Garth BrooksWhen Garth Brooks announced he was coming out of retirement late last year, millions of fans around the world were thrilled. One fan in particular, Las Vegas resident Joanne Downey, took her excitement and turned it into a fundraising organization in Garth's honor.

"I admire and respect the man he is. He's genuine, extremely humble and very down-to-earth. There's no 'public Garth' and 'private Garth.' It's always the real Garth -- all the time, no matter what," Joanne tells The Boot. "When I watched his sold-out show on TV in 2007, I could see how surprised he was that all his fans were still there for him even though he had not toured for quite some time. You could see the tears build up in his eyes as his fans sang the words of all his songs back to him. You could see how much it meant to him and that he was completely blown away by it. That touched my heart. At the end of the concert, he told the fans something similar to, 'If you wait for me, I will be back.' That was my inspiration. I thought about how cool it would be if there was a way for all of Garth's fans to show him they had waited for him and were thrilled he was back."

Joanne established the Garth Brooks Tribute to raise money for the singer's charity, Teammates for Kids. She's asking each Garth fan to make a donation -- at least $1 -- to help children's charities and to show Garth that his fans are indeed still there. Fans can contribute donations to 'Teammates For Kids' through the organization's official website.

Garth founded Teammates for Kids back in 1999 with a few dozen Major League baseball players. The charity, which provides financial assistance to several children's charities, now boasts a huge roster of not only MLB stars, but also professional hockey, football, basketball and soccer players. The athletes donate a predetermined amount of money each season, based upon their performance.

Joanne is unaware of how much funding has been raised for Teammates for Kids through her Garth Brooks Tribute, but says her dream has been fulfilled by all of the media attention the charity has gotten.

"The Garth Brooks Tribute has received more coverage than I ever thought it would. That makes me happy," says Joanne. "My goal was try to reach as many Garth fans as I could. I think in that sense, I have succeeded in what I was trying to do. I keep coming across my story in some newspapers and radio shows across the country and on internet sites that I wasn't aware of. That could only be a good thing because it means that the Garth Brooks Tribute has reached more fans."

Fans can support the Garth Brooks Fund by contribute donations to 'Teammates For Kids' through the organization's official website. Checks (marked with "Tribute" on them) can also be mailed to Teammates For Kids, 4251 Kipling Street, Suite 370, Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033.

Garth Brooks on AOL Music