Carrie Underwood surprises Checotah students with musical instrument donation
Carrie Underwood at the 2009 ACM Awards (Associated Press photo)
As reported earlier this morning, Oklahoma country star Carrie Underwood returned to Checotah today to announce a donation of musical instruments to her hometown school district.
Here’s more information in the form of a news release from the Academy of Country Music, who partnered with Underwood in making the donation:
Carrie Underwood’s new hometown foundation, the Checotah Animal, Town and School Foundation (C.A.T.S.) and the Academy of Country Music’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives partnered to surprise students today in Checotah, Oklahoma with a gift valued at more than $117,000 in new instruments for their music programs-and a special appearance and performance by ACM Entertainer of the Year, Underwood.
Music students district-wide were invited to a special “last-minute” assembly at Checotah High School, with buses bringing Checotah Intermediate School and Checotah Middle School in for the occasion. Students and faculty alike were surprised when Checotah High Principal Brian Terry introduced Underwood to the stage, alongside Erin Spahn, Director of ACM Lifting Lives.
Spahn and Underwood then unveiled the gift, including an electric guitar and amp, electric piano and brass instruments such as saxophones, French horns, tubas and much more. The instruments will be shared throughout the Checotah school district, and were ordered through Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs at a special philanthropic price.
During the presentation, Underwood asked fifth-grader Kennedee Rittenhouse to join her onstage to perform “So Small,” a performance that brought the house down. Checotah High School senior Brooke Ramsey, student council president, presented Underwood and Spahn with a bouquet of roses to thank the organizations for the gift.
“We are so lucky as a school district and a town to have an ambassador like Carrie,” said Brian Terry, Principal of Checotah High School. “She was Valedictorian here and continues to be an outstanding citizen of Checotah. Today was a very special day for the students and faculty.”
“When Carrie came to us with this idea, it just seemed a natural fit,” said Erin Spahn, who met with Underwood earlier this summer to plan the gift. “The Board of ACM Lifting Lives liked the concept so well, we’ve decided to build on it. Every year, we will present a matching gift opportunity to the ACM Entertainer of the Year for any endeavor that uplifts through the power of music. Carrie started that ball rolling, and we’re really proud to be a part of this with her today.”
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