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Dierks Bentley receives first star on Children’s Hospital’s “Walk of Champions”

Mar. 22, 2018, 9:27 AM

Entertainer Dierks Bentley was the first to receive a star on the new Walk of Champions at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. With Bentley are, from left, Dalton Waggoner, Zamarian Gillespie, Lily Paris and Bentley’s daughter, Jordan. (photo by John Russell)

by Paige Turner

Multi-platinum entertainer and longtime supporter of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Dierks Bentley recently received the first star on the hospital’s newly created “Walk of Champions,” presented by Live Nation.

The Walk of Champions will be located on the main floor of the hospital and is designed to honor lifelong advocates for Children’s Hospital within the entertainment industry. Bentley serves as the inaugural inductee, nominated by Live Nation, for his continued dedication to the patients and families at Children’s Hospital and the community.

During the March 15 Walk of Champions ceremony, John W. Brock III, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief for Children’s Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Professor and Senior Vice President of Pediatric Surgical Services, joined Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital, to congratulate Bentley.

Brian O’Connell, President of Country Music Touring at Live Nation, spoke about Bentley’s leadership and philanthropy.

For a decade, Bentley created and led the Miles and Music for Kids events, which included a celebrity motorcycle ride and concert featuring some of the biggest names in country music. These events raised millions of dollars for Children’s Hospital, supporting multiple programs and making a significant impact on the hospital’s four-floor expansion that is now underway. These contributions have played a pivotal role in enabling more of the community’s young people to find expert, compassionate care.

“Partnering with Live Nation to create the Walk of Champions is an exciting way to acknowledge the generosity and commitment that the entertainment community has shown Children’s Hospital,” said Luke Gregory, CEO of Children’s Hospital.

“We’re thrilled to unveil our first star, and Dierks is so deserving of this recognition. He is a great friend to our hospital and a champion for children’s health, and we feel fortunate to be the recipient of his support.

“Partners like Dierks make it possible for us to provide world-class services for children from across Tennessee and around the country.”

Each year, a new member of the entertainment community will be inducted into the Walk of Champions to celebrate his or her passion for and commitment to Children’s Hospital.

Following the star presentation, Bentley, joined by his daughter, Jordan, visited with patients and families in Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital to play games, take photos and answer patient questions.

The Center Stage Gala, a special evening created to celebrate Bentley and this recognition, took place on the stage of Ascend Amphitheatre that evening.

The event, in its first year, was also presented by Live Nation and featured CMT’s Cody Alan as emcee and a surprise appearance from special guests Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander and Jim Beavers. Funds raised from the gala benefited the Pediatric Cancer Program at Children’s Hospital.

During the event Meg Rush, MD, Chief of Staff and Executive Medical Director of Children’s Hospital, thanked Bentley for his ongoing support of the hospital, and a video shown during the program featured Bentley’s friends and family commenting on his philanthropy, along with Children’s Hospital patients and staff members thanking him for his generosity.

“We would not be able to do what we do at Children’s Hospital and make a meaningful impact in our community and on pediatric healthcare without the incredible support of partners like Dierks Bentley and Live Nation,” Rush said. “We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation to celebrate Dierks with this well-deserved recognition. He is a true champion for our patients and families, and we are grateful for his ongoing support.”

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