The Baller Dream Foundation celebrates local ‘Ballers’


The Baller Dream Foundation hosted its second San Diego fundraiser on Nov. 21 to honor three local children and young adults with cancer. Founded by philanthropist Frank DeBlasi, The Baller Dream Foundation event raised money for the foundation and presented each of the three “Ballers” with unforgettable gifts. The mixer and fundraiser was held at Monarch Ocean Pub in Del Mar.

The California Ballers include 9-year-old Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua of San Diego; 19-year-old Dustin Joiner of Murietta; and 22-year-old Ali Alipour of Vista. All three Ballers are in the midst of bravely fighting different types of cancers. During the event, DeBlasi hosted a “Baller Ceremony” where each honoree was individually seated in the “Baller Throne,” light-heartedly teased by DeBlasi with a brief “roast,” and presented with an extravagant gift or experience.

Texcahua, who loves playing Fortnite and wants to be a professional YouTuber, was gifted a shopping spree at Apple. A young guest was also touched by her story, and generously donated $100 from his personal piggy bank.

Alipour, who has a strong relationship and friendship with his father, was gifted an all-expenses paid trip to Canada where the men will enjoy an exclusive ice fishing experience.

Joiner had a unique opportunity to receive his Baller gift prior to the fundraiser, which was a trip to Seattle to tour the city and experience the ultimate New Orleans Saints Monday Night Football away game. Prior to the game, Joiner and his family were surprised with an in-person meet and greet with Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, who also gifted the family tickets to the game to watch his beloved Saints take on the Seahawks. While at Lumen Field, Joiner was also presented with a Saints swag bag complete with jerseys autographed by standout running back Alvin Kamara. Joiner and his family enjoyed a tour of Seattle’s famous sights and an incredible stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle.

Photos by Robert McKenzie