The concert billed as Country Cares, headlined by country superstar Dierks Bentley, packed the house at Tim’s Toyota Center (TCC) in Prescott Valley Monday night raising nearly half a million dollars for the victims of the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Money raised came from ticket sales, contribution boxes in the arena, and a VIP meet-and-greet session with Bentley and fellow performers David Nail, Randy Houser, and The Band Perry.
An impromptu auction in the arena kicked in an additional $50,000 when Fender Guitar donated a new custom guitar to be auctioned. As the bidding war between two fans escalated, Bentley offered up the guitar he was playing if both bidders would commit to $25,000 each. The names of the bidders were not released.
Country Cares originated with a text message to Bentley from a KAFF Country (92.9 FM) on-air personality Jenny Woodcock soon after 19 Granite Mountain firefighters lost their lives on June 30.
Bentley took the only day off from his current tour to return to his home state, bringing his fellow musicians in tow.
As the concert wound down, Bentley, Woodcock, and Brendan McDonough, the sole remaining member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, took the stage to present a check for more than $442,000 raised during the show.
A release from The Greenroom PR, the producers of the show, later upped the total to more than $476,000.
“This was fantastic, it was electric”, said David Kredell, Chief of Marketing and Sales Director for TCC. “This was a great representation of our community. Dierks Bentley and the other performers really showed their true colors, their true spirit tonight and became part of our community.”
Kredell said that RDO Equipment of Prescott, a longtime sponsor of events at TCC, purchased a luxury suite for McDonough and his family as soon as tickets went on sale.
“That just shows how committed this community and our businesses were to making this night a success,” said Kredell.
Tickets for the show went on sale July 12, with all 6,100 seats selling out in the first few hours. Gary Spiker, General Manager of TCC, said fans began lining up hours before the doors opened for the July 22 show.
Along with Greenroom and KAFF, other sponsors included KMLE Country 107.9 FM.
A statement from Greenroom said that “All money raised from the event will go to the United Phoenix Firefighters Charities who will directly distribute to the families of the 19 fallen firefighters.”
Download the Press Release from Greenroom.
Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo. All photos by Matt Santos/MPS