Waiting for Wishes 2014
Kevin Carter, ESPNU sports analyst, NFL veteran and former Tennessee Titans player, hosted the 13th annual Kevin Carter’s “Waiting for Wishes” Celebrity Waiters Dinner benefiting The Kevin Carter Foundation and Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee at The Palm Restaurant on Tuesday, April 15. This premiere celebrity event, “Waiting for Wishes” has raised more than $1.5 million for charity since its inception in 2002.
The celebrity event, co-hosted by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, is an exclusive VIP evening where Carter, professional athletes, country music artists and other various celebrities take over The Palm as servers before they headed over to Honky Tonk Central for the Official After-Party – Jam with Jay DeMarcus & Friends. The event, presented by HCA, continues to be one of the most unique celebrity events in the country and is considered a “must attend” events for patrons and participants alike.
An eclectic mix of celebrities appear each year, and this year was no different. Here's a list of some of the celebrities that appeared this year
● Scotty McCreery
● Chris Young
● Dustin Lynch
● Frankie Ballard
● 80’s Pop Singer Tiffany
● ABC’s TV hit NASHVILLE’s Chip Esten (Deacon)
● Chris Carmack (Will)
● Olympic Skater Scott Hamilton
● America’s Got Talent’s Jimmy Rose
● Big Brother’s Jeff Schroder
● Voice of the UFC Mike Goldberg
● WWE Wrestler Titus O’Neil
• Rick Springfield, pop/rock artist
• Rick Springfield, pop/rock artist
• Ric Flair, former wrestling superstar
• Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Game Day host
• Richard Dent, retired NFL player, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl champion
• Max Martini, Hollywood actor, director – starring in NBC’s ‘Crisis’
• Anthony Becht, 12 year NFL vet, current ESPN College Football Analyst
• Bonnie Bernstein, sports analyst for ESPN and CBS
• Brooke Hogan, singer, songwriter and reality TV star
• Caroline Cutbirth, current Amazing Race contestant
• D.B. Sweeney, Hollywood actor / director
• Frank Trigg, sports commentator and TV Radio host
• Gary Chapman, Christian artist
• Cassie Chapman, wife of Gary Chapman and reality TV star on Private Lives of Nashville Wives • Jason Sehorn, former NFL player, current ESPNU sports analyst
• Javon Haye, retired Tennessee Titans player
• Jenn Brown, NFL Network reporter
• Jenn Wayne, current Amazing Race contestant
• Johnathon Schaech, Hollywood actor, writer and director
• Kix Brooks, country music artist
• Maggie Rose, country music artist
• Michael Roos, current Tennessee Titans player
• Pat Miletich, retired UFC fighter, sports commentator
• Rob Bironas, NFL player
• Tito Ortiz, professional mixed martial arts fighter
• George Wilson, current Tennessee Titans player
• Chad Warrix, country music artist
● Chris Spencer, Tennessee Titans Plauer
Surprise guests from the cast of ABC’s show NASHVILLE, WWE RAW and music stars also made appearances throughout the night.
The evening will began with a VIP cocktail reception for sponsors at 5:45 p.m., followed by The Palm's famous "Surf & Turf" dinner at 7 p.m. During the dinner, Emmy Award-winner John Dwyer of WKRN-TV hosted a brief program. A premiere silent and live auction featured exotic trips, autographed celebrity memorabilia, and once-in–a-lifetime experiences. The celebrities served guests, signed autographs, and accepted donations. Tickets were $500 per person.
Because the event itself sells out so quickly, last year “Waiting for Wishes” expanded to include an Official After- Party. The 2014 “Jam with Jay DeMarcus & Friends” was held from 8 p.m. until close at Honky Tonk Central. This informal jam session was tons of fun for patrons and servers alike, and featured a few guests and friends unable to make it to the main event. This year’s event featured the vocal stylings of Rick Springfield, Tiffany, Scotty McCreery, Dustin Lynch, Frankie Ballard, Maggie Rose, Chad Warrix and surprise guests.
Proceeds benefit The Kevin Carter Foundation, Make- A-Wish® Middle Tennessee and the YWCA. “I am so grateful to be able to continue this incredible event so many years after my tenure with the Titans,” said Carter. “It’s been thirteen years since I first had a vision about hosting a special dinner in Nashville to help children in need. I had no idea that thirteen years later the success that this event would be so significant. I can only attribute that to this incredible community, their spirit of giving, and their commitment to changing the circumstances of those in need. I am also very blessed to have a wonderful committee of volunteers who never get enough credit for the amazing work they do each year. I couldn’t do it without their continued support in handling all the details of the event.”
In previous years, the star-studded lineup has included a cast of NFL players and veterans such as Drew Brees, Cris Collinsworth, Jim McMahon, Matt Hasselbeck, Derrick Mason and Tim Couch, as well as UFC fighter Chuck Lidell and Diamond Dallas Page of WWE fame. Entertainment industry superstars John Rich, Sugarland, Dierks Bentley, Lee Ann Womack, LeeAnn Rimes, Billy Zabka from the Karate Kid, and Hollywood actor, writer and director Johnathan Schaech a have also joined together for this special evening.
The event was sponsored by HCA, PAR, The Palm, The Hilton, Horizon, Matchless Transportation, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Lipman and Tito’s Vodka.
About The Kevin Carter Foundation and event beneficiaries
Kevin and Shima Carter founded The Kevin Carter Foundation to enrich the lives of children focusing on youth and character development. Carter often quotes his father’s saying, "To whom much is given, much is expected," and admits he tries to live by that today. For more information, visit www.waitingforwishes.com or www.facebook.com/waitingforwishes.
The Kevin Carter Foundation made a donation of $125,000 to Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee, the primary beneficiary of "Waiting for Wishes"!! Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. For more information about Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee , visit www.middletennessee.wish.org.
In addition, a donation was also made from the proceeds of the After-Party to the YWCA who is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For more information about YWCA, visit www.ywcanashville.com.
Here's the cool video invite from this year's event!!
And here's a behind the scenes look at my evening. As you will see, I had a blast covering this awesome event!!
Gearing up for the Red Carpet!
Jonathan Schaech - Hollywood Actor
Tiffany Darwish - 80's pop star. Do you remember "I think we're Alone Now"? That's her!
Dustin Lynch - Country Music Star
Chris Young and Frankie Ballard - country music stars
Bonnie Bernstein - Accomplished Sports Writer
Jeff Schroeder - twice voted America's favorite house guest on the CBS hit, Big Brother
Brooke Hogan - star of VH1's Hogan Knows Best and Brooke Knows Best & Rick Flair - Professional Wrestling Superstar
Richard Dent - Former Tennessee State University Defensive End, recipient of 2 Superbowl rings and named to the 2011 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Delanie Walker & George Wilson - Tennessee Titans Players
Maggie Rose - Country Music Artist
Caroline Cutbirth & Jenn Wayne - Members of the country band Stealing Angels and competitors on CBS show, The Amazing Race
Chad Warrix - Singer/Songwriter & Keith Anderson - country music star
Chris Carmack - season actor currently playing Will Lexington on ABC's hit TV show NASHVILLE.
Cassie Chapman - TV Personality and star of Private Lives of Nashville Wives & Gary Chapman - Contemporary Christian Singer/Song-writer and stars with his wife in TNT's drama Private Lives of Nashville Wives
Jimmy Rose - Marine Veteran turned country artist who placed third on Season 8 of America's Got Talent
Chip Eston - Actor, Comedian, Singer is best known for his role as Deacon Claybourne on ABC's hit show NASHVILLE
My picture with 'Deacon"..... love it!
Dierks Bently - country music singer/songwriter who's had 10 #1 hits! Member of the Grand Ole Opry
J.T. Hodges - Country Music Star
Kevin Carter - 14 Year NFL Veteran, Superbowl Champ and Founder of the Kevin Carter Foundation & Jay DeMarcus - member of the multi-platinum band Rascal Flatts
Husband and Wife Jesse James and Eric Decker. She's a country music singer and he's an NFL Player. Together, they are stars of the reality TV Show, "Eric & Jessie: Game On"
Scott Hamilton - Olympic Gold Medal winning figure skater, speaker. author, philanthropist
Scotty McCreery - American Idol Winner and one of country music's hottest stars
Scott and Scotty!
TV News Anchor, John Dwyer serves as host for the night
Joyce McDaniel (middle) is on the Board of Directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is who introduced me to the organization. I have since become a Certified Wish Grantor with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee!
Brooke Hogan serving up drinks to the guests!
There was food flying by me left and right all night! That's my kind of party :-)
J.T Hodges and NFL Player Chris Spencer
Tennessee Titans Player, Chris Spencer, is from my home base in Mississippi. He knows my sister and brother from back in their high school days :-)
Celebrities working the bar.........
Titans Player George Wilson knows how to work that tap!
Well, you don't have to ask me twice.....LOL!
Retired Tennessee Titans Player Brad Hopkins and his wife whom I enjoyed dining and laughing with that evening!
If you've followed my blog for a while, you may have seen me mention that I was a student athletic trainer while in college at Mississippi State University (some of the best years of my life, BTW!). Because most of my waking hours outside of the classroom were spent in the athletic realm, when I run into NFL players it's not uncommon for them to know and/or have played on NFL teams with friends of mine. Such is the case with George Wilson. He's played on a couple of NFL teams with some of my college friends.......small world!
The Surf-n-Turf menu for the night was excellent! I always enjoy the Lobster Tails at The Palm!
Eddie George - Heisman winner and 9 year NFL Veteran Running Back. He's currently a college football analyst on Fox and FX
A silent auction with a plethora of items and vacations took place to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation
Be in the know for next year's Waiting For Wishes even by visiting the website at http://kevin-carter.com/waiting-for-wishes
- Dr. April