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    Country music artist John Rich

    Country artist John Rich wins 'Celebrity Apprentice' for St. Jude

    Country music artist John Rich was named the new "Celebrity Apprentice" Sunday night on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice. As the winner, Rich earned an extra $250,000 for his charity of choice: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    The win brings Rich's total funds raised during the season to $1.4 million for the hospital. Rich beat out fellow finalist Marlee Matlin.

    A number of St. Jude patients and families attended the finale and helped Rich celebrate his victory. Visit the St. Jude Facebook page  to see behind-the-scenes photos of St. Jude patients at the finale and of Rich at the hospital while shooting footage for the final show.

    The finale marked Rich's third time as project manager—and third time to face against Matlin. Back on the April 3, 2011, episode, Rich was named project manager and tasked with creating and selling art to benefit his charity. He put his team to work, getting help from other country artists and raised $626,908 for St. Jude. Coupled with the female team's fundraising efforts, Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump revealed to both teams that the fundraising total from that one project was the most ever raised in the show's history—not just for one task but for an entire season.

    During that episode, Rich met St. Jude patient Colin. Colin was just 2 years old when doctors discovered that he had a brain tumor called ependymoma. His parents "combed the planet" for a treatment plan for their son. Their search brought them to St. Jude where Colin enrolled in a research trial for children under 3 years old with brain tumors. Today, thanks to the lifesaving research at St. Jude, Colin is doing well and attended the finale.

    On the May 15 episode, Rich raised an additional $50,000, bringing his grand total raised on the show to more than $700,000 for St. Jude.

    More than 15 years ago Rich first walked through the doors with his guitar and entertained a group of patients, and he has continued his support of the hospital as a Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® artist. And it's stories like Colin's that drive Rich to do all he can so that the patients of St. Jude have a second chance at life.

    Viewers also got the chance to hear John Rich sing his national debut of "For the Kids," during the broadcast, which can be downloaded at iTunes. Rich is donating all of his profits from the iTunes single to St. Jude.

    The video for the single was created by St. Jude mom, Angelia, whose son, Nicholas, is fighting a brain tumor called ependymoma. Angelia made her video as a labor of love, but it caught the attention of Rich, and he posted it to his website. Angelia and Nicholas also both attended the finale on Sunday night.

     

    May 2011
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