Big Hearts for Big Kids event poster (Supplied)
Tenille Townes isn’t letting the pandemic get in the way of her massive community fundraiser. This year, Big Hearts for Big Kids will change from a gala night in Grande Prairie to a virtual benefit concert recorded at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
The local country music star says, despite the fundraiser going into its second decade, she remains blown away by the power of music and what happens when a group of people comes together.
“I’m thrilled to bring this event to everybody’s living rooms this year, and have the very first Big Hearts For Big Kids: Live From Nashville!!. In light of all that’s going on in the world right now, wrapping our arms (virtually) around the kids who need us out there, feels more important than ever,” she announced on Facebook.
In addition to Townes, the lineup of performers will also include superstars like Luke Combs, Dierks Bentley, and Brandi Carlile. The bulk of the money raised from the virtual concert, like in years past, will go towards the Sunrise House Youth Emergency Shelter in Grande Prairie.
Executive Executive Director Tanya Wald says she was disappointed when they realized they’d likely face cancellation of the in-person event but adds that the virtual concert and fundraiser should knock people’s socks off.
“I’m so very grateful for them to want to keep this going and still continue to support even from a virtual place.”
Wald adds fundraising and grants are critical to their operations. She notes the $415,000 raised at the 10th annual Big Hearts for Big Kids event in 2019 has carried into this year to help with fundraising issues.
“We’re still short this year but with this event happening we know that between it and other support from the community we’ll be okay.
Money from the event will also, for the first time, go to the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennesee. For more information, or to donate, check out Big Hearts for Big Kids on Facebook. The live stream will air on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram on June 30th.