Craig Wiseman has helped turn the annual Stars for Second Harvest benefit into one of the largest and most effective events of its type in the country over the past four years. But with the global economic downturn negatively affecting all types of charitable functions and activities, the Grammy-winning songwriter Wiseman felt something new was necessary to help increase interest and participation if the Fifth annual Stars For Second Harvest celebration coming up Tuesday
“We decided that we needed to do something that would get more of the public really involved and let them know about both the benefit and the need to help with the problem of hunger in our society,” Wiseman said. “The statistics show that charitable giving has dropped substantially at the same time that the demand for emergency food aid has increased 35 percent this year. One of the things that we’ve noticed is that there are still some people out there who don’t know about the event or about the great things that Second Harvest does all year.”
So, Wiseman and some special guests hosted the first ever Music Row Rally Friday afternoon near the Music Row roundabout and at the intersection of 17th Street and Wedgewood. They collected monetary and canned food donations from all the cars driving by. In addition, large donations were rewarded with tickets to Tuesday’s show and t-shirts.
“It’s a real thrill that so many in the Nashville music community are joining in this effort,” Wiseman added. “I think fans are going to be real delighted when they see some of the people who are participating in this.”
Tuesday’s Stars for Second Harvest benefit spotlights many of country’s biggest performers. Rodney Atkins, Phil Vassar and Heidi Newfield are among headline acts on this year’s bill, and there are some new twists added for the fifth annual presentation.
“I’ve wanted to get a comedian since the beginning, and this year we’ve added Gary Mule Deer, so I’m very happy about that,” Wiseman said. “Also, we have a great lineup of stars for the show, and I think people will truly get an incredible program, a real treat for their money.”
All proceeds from the events benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, a private, nonprofit tax-exempt organization that works to feed hungry people and solve hunger issues in the community. They team with food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, foster care facilities, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs.
Wiseman has long been one of Music City’s most prolific songwriters. Besides winning the Grammy for the Tim McGraw hit “Live Like You Were Dying” and being a three-time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, he’s enjoyed more than 17 number one hits in an array of 300 cuts, 100 singles and songs featured on albums that have sold over 80 million copies.
“Participating in the Second Harvest event is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever been involved with and something that’s not about anything other than helping people,” he said. “All of us who come together to do this are glad to give something back to the community, and happy that we are in a position to help others.”
What: 5th annual Stars For Second Harvest benefit
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: 116 5th Ave. N.