It’s just like Toby Keith to give back. The singer held his13th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic earlier this month in his hometown of Norman, Okla. The event raised $1.175 million for Toby’s OK Kids Korral Foundation.
The two-day event kicked off with a gala dinner headlined by country band Asleep at the Wheel, followed by a celebrity golf tournament and an auction to round out the evening. Top auction items included a golf package that visits five Irish castles, a South African rifle and bow hunt, a signed and framed piece from the estate of Ronald and Nancy Reagan and a rare signed album by Elvis Presley.
But it was 7-year-old Buddy Meade, who spoke at the event, and his mother Louisa that benefited on a personal level. Buddy, who has been residing at the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral for the last eight months, has been fighting and winning a battle with leukemia. The cost-free residence at the Kids Korral has allowed Buddy and his mom to focus on treatment in Oklahoma City.
“Two days before the event, we didn’t know if Buddy would be out of the hospital to speak at the event,” said Juliet Nees-Bright, executive director of the Toby Keith Foundation. “He not only attended the event, but showed up in his warrior tie full of strength and courage.”
Also earning high bids during the auction was sports memorabilia donated by Cam Newton, the Chicago Bulls, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Peyton Manning, Roger Clemens, the Boston Red Sox, Mia Hamm, Greg Jennings, Eli Manning, Nolan Ryan and Calvin Johnson, and music items from Jimmy Buffett, Ted Nugent, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, George Lopez, Flaming Lips and Heart.
Learn more about the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral here.