HOUSTON - A redneck joke has got to be lurking in the distance if it involves Jeff Foxworthy, right? Actually, he didn't tell one during a huge fundraiser for a special place in northwest Houston called "Boys and Girls Country" that helps children from families in crisis.
These children are thriving and now celebrating a record-raising fundraiser, highlighting the popular comedian. He came up with plenty of material to leave the crowd in stitches.
PREVIOUS REPORT: Boys and Girls Country for children in crisis
A thousand Houstonians came together to raise money at Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Park for the children's home. Foxworthy is on board with the important mission. He helped draw a crowd and keep spirits high during the fun event.
"I view it as this is the gift God gave me. I don't know why I can do it, I can just do it, but to be a good steward of a gift to be able to come in and do it for something that blesses, especially something like this, to reach out to families in crisis, to kids in crisis, and to do nothing but love and to give them a chance in the world feels amazing," says Foxworthy.
The kids who live at Boys and Girls Country or BGC in Hockley are more than appreciative of generous Houstonians, who help enhance their lives in ways they never experienced before in their own homes. Successful students who have moved out of BGC and on to college were recognized at the event, including Andrew Thomas.
"I first started living here between seventh and eighth grade. So, I was around 13, 14, and I initially moved there from my dad's house, in The Woodlands. And at first, it was just to go visit the place. I didn't I wasn't aware of my placement. But I was placed there, and it was supposed to also be two years, but I ended up liking it and I stayed for a longer time, obviously," says Andrew.
He stays in touch with them to this day, counting on their love, support, and mentorship.
"I like to say we are Houston's premiere children. So, we've been taking care of children throughout Greater Houston for 51 years. What makes things great here is we have fantastic community support," says Vincent. "Right now, more than 70 children, who have been uprooted from their homes for a number of reasons, live here."
They stay in cabins with adults, known as their houseparents who help watch over them and nurture them in a loving, Christian environment. The need is more important than ever.
The biggest challenge during the pandemic definitely was throughout Texas, 65 programs, children's shelters or programs for foster care, children that were residents, 65 of them closed down within a two-year span, so, for us to still be doing what we're doing is by the grace of God and definitely the great support of the Houston community.
Everyone at Boys and Girls Country is more than thankful for the 2.7 million dollars raised at the special gala because Boys and Girls Country runs on private dollars. It also helps pay for college.
"I go to Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. Maybe not a lot of people have heard about it, but it's a private Lutheran College. And right now, I'm studying Kinesiology or rehab science and have a minor in psychology, as well," says Andrew.
"Andrew's story is the Boys and Girls story because many programs, when you graduate high school or turn 18, you leave the program. Here, we see our students through college or trade school, so to see Andrew embracing this full opportunity to graduate and graduate debt-free, and so, being privately funded here, we don't want to be a burden on the government or on the state. So, seeing him reach this great milestone of success is amazing," states Vincent.
It takes millions of dollars to take care of the kids, and even buy them a vehicle when they graduate from college, so major fundraisers are needed.
"Once you start being a part of something like that, I tell people all the time as to what you taste a purpose in your life. It's really hard to be satisfied with just existence. You know, when you realize I do have gifts and I can use them in a positive way," says Foxworthy.
Many gifts in the form of dollars were shared on this magical night positively for the kids. A big thanks to Superior Video Productions who attended the event and captured many special moments.
We had to find out if Foxworthy was the class clown, since he can make anyone, and everyone laugh so easily.
"I was the guy who was doing impersonations of the boss in the break room and then turn around, and the boss was in the doorway, but a bunch of guys I worked with entered me in a comedy contest, not an amateur night, a contest for working comedians," explains Foxworthy. "I wrote five minutes about my family, and I went down and won the contest the first night on stage and met my wife who was there to root for another comic. I met my career and my wife right there."
Houstonians are thrilled he found his career because he brilliantly entertained the crowd.
For more information on Boys and Girls Country, visit their website.