NASHVILLE — On Sunday, October 16, Restless Heart hosted a benefit for the Nashville Rescue Mission at the venerable Schermerhorn Symphony Center. From all sources the show was an unqualified success.

Robert Bogle, the Chief Development Officer for the Nashville Rescue Mission, said, “We raised nearly $70,000 to support the operations of our Mission. For a first-ever event we feel that is a great success.”

The show, which featured Keith Anderson, Melinda Doolittle, Master of Ceremonies, Demetria Kalodimos, Tracy Lawrence, Charlie McCoy, Gary Morris, Lee Roy Parnell, the Rescue Mission’s “Men of Praise” Choir, Restless Heart with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Jim Gray, Verlon Thompson and Jaci Velasquez, was designed to entertain and inform.

Alan Valentine, President & CEO of The Nashville Symphony Orchestra explained the Symphony’s participation in the event. According to Valentine, “When we built Schermerhorn Symphony Center, we did so with the intention of serving everyone in our community. Being a part of Music With a Mission provided us with a wonderful opportunity to help our homeless neighbors right here in downtown Nashville, and we are proud to support the efforts of the Nashville Rescue Mission. Aside from being a fantastic night of music, it was an inspiring example of what we can achieve when we work together to make a positive impact on our community.”

Given her perspective, Kalodimos said, “It was inspiring to watch the performers, especially the Mission’s “Men of Praise” choir thrilled to be playing the Schermerhorn stage. We all had the feeling that this is the start of something great.”

Dave Innis, keyboard player for Restless Heart echoed her sentiments. Dave added, “Everyone involved from Restless Heart & Friends, artists and audience were there for the right reason, to support the homeless and hungry men, women and children of Middle Tennessee. The spirit of cooperation and camaraderie was evident by the enthusiastic performances from the entire cast, symphony and singers!”

The feeling was mutual. Contemporary Christian star and media personality, Jaci Velasquez added, “What a great experience Music with a Mission was, to sing songs and benefit one of Nashville’s most remarkable charitable organizations! Having members of the Nashville Rescue Mission sing with us on stage was such an unbelievable honor, and I will certainly remember it forever. Thank you to all involved!”

Plans are in the works for a 2012 performance that aspires to top this year’s total. Once details have been finalized they will be released.