Gospel celebration benefits W-S Ronald McDonald House

Christian comedienne, Small Fire, tells hilarious stories of her childhood growing up in the church.

Gospel celebration benefits W-S Ronald McDonald House
June 09
05:10 2016



The 2016 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration tour made its annual stop in the Triad.  Thursday, June 2, the Triad community was blessed with the opportunity to hear some of the most well known gospel artists in the industry.

The concert, which took place in Greensboro at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, was held to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem. The show was free to the public and only a small offering for those who could help was asked of those in attendance. Over $10,500 was collected last Thursday.

Returning acts such as the legendary Donald Lawrence, Lonnie Hunter, and comedienne Small Fire, were joined by Pastor Charles Jenkins, Christian rap sensation Canton Jones, gospel crooner Jonathan McReynolds, Doug Williams of the famed Williams Brothers, and recording artist Jo Jo Martin.

Event host and performer Lonnie Hunter said hosting this event has been a dream.

“During the tour we have raised over $350,000 up to this date and to be a part of that and be able to give God the glory is truly a blessing,” said Hunter. “It’s a tour with a purpose and there are children out there who could not get here, but feel the results of what we did here tonight.” Williams revealed to the crowd that he had been dealing with tumors on his vocal cords and he was told he wouldn’t be able to sing any longer, but said through his faith he was able to beat it. He said he was even told by multiple doctors he was lucky to be alive.“It was a favor of God that I got the call to be a part of this tour,” Williams said.  “The people are being blessed so much when they come out to these concerts and you can see it with the reaction of the people.”

The tour, which will make stops in 13 cities nationwide, looks to bring awareness to the Ronald McDonald house and the important role it plays in helping families have the ability to stay close to their children who require medical attention.

“Anytime someone is doing something for charity it is great,” said Lawrence.  “I know some people who have benefited from the Ronald McDonald House. It’s great that McDonald’s and Faith Based Communications is sponsoring a great tour so the community can come out and donate and see how beneficial the Ronald McDonald House really is.”

“We are on the corner, but we are in the community also,” said James Smith, a local Triad McDonald’s owner.  “We support everything they can think of, from the schools, the churches, and community organizations. We are not about a lot of words, we are about action and this is an action to help the Ronald McDonald House.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem is a 35-bedroom facility with private baths for each room, full service kitchen, living rooms, play rooms, televisions, and playground for healthy siblings. The house is a safe haven for families with children in treatment who cannot afford to stay in a hotel. The charity only asks a $10 a night donation for those who can pay, but many families cannot due to hospital costs.

“It puts their mind at ease and we try to remove as many barriers as possible,” said Chuck Kraft, executive director of the Ronald McDonald house of Winston Salem.  “My hope is that everyone here gets to enjoy some beautiful music and moved by the spirit of the Lord. Everyone here is doing their little part and they are helping people in the community.”

During the show, a young child by the name of “Baby Israel” was highlighted to show the impact that everyone’s donations have on a family.  Baby Israel was born three months prematurely and weighed only one pound at birth. Her family was able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house for over 200 days while she gained enough strength to make it home. She is now eight months old and doing well.

The concert was a big success and everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves, from the young children to the elderly.

Shavon Tates of Greensboro said, “The concert was phenomenal and there was something for everyone. Some of my favorite artists were here, so I was in heaven.”

Adara Johnson of Greensboro said, “I enjoyed the different levels of Gospel music.  It shows

that not only can the older generation celebrate God in their way, but the younger generation can as well.”

“The tour is pretty amazing and I hope it continues to be sustained and goes to a greater level,” said singer John McReynolds.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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