NORMAN — Toby Keith’s Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on July 6 raised approximately $2 million — with donations still being tallied — that will be donated directly to tornado relief through the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
This money will go to local recovery efforts in the wake of a series of devastating tornadoes that hit the area in May 2013.
The star studded line up for the eight-hour concert event that took place at the University of Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium included Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Dunn, Mel Tillis, John Anderson, Krystal Keith, Kellie Coffey, Wade Hayes and Carrie Underwood (via Satellite from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville).
Television personality Storme Warren emceed the day. Also on hand to help introduce artists were Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, former OU and Dallas Cowboys football coach Barry Switzer, current OU football head coach Bob Stoops and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione.
The event marked the largest number of paid attendees for a concert in the stadium’s history, with approximately 60,000 in attendance.
Ford Trucks, Verizon Wireless, Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives, and Walmart came on board as sponsors. In addition to these sponsors, more sponsorship donations, underwriting of the concert and donated services from suppliers and vendors from all over the country allowed the net proceeds of tickets (after tax and credit card fees) to benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
Donations are still being accepted online via the United Way home page at www.unitedwayokc.org. To give by credit card, call 405-523-3598, 405-523-3597, or the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s main number: 405-236-8441. Checks may be mailed to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornadoes Relief
Verizon Wireless also offered text-to-donate capability before, during and after the benefit concert. Customers of any wireless carrier donated by texting the keyword REBUILD to 52000, giving an automatic $10 donation to the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund. Verizon Wireless customers were limited to five text donations.