For the second consecutive year, former Nashville Predators Captain Mike Fisher and superstar singer/songwriter Carrie Underwood hosted a star-studded benefit Thursday night October 4th in Franklin which raised nearly $600,000 for Danita’s Children. The organization is dedicated to educating, empowering, and equipping the children and families of Haiti to become Christ-like leaders.
“I am so humbled and grateful that Mike and Carrie would use their platforms to bring awareness to the great need and suffering of the children of Haiti,” said Danita Estrella Watts, who founded the organization in 1999. “The funds raised this night will be used to transform the lives of, literally, thousands of children as we provide them with quality education, medical care, and loving homes.”
(l. to r.) – Mike Fisher; Danita’s Children VP & Field Director Karris Hudson; Carrie Underwood; Danita’s Children Founder & CEO Danita Estrella Watts; John Watts
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam provided the opening prayer for the evening, which was attended by over 450 patrons at the invitation-only event. Television host Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned this year to emcee the event, which was highlighted by an intimate concert by Underwood and superstar Brad Paisley. Performance painter Jared Emerson created an amazing work of art over the course of the evening. The painting and numerous other items, trips and experiences were sold through live and silent auctions.
“Thank you to all who came to @danitaschildren gala last night,” said Mike Fisher via Twitter, who first visited the Danita’s Children center with Underwood in Haiti in 2014 and have been passionate supporters ever since. “We laughed and cried and celebrated a great ministry. Thanks @bradpaisley @jaredemerson @ehasselbeck you guys are awesome!”
The mission of Danita’s Children is to rescue, love, and care for orphaned and impoverished children in Haiti, meeting their needs physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually so that they are empowered to become leaders in their communities and nation.
ABOUT DANITA’S CHILDREN: The feeding of one child in 1999 led to Danita founding an organization that provides 16,000 meals each month, a school that educates over 350 children, and a children’s medical center that provides excellent pediatric care and surgery services to the northeast region of Haiti. In addition, we provide safe and loving homes to over 100 children, including special needs children who have been abandoned. We also serve the community through a non-denominational church that provides discipleship and an empowering message of hope. The organization recently acquired 106 acres of land, and in 2019, plans to begin cultivating the land into a sustainable farm that will serve the ministry and families in the surrounding community.
For more information, to make a donation, or to sponsor a child, visit https://danitaschildren.org.
Photos: Jeff Johnson