June 4, 2010 — it seems impossible to believe that spring is nearly over and summer is on almost here. The days are indeed longer and the heat is on! I love summer for all of its weekend get togethers with friends and family, fresh fruit and veggies, and great music blasting from the stereo speakers.
As you know, the Flood of 2010 that occurred in Nashville and surrounding communities was a devastating natural disaster. So many people lost their homes and belongings. Some lost loved ones and pets. Having grown up in Southern California I have lived through several big earthquakes, but nothing prepared me for the impact and damage of the flood. Although my home was unscathed, several of my friends and their families lost almost everything. It has been heartbreaking to experience and yet at the same time it has been so inspiring to see people pull together and help loved ones and strangers. I can not remember a time I have ever been as proud to live in Tennessee as I have been in the past month — the “volunteer spirit” runs deep in our veins and it has made all the difference in the world.
Amy has done several benefits for flood relief. She participated in both our local Channel 2 and Channel 4 flood telethons. She and Vince donated a total of $150,000 to the telethons to go to flood relief offered through The Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Feed America. (Although Amy has always been very private about her personal giving, she allowed us to publicize this particular gift because she was hopeful that other individuals would be inspired to give as much as they could afford) She also participated in Brandon Heath’s “Love Your Neighbor” benefit which raised over $60,000 to help rebuild the “El Shaddai Church” of Nolensville. She also volunteered to help try to salvage and clean the belongings of some dear friends whose house was lost in the flood. As I watched her do so much I was reminded of the lyric from “Find What You’re Looking For” that says:
“what would they find
if they searched for a heart of gold?
they’d find sacrifices of
time and of money never told.”
But the work continues. On June 22, Amy will be joining Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and several others for the “Nashville Rising” concert at the Bridgestone Arena. All proceeds from that evening will be designated for flood relief through the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee. Tickets sold out in about 15 minutes. It promises to be a great night of music and inspiration for our community.
The weekend after the flood, Amy’s “I Do” daughter, Jenny Gill, married her longtime companion, Josh VanValkenburg, got married in Amy and Vince’s backyard. The weather was perfect and the setting was something out of a fairy tale. Jenny was a stunning bride and Vince was beaming from ear to ear as he walked her down the aisle. It was a night of friends, family and celebration.
Amy only has a handful of concert dates in the next few months, but August through December are going to be very busy. We are very excited about the “Pieces Of Our Lives” tour with Compassion International. It promises to be a very special and intimate night of music in very special venues. Amy was so inspired by her trip to Africa last summer and asked to partner with Compassion in a new and unique way.
“Better Than A Hallelujah” is continuing to climb the Christian charts. We are so excited with the response of this song and believe there is still a lot of upward momentum for the song. Last week Amy shot a video of the song that should be premiered in the next couple of weeks. The director took a very unique approach to crafting a “film like” storyline for the video and we are excited to see the final results.
Again, as always, I say thank you to all of you for continuing to support Amy’s music. She often says that this is the sweetest stretch of life she has ever known and she loves the balance she is discovering of making new music, touring with dear friends, and also spending focused time at home.
Blessings to you and yours…