National Entertainer Rodney Carrington Selects DaySpring Villa as Featured Charity for New Foundation
TULSA, Okla., Sept. 29, 2010 – On stage, Rodney Carrington is a multi-talented figure who’s entertained millions during his career as a comedian, actor and recording artist. In person, he’s a soft-spoken yet energetic husband and father of three boys who enjoys his anonymity in Bixby, eschewing the big city life for a down-to-earth homestead in a quiet community.
When Carrington decided in May of this year to form a charitable foundation, he had two criteria: He wanted to align himself with a not-for-profit organization that made a positive impact on Tulsa-area children, and he wanted to support a worthy cause that didn’t receive large corporate funding. He quickly narrowed his choices to two charities—The Little Lighthouse and DaySpring Villa, one of two domestic violence shelters in Tulsa and Oklahoma’s only certified, faith-based domestic violence shelter. A short time later, Carrington himself walked the halls of DaySpring Villa with the shelter’s executive director, Wilma Lively, and was immediately moved by what we saw.
“You know, we all live in our own little worlds and many of us may not see the realities of domestic violence because it may not be something familiar to us,” Carrington said. “But DaySpring Villa really opened my eyes. You can’t walk away unaffected after you’ve seen what goes on here.”
As a child, Carrington says that he was exposed to domestic violence in his home. “Unfortunately, it is part of my past,” he said. “My mother was married five times before I was 15. There was abuse there and I saw it, so I’m very aware how domestic violence can affect kids.”
To kick off the foundation’s efforts, The Rodney Carrington Foundation hosted a private fundraiser in September, raffling off donated items from local businesses and netting DaySpring Villa more than $1,152. Carrington says that the foundation is also organizing The Carrington Classic Celebrity Golf Tournament to be held May 1-3, 2011 at the Cherokee Golf Course in Catoosa in association with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. “I envision next spring’s tournament to be a real success,” Carrington said. “We’re looking to create a big event that generates big awareness about domestic violence here locally and how DaySpring Villa is literally changing the lives of women and children.”
“We are both honored and unbelievably excited that Rodney’s foundation has chosen us as one of his featured charities,” said Wilma Lively, executive director of DaySpring Villa. “With the help of the Rodney Carrington Foundation, domestic violence in the Tulsa area and our work with abused women and their children will be getting recognition that is long overdue.”
Ongoing support for the Rodney Carrington Foundation will include Carrington’s personal donation of $2 for every ticket sold to his concerts this year. In 2009, he sold more than 250,000 tickets to his shows, making him the fourth highest-grossing comedian in the nation. Born in Longview, Texas, Carrington has recorded eight major record label comedy albums selling over two million copies. Two of these albums have been certified gold. Rodney starred in his own TV sitcom Rodney, which ran for two seasons on ABC. He also co-wrote and co-starred with Toby Keith in the 2008 feature film Beer for My Horses.
About DaySpring Villa
DaySpring Villa is Oklahoma’s only faith-based, certified shelter for abused or battered women and their children. Since 1995, the organization has sheltered, clothed and fed more than 5,800 women and their children from the Tulsa area, relying on private funding from individuals, companies, churches and civic groups. Through spiritual guidance, goals-based programs, social services, and advocacy and support, DaySpring Villa helps women in crisis transform their lives to emerge strong, independent and self-sufficient.
For More Information Contact
Day Spring Villa
Wilma Lively, Director
Rodney Carrington Foundation
Debbie Majors, Foundation Director