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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 37 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 24, 2013

Personal stories lead to personal charities for some respected stars

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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton, country singer/songwriter and movie star – Dolly grew up without much, so she wanted poor kids in and around her hometown in East Tennessee to have access to books. So she started buying them. Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has provided almost 40 million books in more than 1,600 communities in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

Info: imaginationlibrary.com/

Trace Adkins, country music, movie and reality TV star – While he was out of town, Trace’s Williamson County house burned down in 2011, and the American Red Cross showed up to take care of his family. Since then, Trace landed a slot on the all-star season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice – and Trace has raised more than $700,000 for the Red Cross through that show alone.

Info: redcross.org/supporters/all-star-celebrity-apprentice

Carrie Underwood, country star and animal lover – Carrie has combined a love of animals and her hometown of Checotah, Okla., to create her own charity. It’s called C.A.T.S – Checotah Animal, Town, And School. Among other things, the charity has provided computer labs and playground equipment for schools in the town.

Info: thecatsfoundation.com/

Tim McGraw, country and movie star – Tim’s sister is a veteran, his uncle’s a veteran, he had a grandfather who was a veteran; the guy loves veterans. So he started working with Operation Homefront to give away mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans when he was on the road with Kenny Chesney last year. Tim continues to do that this year on his solo headliner Two Lanes of Freedom tour.

Info: operationhomefront.net/timmcgraw.aspx

Keith Urban, country star, American Idol judge – Keith and Vince Gill have lead the charge in fundraising for the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum through a series of “All for the Hall” star-studded concerts around the country.

Info: countrymusichalloffame.org/all-for-the-hall/

Vicki Yates, NewsChannel 5 anchor – Vicki’s longtime volunteer work put her in touch with Safe Haven, a shelter for the homeless that keeps families together. Among other things, Vicki has participated in an annual local Dancing With the Stars fundraiser, which was quite a sacrifice.

“I dance at home when nobody’s watching. I get down with my bad self,” she said. “But in front of other people, it’s terrifying.” Info: http://safehaven.org/

Brad Schmitt