On stage: Amy Grant and Neal somebody
Amy Grant and I will be appearing together in a few days, and that only makes sense. Between us, we've won six Grammys and 25 Dove awards.
Technically, all of those were won by her. But I've watched the Grammys, and I know the difference between doves and pigeons: Doves are the ones that show up on Christmas cards.
So I feel like I can hold my own Nov. 8 at Macomb County Habitat for Humanity's annual dinner, which includes a one-hour concert by Ms. Grant. As the evening's genial emcee, I'll be in the background, humming softly.
Habitat for Humanity is among the more hands-on charities you'll find. Its mission, in Macomb and elsewhere, is to round up donated materials and labor as best it can, then build houses in partnership with qualifying families.
The families are on site, swinging hammers. Then they assume interest-free mortgages and start living the American dream of getting the kids' chocolate sundae stains out of the carpet and mowing the crabgrass again.
The Macomb County chapter has put more than 120 families beneath roofs, and the annual dinner is one of its major sources of income. The other is its ReStore shop in Mount Clemens, where wise shoppers can find everything from gently used china to roughly used cement mixers.
An ideal fit
The last time I dropped in on ReStore, a late-model Ford F-150 had just come crashing through the wall. The concert should be less jarring, especially considering Grant's roots in contemporary Christian and gospel music.
That's where she won her Dove awards, presented by the Gospel Music Association.
She sings about faith and Macomb Habitat exists on it, which made her an ideal fit, says executive director Helen Hicks.
"It's 50-50. Some people are coming because they enjoy listening to the stories of our homeowners," Hicks says. "There's also a faction that's coming for Amy Grant, which is great, because then we can convert them."
The event starts at 5 p.m. at Fern Hill Golf Club, 17600 Clinton River, Clinton Township. Grant will sing at 8, then appear at a meet-and-greet with VIP ticketholders at 9.
Main event tickets are $100, with the VIP tickets $150; call (586) 263-1540. In comparison, tickets for Grant's appearance Dec. 6 with the Toledo Symphony are going for $118 to $369 at ticketnetwork.com, and the Toledo Symphony won't feed you.
Ask and receive
The question is, how did a hard-working but not overly large nonprofit in Macomb County land someone who has sold 30 million units worldwide?
Landing me wasn't complicated. Hicks asked.
As for Grant, she says, the process was simple. "We paid for her."
There's a bit more to it than that. Grant is charitable by nature — a new song, "Welcome Yourself," speaks specifically to women fighting cancer — but she doesn't do a lot of smaller benefit shows, so Hicks assumes she was also taken with the cause.
Or maybe Grant was bonding with her emcee. Back in the day, before we started racking up Grammys, we were Nevada Sportswriter of the Year — three times.