Click photo to enlarge
Songwriter Greg Holden, who penned the song "Home" that became a hit for "American Idol" Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, will be one of the performers at the upcoming Acres of Love benefit concert. (Photo courtesy of Acres of Love)
A little more than five years ago, Parkite Melissa Fischer was introduced to the California fundraising arm of the global nonprofit organization Acres of Love.

Acres of Love provides community-based and culturally appropriate care for abandoned, HIV and AIDS-infected infants and children in South Africa.

After visiting Johannesburg and seeing firsthand how desperate these children's needs were, Fischer decided to organize a Park City branch of Acres of Love to sponsor one of the organization's 24 children's houses in South Africa.

The houses are called Forever Homes and are run by a house parent that oversees 10 to 12 children, Fischer said.

"AIDS is still a huge problem in South Africa and an average of 575 children are orphaned and abandoned every day, and the numbers are growing," Fischer told The Park Record. "The homes are not an orphanage, but a place that provides living expenses, medical care, transportation to school so they can lead normal lives."

To help raise money for the home, the Park City branch of Acres of Love will present a benefit concert at the Historic Kearns Mansion, 2245 Monitor Dr., on Friday, Sept. 6, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The event will feature New York-based singer-songwriter Greg Holden and the Warren Brothers, an American country duo.

Holden is known for writing the song "Home," which was recorded by "American Idol" Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, said Missy Kelly, who, along with Fischer, is the event's co-chair.

"Greg also wrote the song 'Lost Boy,' which is about the Sudanese refugees," Kelly said.


"That song is also the theme song for the TV series 'Sons of Anarchy.'"

Holden performed at the ASCAP Café at the Sundance Film Festival, where he met Fischer and Kelly.

"We asked him if he would be interested in coming out to do a benefit and he was all over it," Kelly said.

The Warren Brothers, who are based in Nashville, wrote the Keith Urban hit "Little Bit of Everything" and the song "Highway Don't Care" that was recorded by Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.

"They, along with Greg, all are donating their time and talent to come to Park City and play for our organization," Fischer said.

In addition, the Matsiko World Orphans Choir will perform "Lost Boy" with Holden and local musician Decarl will also perform.

The fundraiser will also feature drinks and cocktails provided by Top Shelf and dinner catered by Culinary Crafts.

"There will not be a silent auction, but we will hold an opportunity drawing for a 'staycation' donated by Victory Ranch," Fischer said.

The cost to attend the event is a donation of $175, and includes VIP seating, food and drink.

Donations for the event can be made in advance at , Fischer said.

"In our home in Johannesburg, the ages of the children range from 5 to 16, but we did recently adopt out a child who was 9 months old when he first came to us," she said. "The ultimate goal is to have these children adopted out, but since many of them have dire medical needs, they aren't the most adoptable children out there."

Also, once a child turns 18, the Forever Home will not force them to fend for themselves.

"Acres of Love also helps them set up apprenticeships or schooling for their future, so they can sustain themselves," Kelly said.

"The children in the Acres home the Park City chapter supports have become an extension of our family," Fischer said. "I can't imagine our lives without them."

The Park City Branch of the global nonprofit organization Acres of Love will host a benefit concert at the Historic Kearns Mansion, 2245 Monitor Dr., on Friday, Sept. 6, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by visiting . The proceeds will benefit one of the 24 Forever Homes in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, visit