My first Garth experience was pretty incredible. It will probably remain the highlight of my “blogging and promoting” days. I was invited to attend his press conference here in Denver to “kick off” his 9 shows in town
To begin with, we’ll discuss the important stuff. The reason the press conference was at our Children’s Hospital, a pillar of our Colorado community - They were celebrating the grand opening of a new suite, Teen Zone, donated and put together by the “Teammates for Kids foundation.” The foundation was co-founded by Garth Brooks and Bo Mitchell in 1999 it now has over 3,000 participating athletes from all different sports from bull riding to football, and everything in between, as well as musicians and other celebrities and corporations. In 2002 Garth joined up with Tory Aikeman’s foundation to support the child life zones.
One thing that has stayed steadfast and true is: 100% of the money goes to the kids. That’s not a goal… it’s the rule! Teammate’s mission statement: “In partnership with professional athletes, corporations, foundations, celebrities and individual teammates, we help children in the areas of health, education and inner city. We do this in a number of ways, from funding Child Life Zones and supporting Child Life programs in pediatric hospitals, to sports and recreation for inner city children and providing educational opportunities for the underprivileged.”
The Teen Zone is a doctor free room, a place for the teens in Children’s hospital along with their visiting siblings or friends to just hang out and do teenager things. A place to escape, even momentarily, from the medical stuff. It is quite a cool room they’ve put together for them, from a separate theatre room (that’s the room the press conference was in) to a pool table, video games and just a hangout place with couches and a LARGE screen TV. It has a kitchenette for snacks. It is decorated with neon lights and signed jerseys of Colorado’s sports teams. It was comfortable room and you forgot you were in a hospital when you were in it. There was an advisory board of teens that Children’s Hospital is more like a second home than a hospital to, that assisted in the development of the room and they are the ones that reached out to Teammates for their assistance. As Maddie, the young girl that introduced Garth for us at the press conference said “we made the right choice in getting Mr. Brooks involved.” Seeing Garth interact with the teens – and talk about the room, the foundation, you can see he gives more than his money to it. He is invested emotionally and that makes a difference.
Photo credit Kim Parker