By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Country singer Lee Thomas Miller rocked the house Friday during a benefit concert at the Franklin Theatre. Performing alongside Miller were country music stars Bobby Pinson, Heather Morgan, and radio personality Bobby Bones. The concert was organized by the Davis House Child Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization that combats child abuse.
With a packed house, the evening was filled with a mix of songs and stories that lasted roughly two hours. Executive Director of Davis House, Marcus Stamps, said the event should gross over $30,000 dollars to help fund their mission of combating child abuse.
“We provide a role in the investigative process – we also provide victim advocacy and counseling,” Stamps said. “We have to raise money to be able to provide the programs and services to these children, because we don’t charge for anything we do… that’s why raising money is important.”
Bobby Bones expressed his love for the restaurant Chick-fil-A in his song simply titled ‘Chick-Fil-A (…But it’s Sunday),’ to much amusement from the crowd. Laughter and applause filled the Franklin Theatre routinely throughout the night.
Lee Thomas Miller got his career started in the mid 1990s, and is credited with seven number one country hits. He also serves as the president of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, a non-profit trade organization that advocates for the rights of songwriters everywhere.
“I’ve been struck since the beginning with how much child abuse there is right under our noses, and I think that it’s underfunded,” Miller said. “This is one of those things that needs more support from the community because it’s so crucial.”
Stamps says that the Child Advocacy Center is a part of what’s known as the child protective investigative team. The organization is involved in the investigative process regarding child abuse.
“We’re involved in the investigative aspects; with law enforcement, the DA’s office, DCS, and juvenile court. Anytime there’s an allegation, these disciplines come together and work together,” Stamps said. “Everybody has a different role, but we work together for the good of the child.”
During the concert, Miller’s 12-year-old daughter made a guest appearance, and performed a song alongside Heather Morgan. Record producer and songwriter Christopher Stevens also made a guest appearance, performing one song.
The Child Advocacy Center has been pursuing its mission of preventing child abuse and providing care and counseling to its victims since 1999, and provides all of its services free of charge. It’s next charitable event will be the Davis House Golf Tournament, taking place on September 24 at the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club in Brentwood.