Jamie Foxx has created a fund in honor of his late sister, DeOndra Dixon, who died on Oct. 19 at the age of 36.
On Saturday, the actor attended the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s virtual Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, which raised a record-breaking $1.9 million dollars for the organization to help underwrite life-changing and life-saving research and medical care at Global’s affiliate facilities.
The evening also featured a tribute honoring Dixon, with singer-songwriter Philipp Phillips performing a heartfelt rendition of “Gone, Gone, Gone.”
Dixon, who died on Oct. 19 at the age of 36, is the inspiration behind Global’s Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. She was also named the Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in 2011.
In addition to the tribute, Foxx announced on Saturday that he would be creating The DeOndra Dixon Fund, in partnership with Global’s founder, Michelle Sie Whitten.
The Oscar-winning actor mourned his youngest sister in an Instagram post last month, sharing a black and white photo of the duo together.
“My heart is shattered into a million pieces… my beautiful loving sister Deondra has transitioned…,” Foxx wrote. “I say transitioned because she will always be alive… anyone who knew my sis… knew that she was a bright light…”
“I can’t tell you how many times we have had parties at the house where she has got on the dance floor and stolen the show… ,” he continued, before joking, “Even gave her boyfriend @chrisbrownofficial a run for his money…”
“Well I know she is in heaven now dancing with her wings on…tho my pain is unbelievable I smile when I think of all of the great memories that she left me… my family… and her friends… from dancing in the blame it video… to Dancing on the Grammys… And becoming The ambassador to @globaldownsyndrome… from sliding down my stairs with a grin as wide as the rio grand… to serenading us with all of her music…,” Foxx wrote.
“Deondra you have left A hole in my heart… but I will fill it with all of the memories that you gave me,” he shared. “I love you with every ounce of me… our family is shattered but we will put the pieces back together with your love… and y’all please keep my family in your prayers… ???.”
In her biography on Global’s website, Dixon said she was “born to dance,” writing, “I want to be a professional dancer.”
“My brother has given me a chance to do some special things,” she wrote. “I danced in his video “Blame It.” I’ve danced on stage at some of his concerts all over the country. And guess what? I’ve danced at the Grammy’s!”
During a 2018 interview with Dateline’s Kate Snow, Foxx said his little sister taught him to focus on what really matters in life. “I learned how to live,” he said. “Sometimes we get caught up in our world on the extras of everything — ‘Ah, the Mercedes is not the right color!’ And then you see this girl over here, ‘I just want to live. I want to dance. I want to love.’ So she brings you back down to what life is.”
For more information about Down syndrome or to donate to research, education and advocacy efforts, visit globaldownsyndrome.org.