Lon Helton and Bill Mayne are the recipients of this year’s St. Jude Angels Among Us Award.
The award is presented by Randy Owen, Alabama lead-singer and co-founder of Country Cares. Owen kick-started the beloved tradition of giving the award to others who have shown his spirit and exceptional dedication to the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Helton, who began his radio career in 1971, has utilized his industry platforms to support St. Jude since the start of the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program. He was one of the earliest St. Jude supporters during his time as Country Editor for Radio & Records magazine, penning multiple stories imploring country radio to increase its involvement in St. Jude radiothons. As the host of Country Countdown USA, Helton has participated in radio fundraisers and industry events, urging his nationwide audience to get more involved. Since establishing Country Aircheck in 2006, he has sustained his advocacy for patients at St. Jude with regular editorial content spotlighting important medical breakthroughs and radiothon success stories.
Mayne used his clout as head of Warner Bros Nashville to draw support when Country Cares for St. Jude Kids first launched, and to grow interest and participation from labels on Music Row. Mayne secured the first artist to attend the annual St. Jude event in the early 90s, the late Holly Dunn, and later Faith Hill and many other stars, which inspired the tradition and culture of artist participation at this event. Mayne then continued his involvement with St. Jude while serving as Executive Director for Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar from 2009-2019, incorporating St. Jude directly into the annual curriculum and urging involvement in the radiothon program.
This recognition places Helton and Mayne among the ranks of nine past recipients, including namesake Owen, in addition to Florida Georgia Line, Lady A, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, John Rich, former ALSAC Chief Operating Officer David McKee (posthumously) and St. Jude Country Cares Advisory Board member, Sharon Eaves (posthumously). Both Helton and Mayne also received the 20-Year St. Jude Pioneers Award for their long-time support of St. Jude kids.
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