Thursday, June 03, 2010

Toby Keith Event Raises Almost $600,000

The final accounting is still underway in Norman, Oklahoma and the numbers are staggering as the seventh annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic counts the proceeds.

Comprised of a dinner/auction/concert and golf tournament the following day, the event has raised almost $3,000,000 since its inception for Oklahoma's children battling cancer and their families.

The perennially sold-out gathering was standing-room-only yet again on May 21-22, with co-emcee Larry The Cable Guy keeping the crowd in stitches and event namesake Toby Keith jumping on stage to perform with headliner David Allan Coe. Surprise guest, and Show Dog-Universal Music label mate, Phil Vassar also took the stage to rock the house for a few songs.

Top draws in the auction included dinner for 20 with Toby Keith. As it did last year, the meal generated such interest that Keith agreed to do two dinners, one for each of the top bidders at $28,000 a piece. A Super Bowl package went for $16,000 and top silent auction items included a canvas of Keith featuring the lyrics to "Cryin' For Me (Wayman's Song) that went for $3,900, Vikings and Jets Brett Favre jerseys at $4,100 and a Cal Ripken, Jr. package that brought in $3,500. Pros For Africa and Whitten-Newman Foundation Co-Founder Reggie Whitten donated a custom Triumph Rocket III motorcycle autographed by NFL stars Tommie Harris (Bears), Adrian Peterson (Vikings), Roy Williams (Bengals) and Mark Clayton (Ravens). The bike sold for $40,000 and Whitten intends to make the cycle donation an annual occurrence because, in his words, "Triumph" is exactly what he wants the sick children of Oklahoma to do.

Proceeds from this year's event will help fund the OK Kids Korral 16-room guest lodge, which will house pediatric cancer patients and their families on the grounds of Oklahoma University Medical Center. With completion expected in 2012, the 30,000 sq. ft. facility will be a haven of respite for families of young children struggling through cancer treatments.

Visit the Foundation website for full details.

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