Granger Smith, Wife Donate More Than $200,000 to Children’s Hospital in Memory of Late Son
Granger Smith and his wife, Amber, have donated more than $200,000 to a children's hospital in Austin to honor the memory of their late son, River Kelly Smith, who died in a tragic accident in early June.
The couple presented a check for $218,791 to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin on Tuesday (June 25), People reports. The medical center treated River after his accident, and Smith and his fans raised the money through sales of a T-shirt his apparel company made in River's memory.
"This is just the beginning,” the "Damn Strait" singer said at a press conference in the courtyard of the hospital, according to CBS Austin. “Let this be a small token of the gratitude that we’ve got for you guys."
“I pray that nobody else ever has to go through what we’ve gone through, but if they do, I hope they come here because y’all were incredible," Amber said, adding, "We don't understand why this happened and we'll never understand, but I promise that we're going to figure out the good. We're going to bring good from it."
The couple wore red River tribute T-shirts during the presentation, and Smith's new "River" tattoo in honor of his late son was prominently visible on his right forearm. Click through photos from the emotional ceremony at the bottom of the page.
Smith turned to social media on June 6 to share what he called the "unimaginable news" that 3-year-old River had died. A rep for the singer later confirmed that River drowned at the family's home in Texas.
The singer recently resumed his live schedule, and he paid tribute to River at the 2019 Country LakeShake Festival in Chicago on Sunday (June 23) with a powerfully emotional performance of "Heaven Bound Balloons." He also debuted the new tattoo at the festival.
Granger Smith Pays Tribute to Late Son River Smith
In a video posted to the family's YouTube channel, Granger and Amber opened up about the impact River's death has had on their family, and Smith explained his decision to return to the road with his family beside him. The Smiths have two other children; a 7-year-old daughter named London and a 5-year-old son, Lincoln.
“Music has always been healing. That’s the place I’ve always turned to," Smith said.
The singer will not be participating in meet-and-greets with his fans for the time being.
“I don’t think that’s the best place for me to be right now,” Smith acknowledged. “A, it’s going to be strange if we have to talk about River and B, it’s going to be even stranger if we don’t talk about River.”
Though the River tribute T-shirts are currently sold out, the couple will design a new one that they plan to offer in the fall to raise more money in his memory.
PICS: Granger Smith, Wife Amber Give Big Check to Dell Children's: