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WOW AND BELMONT UNIVERSITY VOLUNTEERS PACKAGE MORE THAN 400,000 MEALS FOR “FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN”

Community Event Draws More than 1,500 Volunteers from EMI Christian Music Group, Provident Music Group, Word Entertainment and Belmont University and Set Record for Number of Meals Packaged in One Day

Lunchtime Performances by “New Artist of the Year” Brandon Heath, Francesca Battistelli and Josh Wilson




(Photo by Aaron Crisler / The Judy Nelon Group)

Pictured (L-R) are: Dr. Andrew Johnston, Associate Provost & Dean of Student Affairs, Belmont University; Matt Muraski, Global Operations Director, FMSC; Laura Nielsen, Offsite Operations Manager, FMSC; Mark Bright, President & CEO, Word Entertainment; Mark Funderburg, President, Word Distribution; Terry A. Hemmings, President & CEO, Provident Music Group; New Artist of the Year and GRAMMY nominee, Brandon Heath (Reunion Records/Provident Music Group); Bill Hearn, President & CEO, EMI Christian Music Group; recording artist Francesca Battistelli, Fervent Records/Word Entertainment and Josh Wilson, recording artist, Sparrow/EMI CMG Label Group.

NEWS SOURCE: Provident Label Group
December 11, 2008

(Nashville, Tenn.) December 11, 2008 – EMI Christian Music Group, Provident Music Group and Word Entertainment have long collaborated in the marketing and distribution of WOW compilation projects. This Wednesday, the collective staff of the three companies, along with volunteers from Belmont University, banded together to package a record number 427,000 meals for the non-profit hunger-relief organization, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). The number of meals packaged at this event is enough to feed 1,169 children for one year.

The more than 1,500 volunteers worked in shifts that started at 10:00 AM and ran through 8:00 PM, packaging specially formulated meals in assembly-line fashion. Each FMSC meal provides the key nutrients a child needs to survive and thrive.

Laura Nielsen, Offsite Operations Manager for Feed My Starving Children, shared, “The ‘WOW Shares’ event was an incredible success. Not only did we pack a record-breaking amount of meals in one day, but we also helped changed the world for so many kids in Thailand.”

Over the lunch break, Brandon Heath (Reunion Records/Provident Music Group), Francesca Battistelli (Fervent Records/Word Entertainment) and Josh Wilson (Sparrow/EMI CMG Label Group) performed a concert for volunteers that numbered in excess of 1,500. Lunch was generously donated for volunteers by Sodexo, Belmont’s food services provider.

About Feed My Starving Children:
Minnesota-based Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: volunteers of all ages hand-pack meals designed specially for starving children, and FMSC ships the meals to more than 60 countries around the world. This year, FMSC will send 75 million meals around the world thanks to the work of 325,000 volunteers. For more information, see the attached fact sheet and visit http://www.fmsc.org/.

About WOW and WOW Shares:
“WOW Shares” is a newly created effort formed by the WOW companies to mobilize Christian music industry employees to serve others this Christmas season. EMI Christian Music Group, Provident Music Group and Word Entertainment have coordinated their efforts to pack food for starving children in Thailand. Funds for the meals have been provided from proceeds from the sale of WOW CDs.

About Brandon Heath (Reunion Records/Provident Music Group):
Christian music’s New Artist of the Year Brandon Heath recently released his anticipated sophomore album What If We. The new album features the No.1 single “Give Me Your Eyes,” which has held the top spot at Christian AC radio for 11 consecutive weeks. The hit song has also held 18 weeks at No.1 on iTunes Christian Top 100 Songs Chart with more than 160,000 tracks purchased.

Off stage, Heath seeks opportunities to merge his public platform with his heart for community and serving the needs of his neighbors around the world. He regularly works with organizations such as YoungLife, Blood:Water Mission and Restore International. Heath has been a respected songwriter in the Nashville music community for years, collaborating with well-known artists like Bebo Norman, Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes, to name a few. Heath first began writing at age 13 and credits the town’s legendary hotspot for songwriters, the Bluebird Café, as the place he first experienced music that moved him. (www.brandonheath.net)

About Francesca Battistelli (Fervent Records/Word Entertainment):
New Fervent Records/Word Entertainment artist Francesca Battistelli is no stranger to the stage, having been raised by parents immersed in the arts and Broadway, she developed a love of music, theatre, and performance at a young age. But instead of using these talents for applause and accolades, Francesca prefers to point people much beyond herself - towards hope in Christ. Her debut project, My Paper Heart, released to rave reviews in July and Francesca became the most added new artist at Christian radio in 2008 with her first single, “I’m Letting Go.” (www.francescamusic.com)

About Josh Wilson (Sparrow/EMI CMG Label Group):
Singer/songwriter Josh Wilson grew up a preacher’s kid in Lubbock, Texas. Learning to play both guitar and piano at a young age, he began leading worship for his church’s youth group. After high school, Wilson attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where he won the Christian Music Showcase his junior year. (www.myspace.com/joshwilson) He signed to Sparrow Records in 2006 and released his major label debut, Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup, April 29, 2008. The album was met with critical acclaim, hailed by Christian Retailing as “the future of Christian pop.” Wilson’s current radio single, “Savior Please,” is vying for adds at Christian AC and CHR radio.

About Belmont University:
Belmont University, host of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, is a fast-growing community of 5,000 students who come from almost every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 75 areas of study, 12 master’s programs and three doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.

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