Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman Archive
After years of planning and fundraising, The Toby Keith Foundation will celebrate today the grand opening of the OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home away from home for pediatric cancer patients and their families.
“We’ve been working on the Korral for 10 years and we’re finally going to open,” said country music superstar Toby Keith, in a news release.
The 25,000 square-foot state-of-the-art OK Kids Korral has 16 rooms (12 overnight suites that sleep five people and four daytime suites), neutropenic wing for children with weakened immune systems, gourmet kitchen, Oklahoma Route 66 themed indoor play room, Oklahoma themed outdoor playground, game room, a family resource room, laundry room, theater and reflection room.
“Our whole goal is to provide lodging and peace of mind to children battling cancer. To keep them together, focused on healing and not spending hours commuting or going out of state for treatment,” said Toby Keith Foundation Executive Director Juliet Nees-Bright in the release.
Creating a true Oklahoma experience, the house features images of icons only found in the Sooner state such as the blue whale from Catoosa and the round barn from Arcadia, as well as a one-of-a kind glass sculpture with Oklahoma’s 77 counties, state animals, a schooner and artwork from some of the state’s talented artists.
“The families staying with us will be under unimaginable pressure. We simply hope that the care and thought we put in the house, brings them a little happiness and peace,” said Nees-Bright.
“Thank you to all of those people who have supported us over the years,” said Keith in the news release. “Ten years goes by fast when you are working toward a goal this big.”
Keith has hosted the Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic fundraiser annually for the last 10 years. Finally, the dream of the OK Kids Korral opening to provide a home-away-from-home for families fighting childhood cancer is a reality.