TWISTER RELIEF CONCERT RAISES APPROXIMATELY $2 MILLION
LOCAL EFFORTS TO RECOVER FROM DEVASTATING TORNADOES
WAY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA RECEIVES DONATIONS
RECORD BREAKING EVENT FOR MAY TORNADOES RELIEF FUND
(Norman, OK) With a record breaking sold-out crowd, the
Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert raised the spirits of more than 60,000
fans and in total raised approximately $2 million, with donations still
being tallied, that will be donated directly to tornado relief through
the United Way of Central Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Relief Fund. This
money will go to local recovery efforts in the wake of a series of
devastating tornadoes that hit the area in May 2013.
The star studded line up for the eight-hour concert event
that took place on July 6 in Norman, Oklahoma included Toby Keith, Garth
Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Dunn, Mel
Tillis, John Anderson, Krystal Keith, Kellie Coffey, Wade Hayes and
Carrie Underwood (via Satellite from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville).
Television personality Storme Warren emceed the day. Also on hand to help
introduce artists were Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, former University of
Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer, current
University of Oklahoma football head coach Bob Stoops and University of
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione. Capping the Independence Day
week, the night ended with a spectacular 10-minute fireworks display.
Held at the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord Family -
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the event marked the largest number of paid
attendees for a concert in the stadium's history. Many of those attending
were directly effected by the multiple tornadoes that hit the state in
May including the deadly twisters that touched down in Shawnee, El Reno
and the EF5 tornado that destroyed much of Moore, which proudly touts
itself as the home of Toby Keith (as proclaimed on a water tower that
survived the storm).
Keeping the meaning of the day in focus, the artists continued
to emphasize the message of community and strength in interviews
backstage, with Keith quoted as saying, "Everybody's here for the
right reasons, and it's gonna be a big show for Oklahoma...and it's gonna
take care of some people for a long time." Brooks added,
"Everyone outside of Oklahoma, I'd like them to know that this is
where resilience lives."
Ford Trucks, Verizon
Wireless, Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives, and Walmart came on
board as sponsors. In addition to these sponsors, more sponsorship
donations, underwriting of the concert and donated services from
suppliers and vendors from all over the country allowed the net proceeds
of tickets (after tax and credit card fees) to benefit the United Way of
Central Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
Donations are still being accepted online via the United Way
home page at www.unitedwayokc.org.
To give by credit card, call 405-523-3598, 405-523-3597, or the United
Way of Central Oklahoma's main number: 405-236-8441. Checks may be mailed
to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK
73101 with notation for May Tornadoes Relief.
Verizon Wireless also offered text-to-donate capability
before, during and after the benefit concert. Customers of any wireless carrier donated by texting the keyword REBUILD
to 52000, giving an automatic $10 donation to the United
Way of Central Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Relief Fund. Verizon Wireless
customers were limited to five text donations.