It may have been country music legend Charlie Daniels’ birthday party, but all of the presents were addressed to military veterans and their families. A total of 290 guests gave an invaluable gift to those who have served our country through the purchase of a table at Charlie Daniels’ birthday bash last night at The Palm restaurant in downtown Nashville, which raised funds for (501)(c) non-profit The Journey Home Project.
“Big-hearted Middle Tennessee turned out again last night and made our event a great success. I love this place, these people and this cause. It’s making a difference,” said Daniels.
In sum, the birthday celebration is estimated to have raised over $100,000 for The Journey Home Project, which assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The organization was co-founded in 2014 by Daniels and board members David Corlew, Ed Hardy and Joe and Mercedez Longever.
It was a star-studded evening complete with a red carpet, white tablecloths, and a five-star surf-and-turf meal from The Palm. Celebrity emcee Storme Warren, radio personality on SiriusXM “The Highway,” hosted as the event’s emcee, and guests enjoyed acoustic performances by rising country star Ryan Weaver, a military veteran and former Blackhawk Helicopter Aviator, as well as country star Chris Young, known for hits such as “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” “I’m Comin’ Over,” and others.
“Taking your birthday and making it a celebration of the military – it’s just so admirable. I have done this event before, and as soon as I get asked to participate, if I’m here I jump at the chance to do it. Obviously I’ve got a lot of military connections in my family, and a lot of the people that are here work with some organizations that I’ve either done shows with or been overseas to visit military with. It’s just such a great thing anytime you get a chance to give back to military and give your time, and The Journey Home Project, what they’re doing with that, it’s truly amazing,” said Young.
Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame member Brenda Lee surprised Daniels, her long-time friend, by showing up and thanking Charlie for all he has done to give back to the troops. She also serenaded him with her own colorful rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Lieutenant General (Retired) Keith M. Huber spoke on behalf of veteran students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and poignantly expressed his gratitude for The Journey Home Project and all is has done for the military community of Nashville and beyond. The school will benefit from funds raised through The Journey Home Project at Charlie Daniels 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam on August 12, 2015 for the completion of its new Veterans and Military Families Center on campus.
“The new Veterans and Military Families Center at MTSU will encourage and facilitate the success of our veterans as they transition out of uniform into academics, and then into future employment opportunities, as they strive to become leaders in the community much like they were in uniform. It will also help to answer all of their questions and give them a place to go where they’re talking to people with a commonality of background, purpose and focus,” Huber said.
A silent auction featuring signed guitars, fiddles, rifles, ammunition, lavish vacation trips, sports memorabilia and much more also helped to contribute to the cause.
For additional information about The Journey Home Project, please visit www.thejourneyhomeproject.org