Our Christmas concert was an amazing success. Sponsored by Forrest General Hospital (who we love love love), we held a traditional Christmas concert with 100% of proceeds benefiting Extra Table in order to feed the hungry. The concert consisted of over 250 students from Petal, North Forrest, Oak Grove, Sumrall, William Carey University, and Pearl River Community College schools who gathered together Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. with the Hattiesburg Chamber Orchestra for the first annual Extra Table Christmas Concert. The concert was a traditional Christmas concert with the Christmas story narrated by Deanna Favre. A killer pre-show with the Petal Harvey Baptist Church hand bell choir kicked off the most reverent concert of the season.

Before the show started, Robert St. John (our delightful founder) and I had the chance to speak to the audience about Extra Table and hunger. Perhaps this was one of the greatest moments for a baby non-profit, and it’s baby Executive Director. That moment in front of 800 people explaining to them the importance of ending hunger, how real hunger is in their backyard, and knowing they can feel it- that spot in the middle of their chest that burns alive with desire to change something and end hunger. The feeling that propels them towards action.

The concert went off without a hitch, and we raised an outstanding $10,477.00. We couldn’t be more thankful for our incredible volunteers who rolled with the punches and helped more than they can know. A special thank you to Dr. Jay Dean, City of Hattiesburg, Clear Channel Radio, Coca-Cola of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg Concert Association, Mike Lopinto, Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Schwartz, Rick Taylor, the Saenger Theater, the USM School of Music, and, of course, Forrest General Hospital without whom this concert would not have been possible.

Of course, the concert will be an annual event, so if you missed it plan on being there in 2013. It’s a unique experience to know that every penny that you pay for a ticket is helping a single mom make ends meet, a senior citizen have dinner, and a kid have a full tummy after homework tonight. Our concert affords that opportunity. What a perfect way to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Merry Christmas.