The 13th Annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour (ICGT) recently hit Houston Texas with a standout cast of award-winning Gospel Entertainers and Singers. This year’s Tour began late April in the “Windy City” – Chicago Illinois. From Chicago, the tour rolled through Atlanta, DC, Jackson Mississippi, Orlando and Tallahassee Florida, culminating in H-town at Lakewood Church.
The Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) Houston lead by President Hazel Smith in partnership with Lakewood Church served as gracious host/coordinators for ensuring overall ICGT event success. Contemporary gospel artist and radio personality Dr. Lonnie Hunter once again resumed Gospel show hosting duties in Houston. And the legendary singer, award-winning songwriter and producer, Donald Lawrence served as tour’ music director.
The Lakewood Church venue was almost at full capacity for the Gospel Tour opening with approximately 14,000 in attendance. An enthusiastic audience of gospel music lovers was richly blessed and uplifted by a wide range of gospel music award-winning, cross-over artist, including the Multi-award winning and legendary Kirk Franklin, Grammy Award winner Le’Andria Johnson, urban gospel artist and pastor Tye Tribbett, R&B powerhouse KeKe Wyatt, hip-hop contemporary artist Sir the Baptist, gospel songstress Kierra Sheard and beats by DJ Standout.
“As with previous years, this longest-running, brand-owned gospel music tour celebrated McDonald’s continued donations to Ronald McDonald’s House Charities of Greater Houston Galveston (RMHCGHG). At each stop, the national tour raised a love offering to support families served by the Charity. Since 2012 to present, love offerings have totaled over $1 million to aid in helping families stay close when their children are ill.”
First-time McDonald’s Celebration Inspiration Gospel Tour artist Kierra Sheard remarked that “It’s a privilege to be part of a tour that I and so many people I know have admired over the years. McDonald’s is doing something amazing through this community-based gospel tour. I’m so excited to be involved.”
Mary Redmond, RMHCGHG President, in attendance commented that:
- “One of the greatest challenges impacting our charitable programs is ensuring that the uninsured child has access to free medical and dental care directly in their own community. Through the delivery of care with our core programs, we believe that when you change a child’s life, you change a family, which can change a community, and ultimately the world. We are so thankful that the National Black McDonald’s Owners Association (NBMOA) has selected RMHCGHG as their charity of choice.”
- The NBMOA for nearly 50 years has also given back to the communities they serve by “providing scholarships, donating time and money to local schools and hiring minority youth. This commitment continues as McDonald’s annually presents two $10,000 Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarships to deserving HBCU college students with a focus on music.”
- “There are also other RMHC programs that take care of our children who are not so sick but need medical & dental care in our local communities. These needs are met by financially supporting our RMHC Medical Care and Dental Care Mobiles. This year alone, RMHC has provided free care for approximately 10,000 kids. The organization also has 4 ‘Cheer rooms’ located throughout the Greater Houston Area that provide a safe and educational haven for children while their mothers visit with their doctors for much needed prenatal care uninterrupted.”
Government dignitaries who attended this year’s ICGT and paid a special tribute to its success included U.S. Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas House Representative Senfronia Thompson, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
DONATE HERE: Here’s your opportunity to make a much needed and appreciated donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities® in the name of someone special. Go to the following link to donate: https://www.rmhcghg.org/get-involved/donations
Photo Credits: McDonald’s Houston & EM, Inc.