Jay DeMarcus and Friends Make Wishes Come True

Jay DeMarcus, Joe Don Rooney, Kevin Carter
photo by Randi Radcliff

Jay DeMarcus loves co-hosting the annual "Waiting for Wishes" Celebrity Waiter's Dinner as much as he enjoys harmonizing with his Flatts mates Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney. Once again, Jay served as the charity event's co-host with former Tennessee Titan football star Kevin Carter at the Palm restaurant in Nashville, Tuesday night (April 2). The event benefits the Kevin Carter Foundation and Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

"Waiting for Wishes" carries a unique, fun aspect, in that the celebrities in attendance actually serve as waiters for each table of attendees, with some able assistance from the Palm staff. "It's the most fun they ever have at a celebrity event," Jay told Country Weekly before the evening got underway. "They fall in love with this event so much that they want to keep coming out."

This year's celebrity wait staff included Darius Rucker, Kristen Kelly, Charles "Chip" Esten from the Nashville TV series and Kix Brooks. Several members of the current Tennessee Titans also were on hand, as were some of Kevin Carter's friends from the world of sports. At one point in the evening, Darius was offered $1,000 by one of the attendees to sing a couple bars of his personal favorite song. Darius lit into the pop tune "Come Fly With Me" to the delight of the crowd. When Country Weekly asked Darius if that was actually his favorite tune, the singer smiled and said, "Not really. It's just the first thing that came into my head. It's OK, though. Anything we can do to help raise money is great."

Funds were also raised through a live auction and silent auction items, which included a Dierks Bentley package of a signed T-shirt and his Home album, four tickets to Jason Aldean's show at Wrigley Field in Chicago and tickets to a Little Big Town concert and meet-and-greet session. Several athletes also donated signed items and photos.

"This seems to be getting bigger every year," Jay remarked about the event, which has raised more than $1.4 million since its inception in 2002. "It's really exciting to be part of."

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