Thursday night's torrential downpour of rain in Middle Tennessee didn't stop Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels from raising money for our nation's military veterans. The second Veteran Impact Celebration generated more than $150,000 for MTSU's (Middle Tennessee State University) Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center (Daniels Center).
"Nobody has a bigger heart for the veterans and the folks at the Center," says Daniels. "It's where our veterans can be together. It's state-of-the-art, hands-on, active, it's a wonderful thing. I'd like to see it at all the colleges. There's a lot that goes on there. I'm amazed."
The fundraiser held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at The Grove at Williamson Place featured live performances by student veterans as well as several guest speakers including Daniels and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber, MTSU Senior Adviser for Veterans and Leadership Initiatives. Rising country artist Rachel Lipsky also performed.
During the event, the legendary singer, his manager David Corlew, and retired Major General Terry "Max" Haston (on behalf of their veterans non-profit The Journey Home Project) presented a $100,000 check to the Daniels Center.
"We are very honored to be a part of the wonderful team that created the Daniels Center," notes Corlew. "They have accomplished much in the process of reintegration of veterans back into civilian life. Changing veterans' lives is our goal."
Later in the evening, Daniels delivered remarks and performed "Long Haired Country Boy," and gospel classic "How Great Thou Art." Daniels was also awarded a Key to the City by Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland.
The Daniels Center is the largest and most comprehensive veterans center on any Tennessee higher education campus. It enables the campus' 1000-plus student-veteran population to have a one-stop shop to meet a variety of academic needs. The 3,200-square-foot center is located in the Keathley University Center, right in the heart of the MTSU campus. The center is a place for MTSU's student veterans to study, to gather and to get help from fellow veterans, who serve as peer advisers and sponsors. The Transitioning Home Office assists student veterans - or any student - in making the transition from being a college student to getting their career underway. The second Veteran Impact Celebration was sponsored by The Journey Home Project, Nashville-based Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Censis Technologies Inc, Dollar General, Steel Barrel Brewing Company, The Grove at Williamson Place, Stones River Total Beverages and Mission BBQ.