Sunday, September 28, 2008

Neal McCoy and Friends in Concert

Saturday night I came to Longview to cover the Neal McCoy and Friends in Concert at the Longview Lobo Coliseum. As many of you are aware the concert is a benefit concert for the East Texas Angel Network (ETAN), who Neal and his wife Melinda started. The ETAN was created to enhance the lives of families that have children whose child or children may be suffering from a serious or life-threatening illness or disease. The concert brings in major singers and artists such as Tracy Byrd, Charley Pride, Troy Aikman, Nolan Ryan, Jack Hanna, Bo Derek, Wayne Newton, Bob Kingsley, Tracy Lawrence and many others. All of the artists and sports figures DONATE their time for the ETAN. Locate hotels, restaurants and merchants donate rooms, dinner and many other items to these artist for their visit to Longview.

The weekend includes a golf tournament on Friday, a corporate dinner Friday evening and Saturday a meet and greet with the children that are apart of the ETAN. Last year, I covered the whole weekend of events and it really touched a part of my soul. Being around these kids last year really made me look at my life and really appreciate life. Because not everyone is privileged to a healthy life. Covering the weekend events was a really hard task for me because I had never been around these kids before. But by the end of it I had made friends and began to know the kids and their families. Coming back this year was a real treat for me. Being able to see many of the same kids brought a joy to my life.

The ETAN has been in existence for fourteen years and has nearly raised four million dollars and has assisted over 400 families in the East Texas area. The network is currently supporting 120 families with financial assistance. I encourage you if you have never been to one of the concerts, go to one not only to see that great show but also to help support such a wonderful organization that is in the heart of East Texas. Check out the ETAN for more information or to donate at Below are image from the show Saturday night with guests Gloria Barron, former Miss Texas; Blake Shelton, country music singer and yours truly Neal McCoy.

Danny from the KYKX's Danny & Dru
morning show shoots t-shirts into
the crowd.

Gloria Barron, former Miss Texas

Gloria Barron dresses Neal McCoy up as 'Baby Neal'

Dru, from the Danny and Dru show introduces
country star Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton performs

Blake Shelton weaves by to the crowd

Jack Hanna, the animal guy, brings live
animals to the stage

The famous penguin that walked down
the red carpet at the opening night of
"Happy Feet"

Jack Hanna introduces
Entertainer of the Year Neal McCoy

Neal McCoy enters the stage greeting
the locals with a big smile

During the concert, locals bring money to
the stage to help support the ETAN

Neal McCoy and one of the Angels Trevor on stage

Neal McCoy moisens his lips for his anual kiss

Neal McCoy kiss long time patron of the
Neal & Friends in Concert. Every year, she comes to
the edge of the stage for her kiss from Neal McCoy

Neal McCoy thanks the crowd for coming out and
supporting the ETAN

Neal McCoy waves bye to the crowd on Saturday night

I truly enjoyed covering the concert Saturday night. Before the concert started I was able to talk and get to know Blake Shelton, who is truly a down to earth guy. He played all of his songs acustically and was truly an amazing performance by Shelton. Neal McCoy of course put on a good show and even brought his brother on stage to sing "Some Where Over The Rainbow." But me coming to this show was not about the artists that were there, but was because of the kids and the support they need. I look forward to covering the event next year, hopefully I will be able to cover the whole weekend as I did before.

Enough for now