Monday, January 17, 2011
– Randy Owen, Ronnie Dunn, Justin Moore, The Band Perry and Jake Owen were some of the country acts appearing at S. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to help officially kick-off the annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon season.
More than 30 artists including Katie Armiger, Frankie Ballard, Craig Campbell, Due West, Margaret Durante, Edens Edge, Ashley Gearing, The JaneDear girls, The Grascals, Walker Hayes, Joey & Rory, JT Hodges, Steve Holy, Josh Kelley, Jennette McCurdy, Randy Montana, Troy Olsen, Jessica Ridley, Joanna Smith, Darren Warren, Karli Whetstone and Eli Young toured the hospital to meet with patients and help raise awareness for St. Jude, a children's cancer hospital.
This year, more than 800 artists, label representatives, radio station personnel and executives continued the Country Care's legacy by attending the event at St. Jude. Now in its 22nd year, Country Cares has raised more than $385 million for St. Jude since it began in 1989.
The program was created by Owen. "It's been incredible to see country radio and the country music industry embrace this program the way it has," said Owen. "St. Jude has held a special place in my heart since I met Danny (Thomas, who was connected with the hospital) many years ago, and it's been really great to see how much progress has been made with cancer research since the time we started this program in 1989."
Attendees also met with patients and their families to hear their stories and learn the importance of the program for the mission of the hospital. The weekend concluded with the annual songwriter's dinner, which celebrates the commitment of the country music industry to St. Jude and salutes the talent of country music songwriters with featured performances by the writers of many country hits.