Jay DeMarcus and Friends Help Kevin Carter’s “Waiting for Wishes” Fundraiser

Star-studded Make-A-Wish benefit included guests Scotty McCreery, Dustin Lynch, Rick Springfield and NFL star Eric Decker, among others.

Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Frankie Ballard and a host of other celebrities donned waiters jackets and acted as servers for one of Nashville’s most unique fundraising events, the 13th annual Kevin Carter Waiting for Wishes Celebrity Waiters Dinner, Tuesday night (April 15) at the Palm restaurant. The event, hosted by former NFL football star Kevin Carter and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, benefits the Kevin Carter Foundation and Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee.

Waiting for Wishes turns the tables, so to speak, on music stars and pro athletes, who wait tables for the patrons and invited guests for tips, which go directly to the charities. Many of the celebrity waiters, however, admitted to being novices at the art of serving. “I have zero experience of waiting tables in my past,” Chris Young told Country Weekly on the pre-event red carpet. “So, I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants. But it’s a really great event and a cool way to give back to a good cause.” Dierks Bentley recalled playing for tips at clubs as a struggling musician, though he never waited tables. “Being a server is hard work,” he said. “I just hope I don’t drop any plates.”

Among the other celebrity servers were Scotty McCreery, Dustin Lynch, Maggie Rose and Keith Anderson; pop stars Rick Springfield and Tiffany; pro football’s Eric Decker, Michael Roos and George Wilson; Nashville TV stars Charles “Chip” Esten and Chris Carmack; plus Olympic skater Scott Hamilton. The large turnout always pleases co-host Jay DeMarcus, who helps round up the celebrities from the music and television worlds.

“For me, what I love seeing is that so any people want to come back,” Jay told Country Weekly. “They’re just mesmerized by the whole event. We do have fun but it’s for a great cause and I think everybody gets that. The only thing Kevin [Carter] hasn’t been able to improve on is the co-host,” Jay added with a laugh. “He gets stuck with me every year.”

Since the first event in 2002, Waiting for Wishes has raised more than $1.5 million for the designated charities.

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