For most of their lengthy career, Rascal Flatts has been partnering with Monroe Carell Jr. Childrenâ€™s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, raising millions of dollars for the worthwhile cause. The trio, made up of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, has a surgery center at the hospital named in their honor, and consider their philanthropic efforts towards the pediatric center as a cornerstone of their illustrious career.
â€œOur relationship with Monroe Carell Jr. Childrenâ€™s Hospital at Vanderbilt is one of the most important to us on this journey,” DeMarcus told PopCulture.com. “The work they do is so inspiring and so whenever we get the chance to give back, we try to, especially anytime weâ€™re playing in Nashville.â€
Rascal Flatts has hosted several events, including golf tournaments, to raise money for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, and recently donated the proceeds from a concert at Ascend Amphitheater in Music City, as part of their Summer Playlist Tour, to raise funds as well.
“We wouldn’t be able to play Ascend and do what we’ve done without each and every person in this room,” LeVox said at a party in their honor prior to the Nashville show.
“Vanderbilt? I thought we were making some money,” DeMarcus quipped. “I’m completely confused. I need a few minutes here.”
All kidding aside, DeMarcus was thrilled to be not only able to give back, but to have such a long history with LeVox and Rooney.
“I’m thrilled to be standing here 19 years later with these two guys, two of the best partners that any guy could ever hope for, and one of the best singers to ever come along in the industry, period,” said DeMarcus. “Still bringing it. This guy right here still brings it every minute, every second of every night.
“Of course I’m talking about myself,” he added with a laugh. “Gary is still bringing it better than he’s ever brought it before. I’m thrilled and I’m proud to be here 19 years later with my cousin and Joe Don, one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met.”
Each of the three men are also fathers, which makes their role in helping support the hospital that much more meaningful.
“It really just makes you look at the quality of life, and just what a blessing children are,” LeVox shared on the TODAY Show. “We can get caught up in the rat race of, you’ve got school, and you’ve got dinner, and you’ve got homework. So it’s a nice reminder of just how special and important life and health and family truly is. Giving money and all of that stuff is an amazing blessing, but there’s nothing more important to those kids than your time.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Christopher Polk