Praising the Lord helps Ronald McDonald House

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Praising the Lord helps Ronald McDonald House
June 15
04:04 2017

It’s that time of year again for the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour.  The annual tour came to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro as part of its 15-city tour that runs from May 10 through Oct. 21 and made its stop in the Triad for the 11th time.

The concert was a free night of inspiring music, comedy and giving back to the community.  The purpose of the event was to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem (RMH).  Throughout the concert those in attendance were able to learn more about the RMH and the important role it plays in keeping families close to their ill children. 

The McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is the longest running brand-owned gospel tour.  The tour has made a stop in the Triad each year since it was founded.  Last year, the tour stop in Greensboro raised $10,526.  This year that mark was shattered as $14,967.57 was raised to go toward the RMH.

This year’s lineup featured some of gospel music’s best and brightest stars.  Hezekiah Walker, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Brian Courtney Wilson, Anita Wilson, comedienne Small Fire and host Lonnie Hunter all delighted the crowd with their inspiring performances.

Paul Porter said it was an honor to be a part of the tour because of the assistance it provides to the various RMHs throughout the tour.  He said when he was asked to be a part of the tour, it was a no-brainer for him.  For Porter, this tour hits close to home because he had to deal with a brain aneurysm nearly 20 years ago that nearly took his life.

“To do something for somebody else that is going through something, I had to be here,” said Porter.  “This tour has been incredible and everybody is welcoming us.  Also being able to go and visit children has just been so surreal.  This is a life- changing experience to be able to bless somebody, and it gets me all choked up.”

Lonnie Hunter, who has hosted the tour for the past three years, resumed his duties once again this year.  He said he loves coming back to the Triad area because of the tremendous amount of support the people have given to the tour each year.

“Greensboro is great and I’ve been coming here since I started with the tour,” he said.  “The audience in Greensboro never disappoints because they know how to have church.  I love to feed off of the audience, which is always great here.”

“We are almost at a million dollars raised over the 11 years of the tour.  The charity has been able to help so many families be there with their kids for free.  A lot of people know about St. Jude, but it’s the same level of excellence at the Ronald McDonald’s House Charities and RMHs across the country and I am glad to be a part of that.”

Anita Wilson said to be a part of the tour this year has been a pleasure.  She said she was able to visit the RMH in Chicago and was inspired by the strength the families there displayed.  Wilson said it really reminds her to be grateful for what she has. 

Chuck Kraft, executive director of the RMH of Winston-Salem, said, “The house is 33 years old and our partnership with the gospel tour is four years old and the partnership has been great.  Collectively in 33 years we have served over 20,000 families.  Coming to Greensboro has enabled us to spread the word and given us the resources to help more families.  Our objective is to keep families close, and it is a life changer.”

Triad McDonald’s owner James “Smitty” Smith added, “It makes me feel tremendously good to help those families in need.  I have been to the Ronald McDonald House, served at the house and have seen some what some of these families are going through.  When you do something for someone else, it always comes back in blessings.  It blesses me because of being able to see a family stay close to their kids in their time of need.”

The RMH of Winston-Salem is currently helping Tiarra Bohannon of High Point.  For her to be able to stay close to her son, who was born prematurely at 24 weeks old, is a blessing, she said. 

“The Ronald McDonald House has been very beneficial to me by giving me a place to stay especially with me not having transportation,” she said.  “They provide transportation and I don’t have to worry about food because they provide that as well.  Events like the gospel tour is great because there are other parents out there in similar situations such as myself, so I thank them and the Ronald McDonald House.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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