Nearly 800 country music industry leaders and more than a dozen country music artists gathered in Memphis Jan. 15-18 to kick off the 26th annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® program to support the lifesaving work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
The seminar event, one of the largest country music industry gatherings in the nation, provided St. Jude patients the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite country music artists and celebrates radio partners who together have raised national awareness and more than $500 million to help St. Jude fight childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases over the past 26 years.
“There are some really special people here. I had heard a lot of good things about St. Jude, but coming here far exceeded anything I’d heard. Immediately, although you know that there is a huge struggle going on here with children fighting for their lives, there’s a happiness here. St. Jude has done a great job of creating an environment that exudes happiness and joy. County music is an extension of country culture and it’s all about family. Family is huge and when someone’s sick, you pull together. The country family, while not blood, is still family, and when asked to help St. Jude, the family joined the fight.” said Sam Hunt.
Artist attendees included: Chase Bryant, Logan Mize, Cam Ochs, Josh Dorr, Kelsea Ballerini, John King, Jackie Lee, Craig Campbell, Randy Owen, Gloriana, Josh Abbott Band, Sam Hunt, Canaan Smith, Mickey Guyton, Steve Lee Olsen, Rachele Lynae, A Thousand Horses, The Band Perry, Seth Alley, Waterloo Revival, Native Run, Mo Pitney, Ruthie Collins, Dylan Scott, Craig Wayne Boyd, Olivia Lane.
“We’ve been blown away by the support of country music for St. Jude. Country music – and country music fans – they just have this huge heart for the needs of other” shared Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry. Neil added “You see, time after time, that the country fans see a need . . . and they always rise to the occasion. St. Jude doesn’t feel like a hospital. It feels like a family.” Reid said “St. Jude offers so much support for the family as well. They take a lot of care in helping the family as well as the patient.”
Because of fundraising programs like Country Cares for St. Jude Kids®, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.