Granger Smith and Wife Honor Their Late Son With $200,000+ Donation To Dell Children’s Medical Center

Granger Smith and his wife Amber are continuing their late son’s legacy with a hefty donation to the children’s hospital…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 26, 2019


11:18 am

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Granger Smith and Amber Smith present a donation in memory of their son, River Kelly Smith, to Chris Born, President of Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas on June 25, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)

Granger Smith and his wife Amber are continuing their late son’s legacy with a hefty donation to the children’s hospital that provided him with medical attention before his death.

A little more than two weeks after 3-year-old River tragically lost his life in a drowning accident at the family’s pool, the couple presented a $218,791 check to Dell Children’s Medical Center in his honor.

“This is just the beginning,” the singer promised during the check presentation, which took place at the medical center’s courtyard (quote via CBS Austin).

“Let this be a small token of the gratitude that we’ve got for you guys,” he added, according to the news outlet.

Funds for the donation were raised through the sale of a special t-shirt the couple created to honor their late son. The one-of-a-kind t-shirt is red (River’s favorite color) and features an image of an excavator with “Riv” on it. At the time the shirt design was revealed, the couple shared that River’s favorite thing to do was to watch excavators scoop up dirt.

Understandably, things got a bit emotional during the check presentation. Amber and Granger reportedly teared up as they reunited with the team that tried to save their son.

Additionally, they promised to continue to give back in their son’s honor.

“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,” Amber vowed.

She and Granger also shared plans to release another t-shirt in honor of River later this year.

The donation comes after Granger returned to the stage for the first time after River’s death. Sporting a new arm tattoo in his late son’s honor, Smith got emotional when he performed the song “Heaven Bound Balloons” during his set.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.