Full circle with MIchael W. Smith | VailDaily.com

Full circle with MIchael W. Smith

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EDWARDS ” Jeremy Lowe grew up listening to the contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith. When Lowe was a kid, he said his parents bought him a Smith cassette tape and he would listen to it while doing chores.

Through grade school and high school, Lowe said he and his friends would sing Smith’s songs in choral concerts. And now, life has come full circle for Lowe. As the principal of Vail Christian High School in Edwards, Lowe said that many of his students will be in attendance at the Smith concert Sunday in the school’s new auditorium.

“Being the only Christian high school in the valley … to have a big name like Michael W. Smith coming, and bless us by performing at our fine arts center is awesome,” Lowe said.

The fact that a crowd-drawer like Smith is performing at the school is big enough news to Lowe, but what’s even more interesting is that he’s doing the concert for free. Every dime raised by the event will be donated to student scholarship funds and Diane Dike’s local non-profit charity Second Chance with Saving Grace.

Dike and Smith became friends nine years ago when she began doing massage therapy for Smith while he was in town. Through that friendship she was able to convince Smith to play at the school. Dike is the author of the children’s book “Gracie Comes Home” and her own autobiography, “God Made Only One Of Me,” about her struggles to cope with an extremely rare and incurable blood disease, cryoglobulinemea.

Smith is a multiple Grammy Award-winning musician who has had crossover success into mainstream music as well. He’s sold more than 13 million albums and was once named one of People magazine’s most beautiful people. But to Dike, he’s just a regular guy, and a true friend.

“He’s got such a big heart and he has lots of talent,” Dike said. “He’s very authentic, and I think that comes through his songs.”

And Smith had nothing but praise for Dike’s bravery and strength in the face of her illness. In the forward to her book “God Made Only One Of Me,” Smith wrote: “I am very thankful that God brought Diane into my life many years ago in Beaver Creek, Colorado for ‘just a massage.'”

But despite all the accolades and fame following Smith onto the stage Sunday night, Lowe said the bigger goal is to bring the community together for a good cause and spread the power of belief in God.

“Ultimately, what I hope this concert brings forth is … we honor Jesus Christ by listening to Michael W. Smith,” Lowe said.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

What: Benefit concert with Michael W. Smith and opening band The Ride.

When: Sunday at 6 p.m.

Where: Vail Christian High School in Edwards.

Cost: $50 to $300.

More information: Call 970-926-3015.

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