MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Cheers from the crowd roared as country music star Chris Cagle stopped mid-concert to personally donate $1,000 in support of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Fisher House.
The concert, in conjunction with Marine Chevrolet Cadillac of Jacksonville and local Piggly Wiggly stores, raised money for Fisher House, July 21.
A goal of between $12,500 and $15,000 was established for the event, which was surpassed by the $25,000 raised through ticket sales and donation buckets passed throughout the concert.
A cowboy hat, signed by Cagle during the concert, was auctioned to raise even more money for the Fisher House.
“For me, not ever serving in the military bothered me a lot. I think the reason I didn’t is because I did not have any direction as a young man,” said Cagle. “Now when I get to go to forward operating bases or travel overseas to visit troops in places like Sol, Bahrain or Hawaii, it’s my way of saying thank you. If it were not for freedom, democracy and what this country stands for, I would not have been able to come from where I came from and end up where I’m at.”
All concessions at the concert were free, to encourage patrons to make donations in support of Fisher House.
Patrons also had the opportunity to participate in a 50-50 raffle which gave half of the winnings to a lucky winner and the other to Fisher House. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson won the raffle and donated half of their winnings back to Fisher House.
“If you don’t have any money you can still eat, but everything donated goes directly to the Fisher House,” said Tommy Pittman, the produce director for Piggly Wiggly grocery stores. “We didn’t allow anyone out here that was looking to sell their products.”
Pittman stated the event originated as a small fundraiser, but through growing interest more people joined in helping Fisher House and the concert was planned. He added because of the event’s success so far, it’s likely going to turn into an annual event.
Fisher House’s purpose is to provide a home away from home for spouses and family members of service members receiving care at local military and Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
“I cherish all our military and Department of Defense personnel, but I am very closely tied in my heart to the Marine Corps, because of my birthday on November 10th,” said Cagle.