Toby Keith’s Philanthropic Heart Earns Him Prestigious Arnie Award
Toby Keith is being recognized for his philanthropic work. Earlier this week, he received the Golf Digest’s Arnie Award at…
Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA
Toby Keith is being recognized for his philanthropic work. Earlier this week, he received the Golf Digest’s Arnie Award at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. The top honor, named for the late Arnold Palmer’s commitment to charity, also went out to tour pro Jordan Spieth and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young.
Throughout the years, Keith has used his love of golf to make a difference in people’s lives. His annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic has raised over $13 million for The Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral, which provides a cost-free home for sick children and families seeking treatment in Oklahoma City area hospitals.
In a recent interview, Keith talked about his passion for the OK Kids Korral operation, explaining why he initially felt compelled to help children battling cancer.
“My guitar player from before I had a record deal eventually became my road manager. He got married and had two kids. One of them at age 2 had a tumor,” Keith told the Golf Digest. “I had been donating all of my efforts and money to St. Jude’s, which is an incredible organization. I called in a favor, and they took her but weren’t able to save her. Her mother said later she didn’t have anything with her when they arrived. St. Jude’s told her, ‘Here’s your room, here’s some Walmart cards, here’s some food 24/7.’ They didn’t charge her a penny.”
“That led me to realize that’s what we needed in Oklahoma City,” he continued. “Kids with cancer and their families come here for free. We feed them, shuttle them, whatever it takes. People have really gotten on board with it.”
A consistent fixture at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Keith has made plenty of memories while out on the golf course. Along with raising money for charity, he previously came up with an idea for a song while playing a round of golf with Clint Eastwood at the event.
Keith was inspired to write 2018’s “Don’t Let The Old Man In” after seeking out life advice from Eastwood. Already, the track, which can be found on his latest album, Toby Keith Greatest Hits; The Show Dog Years, has been featured in Eastwood’s critically praised film, The Mule. Now, Willie Nelson, who previously covered the tune, will be including his performance of the song on his as yet unannounced album.
Toby Keith’s well-deserved Arnie Award comes on the heels of his recently announced 2020 Country Comes To Town tour, which takes the name of his 20-year old, self-penned smash hit, “Country Comes To Town.” The trek, which begins May 1, at Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida, currently runs through September with more dates to be added.
See the current list of Country Comes To Town tour dates below.
5/1 Estero, FL – Hertz Arena
5/2 Live Oak, FL – Suwannee River Jam
6/ 4 Utica, NY – Adirondack Bank Center
6/ 5 Big Flats, NY – Summer Stage at Tag’s
6/6 Wantagh NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach
6/19 Billings, MT – MetraPark First Interstate Arena
6/20 Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
6/ 21 Grand Junction, CO – Country Jam Colorado
6/ 25 Oshkosh, WI – Country USA
7/26 Topeka, KS – Heartland Stampede
7/27 North Platte, NE – NebraskaLand Days
7/ 10 Salinas, CA Salinas – Sports Complex
7/11Sparks, NV – Nugget Event Center
7/16LaPorte, IN – LaPorte County Fair
7/18 Fort Polk, LA – Freedom Fest
7/23 Bismarck, ND – Bismarck Event Center
7/24 Winnipeg, MB – Bell MTS Place
7/ 25 Thunder Bay, ON – Country on the Bay
8/ 8 Arcadia, WI – Ashley for the Arts
8/ 9 Jackson, MI – Jackson County Fair
8/16 Springfield, IL – Illinois State Fair
9/3 Allentown, PA – Allentown Fair
9/4 Gilford, NH – Bank of NH Pavilion
9/5 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
9/6 Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.