American Idol Star Leads River of Refuge Fundraiser


American Idol star Danny Gokey will be lending his heart as well as his voice to help raise funds for the homeless during “A Night of Stars,” the second annual fundraising gala for River of Refuge in Kansas City, Missouri on September 21st, 2013. It is blessings like this that keep the momentum going for this nonprofit organization.

Since the day when John Wiley discovered that thousands of working families are living in motels throughout the Greater Kansas City area, it has been the mission of River of Refuge to help these families not only get out of the motels, but to also teach them to live independently and find them permanent homes that they can afford.
“We understand that many of these families are hard-working people who simply want the best for their children,” said John Wiley, founder and program administrator for River of Refuge. “The reason they pay $800 or more in monthly rent and continue to run a household out of a one-room, run-down motel, is because they are trapped and have no other option. But they get up every day and go to work so their children can go to school and have a place to sleep at night.”


River of Refuge is asking the community for financial help through the support of its annual gala which was founded last year. Titled “A Night of Stars,” the event will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 21st at the Hilton Garden Inn, 19677 E. Jackson Drive, Independence, Missouri. The Gala will feature a performance by Nashville recording artist and American Idol finalist Danny Gokey. Kansas City Royals Hall-of-Famer, Frank White will also be a featured speaker at the event.

“I was contacted by Danny Gokey recently because coincidentally he has a similar organization, helping homeless families who live in motels, in his hometown of Nashville,” Wiley said. “He’s offered to help with River of Refuge’s fundraiser and we’re thrilled to have him perform at our event.”
Sophia’s Heart, started by Gokey in Nashville in 2008, helps children and families affected by poverty, sickness and other ailments by finding them a place to live and overcome other hardships in their lives.
“It’s an incredible honor to be invited to come to Kansas City and help raise awareness and the funding needed for this very worthy cause,” said Gokey. “The organization I founded and River of Refuge here in Kansas City are both working to help hard-working, needy families with children and that’s something that will always hold a special place in my heart. No matter what city, these families need our support.”

River of Refuge was conceived to specifically address thousands of working families who have become trapped in pay-by-the-week motels throughout Greater Kansas City and into the suburbs.

For more information about River of Refuge, go to


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