Music raising money for great causes.
For many years now Steve has been contributing his time, talents and golf skills to many worthwhile causes across the country. Among some events attended are The Gino Torretta Foundation Golf Tournament, Murray Bros Caddyshack, Hootie & The Blowfish’s Monday After The Masters, The BMW Charity Pro-Am, The Safeway Classic, The Bob Hope/Chrysler Classic, The Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational and Golfer’s Against Cancer to name a few.
Steve is very proud to host his own event The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event in his hometown of Greenville, Mississippi.
Golf is the perfect meeting ground to get to know some of the people and sponsors contributing so much of their time and money to make a difference in their communities. Adding the music and entertainment element at the end of each day is always the bonus. These type of charity events are really the only place you’ll ever get to see artists and entertainers from multiple genres all together on one stage for one cause. As a performer, the friendships I have developed at these events and the causes that have brought us together, have most certainly affected my writing. The experience is just too cool!
At some of these charitable events my songwriting skills are auctioned off. The highest bidder receives a personal song written and recorded for them, and more importantly, a cause they support. To date, the songs collectively have raised nearly $200,000 for the various charities they were designated for. I’d like to share some of these songs with you and tell you a little about how they came to be, where the inspiration came from, and some of the highlighted moments they have gone on to achieve.
At The American Ski Classic, benefitting The Vail Valley Foundation, Mike Collier (Atlanta, GA) was the highest bidder and he asked me to write a song for our troops. I was excited to do it!
After spending months on the road with Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band I found myself on an off day in DC. I was asked if I wanted to visit our wounded warriors and hero’s at Walter Reed Hospital. By the the time I left the hospital, I was moved by their courage on an entirely new level. I started thinking about how long a soldier is separated from their families, the worry they must endure, the economics of it all, the separation.
I’m gone a couple weeks at a time and its never easy coming back home and settling in to the routine my wife and kids are accustomed to. So to be gone a year, I just couldn’t relate or comprehend the difficulty that must bring. This was the a lot of the inspiration behind “Soldier Song.” I wanted to write it for the soldiers and their families. The song was featured on Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier. It was a Memorial Day special for our wounded warriors and featured president George Bush with some of our wounded warriors on a bike trip together.
Sanford Children’s Hospital – “Our Castle is Your Home”
Sioux Falls, South Dakota has become like a second home for me, and The YMCA Classic benefitting after school programs is so very dear to my heart. It was the CEO of Sanford Health, Kelby Krabbenhoft, that donated so graciously to this cause and asked me to write and record a song for their very special children’s hospital.
After one visit to the hospital, the song just fell out and wrote itself. The kids were so inspiring, hopeful and happy. It reminded me of my visits to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN. I mean the feeling I got was so similar. I decided we should shoot a video of behind the scenes when the band was in the studio. This later turned into getting the children in the hospital at Sanford to sing on the record with me.
The kids were great, and when I tell you they got it right the first time I mean they nailed it. It was an extremely vivid and moving moment in my life. And to forever have it documented like we were able to was a great thing.
The American Farmer
This was another song that supported the after school programs for the kids of the YMCA in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The song was purchased by Swenson Investment’s Brad Swenson and was the brainchild of Don Jacobs of Results Radio Group.
They are both so passionate about the farmer, all they go through, the gamble and they both wanted to pay tribute to this important American institution.
I had just moved our family back to the Mississippi Delta and it was the perfect storm. Surrounded by thousands of miles of farm land again it all looked so different to me than it did when I was growing up. The song was a joy to write and I wanted to portray the farmer as the super heroes they practically are.
The song ended up raising additional funds from the sale of the cd and Swenson Investments presented the FFA of South Dakota with a pretty good size check. “The gift that keeps on giving”. Now that’s cool!
The Sky Is Falling (Patti Jo's Prayer)
The Sioux Falls, South Dakota YMCA Afterschool Program holds a fundraiser each year and a song was once again auctioned off in their 2014 fundraiser. The highest bidder was afforded the opportunity to have me write a song for them. The proceeds of the auction went to the charity, so it was a win win situation. A wonderful woman who won named Pat Lloyd eventually mustered up the courage to tell me she wanted me to write a song that would help expose the epidemic of human trafficking.
This was an extremely difficult song to write because I had no personal experience to fall back on, and the topic itself can be challenging to talk about. I finally decided to write the song from a victim's perspective. The words started to flow and soon after I decided to play the song for a friend, Detective Sergeant Steve Webster of the Portland Maine police department who happened to be who an investigator of these horrendous cases. He got quiet, then excited and started talking about it with such passion. It was inspiring to say the least and I took that passion and put the final touches on this piece!
The video was produced by Waynflete School senior Mike Rodway.
Maine's Governor, Paul LePage, sent a letter to every governor in the country encouraging them to post the video to their social media pages. This has been a great example of a grassroots campaign.
The song has been adopted by many organizations nationally who want to educate the public and continue to bring about awareness to the tragic topic of human trafficking.
We can make a difference!