Toby Keith hits a wall with a sledgehammer at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City on Dec. 3, 2008. The hospital is making improvements to their oncology unit and Keith presented a check for $500,000 from Ally’s House. (Photo by Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman Archives)
For the sixth straight year, Toby Keith has pledged his support for Oklahoma children with cancer by setting June 12-13 as the dates for his 2009 Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic benefiting Ally’s House.
To date, the annual event has raised more than $2.3 million for Ally’s House, which Keith helped establish, according to a news release. The Norman-based nonprofit organization assists pediatric cancer patients and their families throughout Oklahoma.
In a year predicted to be tough for charity events, Keith strongly reaffirmed his support of the cause.
“I will always be committed to these kids,” Keith said in the release. “More of them are diagnosed all the time and they need our help now like never before.”
The two-day affair is a combination of a “Denim and Diamonds” Friday night party and a Saturday golf tournament.
The event will kick off June 12 at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, where golfers and their guests will enjoy great food, live music and the highly anticipated auction. Keith’s auction has a tradition of wowing attendees with the lineup of items up for bid. Last year’s items included a New York City trip with tickets to “Saturday Night Live,” a “Fighter Pilot for a Day” package, PGA passes including air and hotel, and a Seattle trip to join the crew of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.”
Toby Keith and his foundation have been unwavering in their support of Ally’s House, which is named for Allison Webb, daughter of Keith’s friend and original bandmate Scott Webb. Ally died of cancer in August 2003, one month short of her third birthday.
Since the organization began its mission in 2004, Ally’s House has helped the families of nearly 300 children during their cancer treatments. This assistance comes from paying for medical bills, prescriptions, housing, transportation, toys, food, clothing and other critical expenses. This year, the organization will complete major renovations to the oncology ward of The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Improvements include a new playroom, family resource room, infusion room and palliative care room.
For more information, go to www.allyshouse.net.