Balling for Uvalde World Weekend event to raise funds for new recreational center in 2023

A first-of-its-kind event is coming to Uvalde in 2023 with the goal of helping the city heal. Balling for Uvalde World Weekend will raise funds for a new recreational center and honor the victims from Robb Elementary.

UVALDE, Texas – Youth mentoring organization Baller Academy is bringing a one-of-a-kind fundraising event to Uvalde that’ll be streamed globally.

Balling for Uvalde World Weekend is scheduled for Feb. 4 and Feb. 5.

The worldwide fundraiser will have charity concerts, an international celebrity and family soccer tournament, food, art, sports, and entertainment for the entire family.

Headliners aren’t locked in yet, but Nathan Baller, founder of Baller Academy, has mentioned big-name celebrities.

“We’re talking to Bad Bunny. We’re talking to Drake. We’re talking to Justin Bieber’s family,” Baller said. “The tournament that we’re doing here at the rodeo arena is going to feature a team from Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Some of the biggest soccer players, entertainers, and athletes are going to be playing soccer here.”

Baller hopes to raise $15 million. Proceeds from the events will help build a recreational and wellness center in Uvalde dedicated to the 21 lives lost at Robb Elementary on May 24.

The facility will host programs that bring together families from different communities for fun and competitive events in safe and supervised environments.

“The complex is going to be named after these families. We’re going to have the Layla Salazar track, the Eva Mireles Conference Room, the Jacye Luevanos Playground,” Baller said.

He said he hopes to use the funds raised during the event to partner with local organizations to provide children with meaningful enrichment programs. Children will continue to learn teamwork, healthy habits, leadership, and sportsmanship skills. They will also receive mental health support from mentors.

Proceeds from the event will help the surviving immediate family members of the 19 children and two teachers who died at Robb Elementary on May 24.

The kick-off event where performers will be announced is less than a month away on Nov. 6. The website to donate and get tickets is already up. Click here to learn more.

Click here for the latest Uvalde coverage from KSAT


About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.