FLORENCE, SC – The Pee Dee region will welcome the 2016 Christmas season with both reverence and celebration when Contemporary Christian music chart-topper and K-Love’s Male Artist of the Year Danny Gokey comes to the Florence Civic Center’s Uptown Ballroom on Thursday, Nov. 17.

The event is presented by BREATHE, a Pee Dee area networking group comprised of Christian small business owners, and is a benefit performance. Proceeds will be divided between House of Hope of the Pee Dee and Sophia’s Heart, a foundation Gokey established to motivate at-risk youth and homeless families toward success. Local sponsors are Lifetime Hearing Services, McArthur Farms, and Freeman’s Bakery. WBTW TV-13 news anchor Nicole Boone will serve as emcee for the event.

Fans of the former reality TV phenomenon American Idol will likely remember Gokey from Season 8. He isn’t blue-eyed, but the Wisconsin-based church worship director had the soul singer part down pat. His rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” during the audition process earned praise from all four judges – Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi, and the always formidable Simon Cowell. Perhaps even more impactful than his singing, however, was the emotional story behind it. Gokey’s young wife, Sophia (for whom his foundation is named) had passed away just four weeks prior to the Idol auditions, while undergoing surgery to address her congenital heart condition. Just as his story touched America’s heart, Gokey’s voice captured its attention. He quickly became a fan favorite on the show, and went all the way to the Final Three, along with Adam Lambert and eventual winner Kris Allen.

Post-Idol, Gokey’s 2010 debut album, My Best Days, produced two Top 40 hits on the country charts and reached Billboard’s Top 5. He says that his brief foray into country music taught him “how to walk the line, yet maintain the integrity and convictions I want to. It just goes to show you that even though you have a plan, you don’t have to have it all figured out.”

Tickets for “An Evening with Danny Gokey” will go on sale Friday, August 12 at 10 a.m. EST. Tickets are $35 for Preferred Seating and $30 for general admission seats. Seating for groups of 10 or more is $27 per person. Tickets are available at the Florence Civic Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800.745.3000. Preferred Seating tickets are also available at Lifetime Hearing Services, 522 W. Palmetto Street in Florence.

For more information or media opportunities, contact Cathy Elliott at cathyelliott@hotmail.com, or visit www.florenceciviccenter.com/events/detail/danny_gokey.-This is from a Press Release.