Toby Keith Spends Part of ‘Bad Month’ Helping Others
Toby Keith knows something about weathering tough times caused by uncontrollable circumstances.Toby lost all his touring gear and stage equipment as the result of Nashville flood, encountered a fierce sandstorm during his latest USO tour, and returned to his Oklahoma home the day before tornadoes spun through the area.
"Well, we've had a bad month, but ... we're fortunate," Toby tells News OK, noting his gear was insured, he found shelter in a tent city with troops during the sandstorm, and his home was untouched by the tornadoes. "You can't do anything about the will of God."
Toby also feels fortunate to be pitching in to help Oklahoma pediatric cancer patients and their families touched by dire circumstances. "I think taking care of people like that is the best way to give back, especially when kids are involved," says the superstar. "I think it's important also when you do a charity that your heart's all the way in it."
Toby hosted his annual golf classic over the weekend to primarily benefit the Toby Keith Foundation's planned OK Kids Korral, a 16-room guest lodge that will house pediatric cancer patients and their families, located on the grounds of the Oklahoma University Medical Center.
The event kicked off with a capital campaign to raise the $5.5 million to build the 30,000-square-foot facility with targeted completion by 2010. The lodge is a spin-off of Toby's work with Ally's House, a Norman-based nonprofit aiding Oklahoma children with cancer and their families.
"Ally's House is doing so well, and I'm really proud of it," says Toby. "We still donate heartily to Ally's House, and they're still a big part of our organization. But we're more focused on building the lodge."
The charity event kicked off with a private concert, dinner and auction in Norman. Toby and comic Larry the Cable Guy co-hosted the evening, which featured live music from outlaw country singer David Allan Coe and others.
Toby is continuing his American Ride tour. His next concert is May 29 in Fort Knox, Ky., with dates scheduled until Sept. 25 in Boston, Mass.