After hearing about the positive impact a new Ronald McDonald House would have on the community, Kent Dunn, general manager of Beasley Broadcasting, made the decision to choose Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta as the beneficiary of the Lady Antebellum concert, for this year’s Kicks 99’s Hooked on Country event.
“It was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up,” said Kent, “for our event to ultimately benefit the new House that the community so well deserves.”
HOWEVER, WITH the threat of severe weather in the forecast, we made the decision to change venues. The band, its management and the promoter (AEG) all were on board because we knew that the opportunity to raise this money for the house through this concert could happen only on this date.
Once the decision for the venue change was made, we immediately headed to the James Brown Arena for a series of meetings over the next five hours to discuss seating, set-up, the VIP area, vendors, sponsors and other logistics. Global Spectrum’s staff, including General Manager Chris Bird, was extremely instrumental in making this transition smooth and effective for all parties. He gave us everything we asked for, within reason, including a free venue to make sure the show would have a significant fund-raising impact on the new Ronald McDonald House.
If you have ever organized a concert, you understand the needs from the promoter, band, venue and staff to make it happen seamlessly for the crowd. Global Spectrum made the necessary calls to more than 75 stagehands to prepare the sound and lights, and to food and beverage staff; sent updated press releases; and combined ticketing systems without asking for additional funds.
AT 7:30 P.M. April 29 – only 32 hours since the venue change – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta President and CEO Betts Murdison, special guest Haley Peeples and I welcomed 6,017 people to the show. The support shown to our charity through this experience was immeasurable, and could not have happened without this community coming together to make a difference.
Thank you to Lady Antebellum, radio station WKXZ (Kicks 99), Global Spectrum and the CSRA for stepping up to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta and help us work toward completing our goal of building a new house to serve more families!
(The writer is development director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta.)