Darius Rucker's annual Darius & Friends benefit concert, golf tournament and silent auction for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital raised $516,000 for the facility earlier this week in Nashville. This brings Darius' total donation to St. Jude to more than $3 million due to this event.
He tells us: ["I mean, it's really crazy to see how Darius & Friends how far it's come because we started it 13 years ago now and it's funny, we decided to do it on a Monday because we had nothing going on Monday the week of CMA Fest and so we decided to do it then and now it's kind of like the unofficial kickoff and to raise $500,000 this year and have it to be the biggest year and it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year, that's pretty awesome and that's exactly what we wanted to do."] SOUNDCUE (:28 OC: . . . wanted to do.)
A sold-out audience at the Ryman Auditorium on Monday (June 6th) was treated to performances by Sheryl Crow, Lindsay Ell, Sara Evans, Caylee Hammack and Rachel Wammack, along with Darius.
Reflecting on his first visit to the hospital in 2008, Darius told the crowd, “I’m talking to one administrator and she said, ‘when you bring your kid to St. Jude, we fly you in, we put you up, we feed you and we never send you a bill.’ I started talking to people there and it’s true. That day I said, I want to do something to help. I’m doing this for St. Jude – thank you guys for coming out!”
Darius took the main stage at Nissan Stadium last night (Thursday, June 9th) which was the first official night of the four-day event.