TOBY KEITH'S ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EVENT HITS THE MILLION DOLLAR MARK AND BECOMES ONE OF THE BIGGEST AUCTIONS OKLAHOMA HAS EVER HAD
Keith kicked off the event on May 10th by showing a video of The Toby Keith Foundation's OK Kids Korral construction progress. Followed by the McDowell family taking the stage and talking about how the impact the Korral will have on their fight against cancer. "Emotions were running high as little Mia McDowell twirled on stage and her mother told us about their struggles. Our supporters stepped up and we are completely humbled by their support," said Juliet Nees-Bright, executive director of The Toby Keith Foundation.
Comedian, actor and writer Rodney Carrington and Keith took the stage as the auctioneers for the evening raising nearly $ 500,000 in the live auction alone. The highest priced item won was a behind-the-scenes day with Toby's crew on his upcoming Hammer Down Tour Presented by Ford F-Series. The CMT Awards package, a custom Honda Rune motorcycle and the ACM Awards package rounded out the other top selling items of the evening.
There were close to a hundred silent auction items including the opportunity to name a sandwich after yourself at the Oklahoma Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, which sold for $ 10,000. Other popular items won that evening included concert tickets to see Luke Bryan, spots in the Walter Payton Golf Tournament and Cal Ripken autographed memorabilia. Together, the live and silent auctions raised a large amount of funds to help it become one of the biggest auctions for the state of Oklahoma.
Saturday's golf tournament also broke records with more than 240 people attending, forcing the event's organizers to have two separate shotgun starts for the first time in the history of the fundraising weekend. The winning team in the morning shotgun was Dr. Rohrer's team with Ryan Chattin, Jeremy Moe, Jared Eck, Josh Eck, Shelby Drake and team celebrity Alex Brown. The afternoon winners were Double Diamond Hot Shot with Daniel Myer, Steven Davis, Brandon Porter, Steve Lawson, Johnny Smith and celebrity Kevin Bookout. Shelby Drake also walked away with a Ford F-150 truck in The Built Ford Tough Shootout.
All proceeds from the event go directly to The Toby Keith Foundation's OK Kids Korral which is scheduled to open in October 2013. The house features 16 guest suites, gourmet kitchen, Route 66 indoor playroom, theater, family resource room and areas throughout for relaxation or congregation.
From his first No.1 smash "Should've Been A Cowboy" to his latest release, "Hope On The Rocks," Toby Keith has been one of the most consistent self-directed hit makers of his era. At the core of Toby's unparalleled success is his songwriting, which has powered an astounding succession of hit songs to the tune of more than 80 million BMI performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. His albums have sold more than 37 million copies, ranking him among the top-selling all-genre artists on Billboard's Top 200 Artists of the Decade.
But Toby's most rewarding experiences, as exhibited in his continual devotion to them, come from giving back. He has been helping sick children and their families in his native Oklahoma for over a decade and has never lost touch with the most important things in life.
About OK Kids Korral
OK Kids Korral was conceived to lessen the financial, physical and emotional burden on families battling cancer. Hotels are expensive, not clean enough for children with weakened immune systems and traveling takes an exhausting toll on an already sick child. The homelike environment will bring families together that bear the same experience of caring for a child diagnosed with cancer. The Korral is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013 and will house 16 families.