Charity Stars: Toby Keith, Hank Cochran, ACM Lifting Lives

Pictured (L-R): Toby Keith, Sawyer Beard, and McCoy Beard

Pictured (L-R): Toby Keith, Sawyer Beard, and McCoy Beard

Toby Keith Raises Record $1.2m for Charity

Toby Keith generated a record $1.2 million for The Toby Keith Foundation at the 12th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic last the weekend (May 15-16, 2015).

Held at Belmar Golf Club and Riverwind Casino in Norman, Okla., the live auction brought $575,000 dollars with a top drawing item receiving a week’s stay at Keith’s house in Cabo, Mexico. The winning bid was $70,000. Twice. Other live auction items included an outing with pro golfer Anthony Kim ($24,500), a Highwaymen signed guitar ($24,000), a John Deere Gator ($22,000), custom Toby Keith guitar ($20,000), and CMT Music Awards and British Open packages, each going for $20,000. Silent auction items drawing high bids included Miranda Lambert tickets, a George Strait autographed hat and a series of three guitar paintings signed by Keith. On the golf course, the Built Ford Tough Shootout winner, Frank Starr, donated his new Ford truck back to The Toby Keith Foundation.

All proceeds benefit the foundation’s efforts to build and support OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home-away-from-home for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Earlier this week, Keith announced he will donate a portion of sales of his Wild Shot Mezcal to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) during several initiatives. The VFW is the nation’s largest organization of combat veterans offering scholarships, financial assistance, free calls home for deployed or hospitalized service members and help to veterans seeking service-related benefits and compensation.

Hank Cochran’s The Pen Fund Launches

The-Pen-FundSuzi Cochran (widow) and Booth Calder (daughter) of Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Hank Cochran have launched The Pen Fund to aid songwriters with Pancreatic Cancer. The nonprofit will work in conjunction with the Nashville-based non-profit organization, The Nikki Mitchell Foundation, to raise support awareness, and further breakthroughs in research and development for the early detection and treatment of the disease.

Cochran was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2008, following the removal of several cancerous tumors from his pancreas and lymph nodes. He passed away on July 15, 2010 at the age of 74.

“The statistics for the disease are awful,” Calder states. “There will be an estimated 37,000 – 48,000 people diagnosed this year. Although, those numbers are smaller than most cancers, the percentage of people who die in the first five years following diagnosis is 94%, the highest of any cancer.”

Currently, there is no early detection method in place for Pancreatic Cancer.

Country superstars Jamey Johnson, Keith Urban, Shooter Jennings, and Jessie Colter are just a few of the supporters of Nikki Mitchell Foundation, which recently teamed with another newly-formed organization launched by Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter/musician Butch Walker called, The Autumn Leaves Project.

To donate to The Pen Fund, go to thepenfund.org.

ACM Lifting Lives Profits $30k From Club Shows

ACMLiftingLivesDuring the past five months, club shows around the country have collectively raised nearly $30,000 for ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music. Shows featuring Gary Allan, Easton Corbin, Tyler Farr, Sam Hunt, Jerrod Niemann, Eric Paslay, Chase Rice and The Swon Brothers donated a portion of ticket sales to ACM Lifting Lives, which will go to help fund organizations that are improving lives through the power of music. The club shows were sponsored by Mattress Firm.

Clubs included Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte, NC, Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO, Grizzly Rose in Denver, CO, Joe’s Bar in Chicago, IL, Midnight Rodeo in Springfield, MO, The Bluestone in Columbus, OH, The Rave in Milwaukee, WI and Wild Bill’s in Duluth, GA.

Fans who tweeted their attendance were entered to win a trip to the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards last month, April 19, 2015.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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