Reba McEntire headlines benefit concert
Country stars Reba McEntire and Clay Walker are the latest big-name entertainers to lend a hand in raising money to help find a cure for blood cancers.
They will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Expo Hall on the grounds of the AT&T Center.
The seventh annual Kickin’ for a Kure raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which provides services and research for 92 counties.
Kickin’ for a Kure concerts, which donate 100 percent of the proceeds, have raised more than $350,000.
The event will be the first at the Expo Hall after six years at the historic Kosciusko Hall near Stockdale. It moved to accommodate larger crowds.
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Artists who have performed at the benefit include Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Dwight Yoakam, Lee Brice, Robert Earl Keen, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Aaron Watson and Billy Currington.
McEntire, one of country music’s most beloved singers and its most popular female artist in the 1980s and ’90s, will choose from a large catalog of hit singles, including “If You See Him/If You See Her,” “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” “Does He Love You,” “For My Broken Heart,” “New Fool at an Old Game” and “Whoever’s in New England.”
She also starred in “Reba,” a sitcom that lives on in reruns, and numerous television shows and films, including the cult classic “Tremors.”
In February, she released “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope,” a double-disc of religious standards and modern Christian music.
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Walker’s string of No. 1 hits and Top 5 singles reaches back to 1993, when “Live Until I Die” and “What’s It to You” topped Billboard’s country chart.
The Beaumont native’s other hits include “Dreaming With My Eyes Open,” “If I Could Make a Living” and “Rumor Has It.”
Walker has been singing songs from an upcoming album. His last was 2010’s “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.”
The host of “Trophy Hunters TV” on the Outdoor Channel has been battling multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years. His non-profit Band Against MS has raised more than $4.5 million to fight the nervous system disease.
Kickin’ for the Kure was founded by Gary Moy of Falls City, whose wife of 28 years, Darlene, died nine years ago of complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia.
He and his family and friends decided to put on a concert as a way to give back and thank the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society along with the Methodist Bone Marrow Transplant Hospital.
“The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers while improving the lives of patients and their families through patient services,” Moy told me a while back. “They assisted my family along with countless others here in South Texas throughout our cancer journey.
“If this benefit will help prolong the quality of life for one patient it will be worth it.”
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Unlike other some other fundraisers, there will be no auctions to interrupt the entertainment.
But Kickin’ for a Kure features the world’s largest three-hole, double elimination washer tournament before the concert. It garnered that title two years ago by landing in Guinness World Records with 219 teams.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. so concert-goers can watch.
Teams still can enter the day of the event for $125. For details, search Facebook for Kickin’ for the Kure washer tournament.
Last year $6,000 in cash was awarded along with other prizes.
The Emotions, a popular variety band closing in on 40 years of entertaining across Texas, will perform from 5 to 8 p.m.
Based in Shiner, the Emotions perform a mix of hot songs from the 1980s through today along with classics.
John Goodspeed is a freelance writer. Email him at email@example.com.