Annual seminar kicks off the 2012 Country Cares radiothon season

Photography by BMC

The country music industry shifted a little to the southwest on January 13 as hundreds of industry professionals and artists left Nashville, Tennessee, for Memphis to be part of the 23rd annual Country Cares seminar at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Kicking off the event was Country Music Hall-of-Famer and Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® co-founder Randy Owen. Owen served as host of a special session for attending artists that featured patients Arianna, Donovan and Kaden telling their stories of hope and courage.

More than two dozen artists including Lauren Alaina, Martina McBride, Kix Brooks, Eli Young Band, Eden’s Edge and Darren Warren toured St. Jude. They posed for pictures, signed autographs and offered encouraging words to St. Jude patients and their families. For rising country star Darren Warren, walking the halls of St. Jude is like coming home. Warren spent three years as a St. Jude patient, receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Also attending this year’s event were country music artists Canaan Smith, Kip Moore, Brent Anderson, Love & Theft, Josh Thompson, Jana Kramer, Thomas Rhett, Steve Holy, The Farm, Due West, JT Hodges, Andy Gibson, Margaret Durante, Glen Templeton, Kelleigh Bannon, Jon Pardi, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch, James Wesley, Katie Armiger, Lost Trailers, David St. Romain, and Burns & Poe.

Country Cares for St. Jude Kids began in 1989, when Owen challenged the country music industry to support the lifesaving work of St. Jude. The industry rose to the challenge by raising more than $400 million so far.