Underwood, ACM Make Surprise Donation

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• August 28, 2009
 Executives from the C.A.T.S. Foundation, ACM Lifting Lives and Checotah Public Schools including [left to right] Principal Brian Terry, Carrie Underwood, Erin Spahn Director of ACM Lifting Lives, and Gary Haber, President ACM Lifting Lives and Director & Treasurer C.A.T.S. were on hand at Checotah High School to surprise students with more than $117,000 in new music instruments, a joint gift from Underwood’s C.A.T.S. Foundation and ACM Lifting Lives.

Pictured (L-R): Principal Brian Terry, Carrie Underwood, Erin Spahn Director of ACM Lifting Lives, and Gary Haber, President ACM Lifting Lives and Director & Treasurer C.A.T.S. were on hand at Checotah High School for the donation.

Carrie Underwood’s new hometown foundation, the Checotah Animal, Town & School Foundation (C.A.T.S.) and the Academy of Country Music’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives, partnered to surprise students in Checotah, Oklahoma this week with a gift valued at more than $117,000 in new instruments for their music programs—and a special appearance and performance by ACM Entertainer of the Year, Underwood.

Music students district-wide were invited to a special “last-minute” assembly at Checotah High School. Students and faculty alike were surprised when Checotah High Principal Brian Terry introduced Underwood to the stage, alongside Erin Spahn, Director of ACM Lifting Lives.

Spahn and Underwood then unveiled the gift, including an electric guitar and amp, electric piano and brass instruments such as saxophones, French horns, tubas and much more.

“When Carrie came to us with this idea, it just seemed a natural fit,” said Erin Spahn, who met with Underwood earlier this summer to plan the gift. “The Board of ACM Lifting Lives liked the concept so well, we’ve decided to build on it. Every year, we will present a matching gift opportunity to the ACM Entertainer of the Year for any endeavor that uplifts through the power of music. Carrie started that ball rolling, and we’re really proud to be a part of this with her today.”

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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