Colt Ford and a few of his friends raised over $85,000 during a benefit show at the Georgia Theater on August 16. Colt, Rhett Akins, Jason Aldean, Dallas Davidson, Mike Dekle, Edwin McCain, James Otto, and surprise guests Brantley Gilbert, Rachel Farley, and Corey Smith came together during the ‘Colt Ford and Friends’ concert that raised funds for families of fallen Senior Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian and wounded Senior Officer Tony Howard.
‘Colt Ford and Friends’ brought more than 200 people to a private reception and silent auction at the Hotel Indigo’s Rialto Room for a pre-show celebration. 1,100 fans filled the Georgia Theatre later on for an evening featuring the artists ‘in the round’ with Colt’s band backing them. The concert came about after Colt learned of the shooting in his community earlier this year that left his high school friend, Senior Officer Howard, injured and resulted in the death of Senior Officer Christian. Colt organized the fundraiser in less than a month.
“I want to say thank you to all of my friends who helped us have such a special night in my hometown,” Colt said. “To all the artists who joined in to perform or who donated items to help raise money, y’all are amazing, and I am thankful to call you all friends. This could not have happened without y’all.”
Autographed guitars from Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, and Carrie Underwood, an autographed stage shirt from Keith Urban, ticket and meet-and-greet packages from Jason and Eric Church, Adams Golf clubs, an autographed R.E.M. package, autographed merchandise from Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock and NASCAR’s David Ragan, a TravAmerica vacation to Cancun from Janice Brockmeyer and a luxury stay in the Hotel Indigo Athens’ Presidential Suite were among the items donated to the auction.
Of the many special moments of the night, one of the most memorable was Colt, Jason and Brantley’s performance of the No. 1 hit “Dirt Road Anthem,” co-written by Brantley and Colt. “The first time we ever did this song was me and Brantley right here [on the Georgia Theatre stage],” Colt said. “But thank you for taking this song to No. 1 for us!” he added to Jason.
“I want to thank these two guys right here for writing this song,” Jason said. “It was a hit before I ever recorded it, so thank you both.” The rendition opened with Aldean performing the first verse, followed by Colt and Brantley’s twist on the second and third verses.
The evening closed after nearly three hours of music, with Colt thanking the crowd for their support. “A very special ‘thank you’ to all fans that came out to show and have been praying for the families and this community,” he said. “I love y’all so much.”
Colt will present a check to NobleHeroes, a nonprofit organization created to assist the honorable men and women of public safety in America, on August 22 in Athens, Georgia. All the proceeds from the silent auction, tickets, and donations will go to the families of the officers. Visit www.nobleheroes.org for more information.