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Vince Gill to play OMRF cancer research benefit

Country music superstar and Oklahoma native Vince Gill has earned a reputation for playing benefit concerts for a variety of causes.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: June 24, 2014
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Vince Gill often finds himself jumping aboard someone else’s “passion wagon,” a habit that has gained him an unusual nickname.

“Benefit.”

The Oklahoma native has become almost as well-known for playing benefit concerts for causes ranging from cancer and Alzheimer's research to tornado and flood relief to mental health and junior golf programs as he has for his hit songs like “I Still Believe in You,” “When I Call Your Name” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” Because of his many charitable efforts, he has been honored in recent years with the Will Rogers Spirit Award in his home state and the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award, along with his wife, Amy Grant, in their adopted home state of Tennessee.

“I think if everybody would help, everything would be a lot better in the world. You know, if everybody was willing to help somebody else out,” Gill said in a phone interview last week from Nashville. “The way all of this stuff generally ends up working is you just kind of jump on somebody else’s passion wagon, so to speak. They’re all about this or that or this or that and I’m ‘OK I’ll help you out. I can do that.’ Why not? Why wouldn’t you wanna help your brothers and sisters out a little bit?”

At the behest of a relative, Gill, 57, is returning to Oklahoma City to perform next week at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s third annual “241: Two Events for One Great Cause.” The two-day invitation-only event will feature a food and wine festival and performance by Gill on Sunday and a golf tournament Monday, all to benefit cancer research in Oklahoma.

"The excitement has been building in anticipation of watching Oklahoma's own Vince Gill perform live,” said Penny Voss, the vice president of development at OMRF, in an email.

"Our sponsors have really stepped up this year to support our efforts to bring more dollars and awareness to OMRF's expanding cancer research program. And — the best part — every dollar raised will stay right here in Oklahoma!"

Homecoming opportunity

For Gill, who was born in Norman and grew up in Oklahoma City, playing the charity event is giving him the chance to return to his hometown, where his mother, Jerene Gill, still lives.

“It’s just the best feeling. I wanna be coming home more than just about anything I do. I don’t do it enough, and my mom will read that and laugh in my face and say, ‘Yeah, you don’t ever come home,’” he said. “I keep a pretty busy plate. You know, I wish that I didn’t, but that’s the way I’m wired and I just run and go harder than I probably should. But when I do get to go home it’s sure a great feeling.”

He continues to tour, including in his home state: He’ll also play a sold-out show July 18 at Riverwind Casino in Norman, and The Time Jumpers, the acclaimed Western swing band he took up with about four years ago, has booked a Sept. 7 gig at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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HOW TO HELP

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Vince Gill is playing Sunday at “241: Two Events for One Great Cause,” a two-day invitation-only event benefiting Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s cancer research efforts in Oklahoma. To donate to the cause, go to omrf.org/how-you-can-help or call 271-7400.

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