Arby’s Foundation raises over $400,000 for Atlanta nonprofits with a throwback night of music featuring the band Smash Mouth and singer Alex Guthrie
What do you get when you combine the musical prowess of pop-rock band Smash Mouth and local folk-pop star Alex Guthrie? A powerhouse event at the Coca-Cola Roxy that makes raising funds for a good cause even more entertaining.
The Dream Big Atlanta event kicked off July 17 with its purpose in mind, featuring an onstage presentation of donations from the Arby’s Foundation to local nonprofits, Horizons Atlanta and Enduring Hearts, and a scholarship grant to Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School student Nala Bishop.
“At Arby’s, we believe every child deserves to dream big,” says Stuart Brown, executive director of the Arby’s Foundation. “In Atlanta, we work with organizations like the Atlanta Community Food Bank to make sure kids get the food they need to fuel their dreams, Horizons Atlanta to help kids have the experiences necessary to expand their dreams, and 100,000 Opportunities to help kids get the opportunity needed to pursue their dreams.”
After the presentation, the venue filled with the soulful sounds of East Cobb resident Alex Guthrie. The smooth crooner was stoked to be a part of the event playing for his second time at the Coca-Cola Roxy, previously opening for Kelly Clarkson. “I’m super thrilled to be a part of this evening. It ties in really well with what I have been doing with the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta. I’ve had the privilege of working with their Notes for Notes program that provides musical teaching and recording for kids in downtown Atlanta as well as other places.”
Reunited for the first time in decades, Smash Mouth proved that they aren’t stuck in the early 2000s. The band followed Guthrie’s performance with a set of fresh tracks from their upcoming EP. After playing songs new and old that got the crowd moving, the group closed with their smash hit “All Star.”
Looking back on the evening, Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell says, “The energy at Dream Big Atlanta was contagious. You could tell that everyone felt good knowing they were giving back. Music is a powerful way to bring people together, and we’re grateful to the Arby’s Foundation for inviting us to headline this event.”
Along with the musical acts, the night to remember also included a silent auction with everything from a signed Chipper Jones baseball to tickets to a private performance by Alex Guthrie. Between the proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales, the third annual event raised over $400,000 dollars for efforts to end childhood hunger and promote youth leadership and career readiness initiatives.
Details: ArbysFoundation.org, AlexGuthrieMusic.com, SmashMouth.com
Photography by: Frank Gibson Photography