Charitable Artist Profile: Toby Keith
Toby Keith is one busy man, having released 19 studio albums, two Christmas albums, five compilation albums, and 61 charting country singles. Somehow though, he's found the time to give back by starting a foundation for pediatric cancer patients, supporting military service members and veterans, and more. Find out more about Keith's charitable efforts over the years in this Bright Star International artist profile.
Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral
Keith’s foundation was founded to encourage the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients. Through this foundation, the OK Kids Korral was created in 2014 as a free, comfortable home-away-from-home in Oklahoma City for children receiving cancer treatments at OU Medical Center, Peggy & Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, and other nearby facilities. Families can stay at the facility between treatments to minimize hassle and make the treatments easier on the child. The Korral has twelve private suites, four daytime rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, a game room, movie theater, a neutropenic wing for children with weakened immune systems, and more. If you might be interested in volunteering at the OK Kids Korral, find out more here. For more ways to support the Korral, click here.
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a not-for-profit that supports service members and veterans who have suffered a physical or mental injury during their military service on or after September 11, 2001. The organization fills in the gaps in government care by providing free programs and services to tens of thousands of wounded warriors. In late 2015, Keith created two PSAs, multiple social media posts, and custom video content to raise awareness of the organization. Keith also made a financial contribution to WWP, saying, “I’m honored to give back to these brave men and women who risk their lives for our country every day. Wounded Warrior Project shows their commitment to this nation’s wounded service members with their programs and services that save lives and positively impact this nation’s injured veterans. It’s a privilege to be part of their mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.”
Twister Relief Concert
When spring storms carved a 17-mile path of destruction through an Oklahoma City suburb, causing $1 billion in damage, Keith hosted a 6-hour benefit concert to raise money for those affected. Keith’s event featured artists like Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Sammy Hagar, and Carrie Underwood. The show was held at the University of Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium and broke the venue’s record for the largest number of paid attendees, with over 60,000 people in attendance. Overall, the show raised about $2 million for the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornado Relief Fund.
Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic
This April, Keith hosted his 14th annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic, which is attended by roughly 750 people each year. The fundraiser supports his OK Kids Korral Foundation. The two-day event includes a gala dinner, musical performances, a celebrity golf tournament, and an auction with celebrity memorabilia. In 2015, Keith was generous enough to donate a week-long stay for five couples in his beach house to the auction. In 2016, the event raised an incredible $1.175 million for the Korral.
Visiting Troops in Afghanistan
A dedicated supporter of the United Service Organizations (USO) which supports American military service members, Keith has participated in several USO tours over the years to visit troops. in 2009, he sacrificed his role in the film Provinces of Night to play a 17-show USO/Armed Forces Entertainment Tour. In honor of his long-time support of the military, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Military Officers Association of America in 2009.
On his continued military support, Keith says, “There aren’t enough words to describe just how grateful I am to our nation’s troops. I’ve participated in several USO tours over the years, and I’ve seen firsthand their sacrifice. And I will not stop doing all I can to show my support and lift their spirits.”
Red River Celebrity Charity Softball Game
A week ago, celebrities played ball with combat veterans from various military branches at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas to raise money for the Lone Survivor Foundation. The Red River Celebrity Charity Softball Softball Game pitted alumni from the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma against each other to raise money for a good cause. Keith played on Oklahoma University’s team alongside NFL stars Tommie Harris, Mark Clayton, and Joaquin Iglesias. The inaugural event raised $30,000 in sponsorships alone.