Culpepper, who was 62 at the time, brought him home the day after his birth to raise him as the last of her 15 foster children.
"I was raised with a lot of love," said Daunte. "I was already in a loving place, a loving home from day one. It's not always that way for children, especially older kids."
Following in Emma's footsteps, Daunte turned to helping children in need of homes. He works to dispel pervasive misconceptions about adopting African American boys by speaking openly about his experience as an adopted child.
During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, he teamed up with the African American Adoption Agency in St. Paul, Minn., to serve as a spokesman and continues as a role model to the families and children they serve.
Culpepper hopes to bring that same message to the South Florida community.
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