Rascal Flatts honored with ‘Walk of Champions’ starApr. 4, 2019, 9:05 AM
by Paige Turner
Legendary vocal group Rascal Flatts was honored with a star on the Walk of Champions at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for the band’s longtime commitment to patients and families. Presenting the award were representatives from Live Nation and Children’s Hospital.
The Walk of Champions, located on the main floor of the hospital, was created to honor lifelong advocates for Children’s Hospital within the entertainment industry. Each year, a new member of the community is inducted.
For more than a decade, Rascal Flatts members Jay DeMarcus, Joe Don Rooney and Gary LeVox have donated their time and resources to support Children’s Hospital. They’ve spent hours performing for patients, visiting hospital rooms and doing interviews at the hospital’s Seacrest Studio.
“We are honored to join Live Nation for the induction of Rascal Flatts into the Walk of Champions, celebrating their incredible dedication to the patients and families at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,” said John W. Brock III, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, Director of the Division of Urology and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor. “Jay, Joe Don and Gary are great friends to our hospital and could not be more deserving of this recognition. We cannot thank them enough for everything they do for our patients. Supporters like Rascal Flatts allow us to further advance the scope and quality of the world-class services we offer children in our region and across the country.”
For 11 years, Rascal Flatts hosted Behind the Music, a fundraising event for the hospital, and most recently they have hosted the annual Rascal Flatts Celebrity Golf Classic, now in its third year. These events have raised millions of dollars for Children’s Hospital, which renamed its pediatric surgery center The Rascal Flatts Surgery Center in 2010.
“When I look back over everything we’ve been able to do in our careers, this is one of the things that I will carry with me until the day that I’m no longer here and be most proud of,” said Jay DeMarcus. “You start to talk about things like a legacy and being able to do things that will last and leave a mark, and we could not have picked any better family, any better place to have been involved with than all of our people who we love so much at this wonderful hospital.”
The celebrations included the Center Stage Gala, a special event created to celebrate Rascal Flatts and this honor.
Presented by Live Nation, the gala took place at Ascend Amphitheatre and featured CMT’s Cody Alan as master of ceremonies, a performance by Jeffrey Steele and a surprise appearance from Vince Gill. Funds raised benefited A Campaign Against Childhood Cancer at Children’s Hospital.
It was an emotional evening as Brock thanked Rascal Flatts for their generosity, and a childhood cancer survivor spoke about the impact Rascal Flatts had on her hospital stay. A video shown during the program featured friends and family commenting on the group’s philanthropy, along with Children’s Hospital patients and staff members thanking them for their support.
Brian O’Connell, president of country music touring at Live Nation, presented Rascal Flatts with a replica of the permanent star on the Walk of Champions.
“This celebration is specifically designed to honor those who go above and beyond the call of philanthropy and really make a mark on the lives of others,” said O’Connell.
“It is with great humility that we at Live Nation award Rascal Flatts with a star on the Walk of Champions to permanently recognize their selfless dedication to the children and families at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.”