Event sponsors welcome singer Amy Grant to Normal for the 2013 Evening of Stars.
By Zach Dietmeier
NORMAL - The twentieth year of the American Red Cross of the Heartland Evening of Stars brings a new flavor and sound to the annual fundraiser.
Event co-chair Kevin and Lisa Callis introduced singer-songwriter Amy Grant as this year's featured speaker.
"We've been so successful with sports figures, we have had very notable actors and actresses, members of the media, politicians," Kevin Callis said. "So we looked at where we really hadn't been - music. And then we looked for a great, compelling story."
The six-time Grammy-winning Grant has been called "The Queen of Christian Pop." Callis said the committee selected Grant for her versatility and past work with the Red Cross.
"It was a very collaborative process with the committee," Callis said. "What we wanted to do this year with the significance of the twenty years, we want to look back and bridge a gap. If you look at Amy's influence, she reached so many different listening audiences."
Grant has a long history of working with the Red Cross on multiple campaigns, and Callis said it was an easy choice.
"She's somebody who understands the mission and who values the importance of the work, not only nationally but right here in central Illinois," Callis said. "She was very quick to embrace the idea and sign on, and we're very grateful she's going to join us."
Grant called supporters and sponsors during a special reception announcement at the Illinois State University Alumni Center on Thursday.
"I'm taking a break from recording today in Nashville," Grant told the audience. "I wish I could be there, but we are all excited to join you for a great cause in April."
The crossover pop artist will perform on April 17 during this year's fundraising event at the Marriott in Uptown Normal. Tickets are available now through the American Red Cross of the Heartland.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at email@example.com.