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Oso Landslide Victims Benefit – Chance McKinney

$10,000 Donation to Oso in just one set "selfie"
Chance McKinney Oso Landslide Victims Benefit @ Tulalip Resort Casino

Chance McKinney Oso Landslide Victims Benefit @ Tulalip Resort Casino

On April 4th, something “magical” happened.  The tragedy that occurred on March 22nd in Oso, WA (Arlington/Darrington/Oso Area) has led to an unprecedented outpouring of support from the surrounding areas of WA, not to mention other parts of the United States.  In less than 2 weeks time, over 100 benefits/fundraisers/donations have taken place.  We’d like to focus on one in particular.

The Oso Landslide Victims Benefit featuring Chance McKinney (& Ron Stubbs) was held on Friday, April 4th at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Marysville, WA (a neighboring city to Oso in WA).  The concert was “Chance McKinney idea with a whole lotta Tulalip Resort Casino elbow grease” says McKinney.  In an interview with KOMO News – ABC 4 (Seattle, WA), McKinney spoke about the speed with which it went from “idea” to “reality.”

Chance McKinney "stage dives" with the crowd at Tulalip Resort Casino

Chance McKinney “stage dives” with the crowd at Tulalip Resort Casino

“I literally brought it up over a conference call with the planners/directors of the casino and the Tulalip Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series as we were discussing options for the upcoming season.  Of the folks around the table, I was directed to Shane Warbus (Operations Manager for Food & Beverage Services).  He picked up the phone as our meeting came to a close and we chatted about the possibility of hosting a Oso Benefit at the casino with less than one week’s time to plan it.  I figured I’d get the idea (albeit a good one), shoved back in my face considering the amount of work it was going to take to pull it off successfully.  That, however, was NOT the response I got.”

Within the hour, Warbus and McKinney were on the phone again for the 2nd time after running the idea up the flagpole (or totem, if you’d prefer) on both ends.  There was nothing but positive response from both camps.  “As we began, I apologized to Shane.  Man, I’m sooooo sorry for all the additional work I’ve created.  How are you gonna fit this in on top of your normal, overflowing responsibilities in operations?  He responded with a ‘doesn’t matter Chance.  It’s the cause that matters.'”

Two days later, the event artwork was complete, social networking posts were lined up, extra staffing for the concert was secured, all the paperwork had been filled out, special guests had been contacted and it was ready to “go public.”  Chance made the announcement first on http://www.facebook.com/ChanceMcKinneyMusic which soon followed on Twitter (@ChanceMcKinney), Instagram and more.  Within 3 hours, over 20,000 people online had seen the event.  “After 3 hours of the #Oso #Landslide #Victims #Benefit being posted, I received an email from the GM of Seattle Wolf asking if we’d like help promoting it.  I bet it took less than an hour after I responded before the Wolf had PSA’s runnin’ to help us push” gushed McKinney.

By the time the Tulalip sent out the press release and they started promoting it through social networking, the concert was pushing 40,000 views on Facebook alone.  They even started receiving donations days before the event started.  Warbus said “we put out a flier, nothing official, just a computer copied paper to some of our patrons at the casino to let them know we’d be doing a $20 Admission on a normally ‘free Friday’ night and what the benefit was for.  Little did we know we’d be collecting funds on the spot.”

Friday the 4th came…  Social networks were abuzz… KOMO – ABC 4 was there to cover the event “live.”  McKinney told us later that “I remember passing by the front entrance on the way backstage when one of the gals handed me a slip of paper saying we’d already reached $6500 in donations” before the concert even began.  “I took the slip with me and showed the guys before we even took the stage.  Our goal of $10,000 was within reach.  We were buzzing with excitement by that time.”

As Ron Stubbs (Grammy nominated hypnotist) finished up his act and brought Chance on, the Tulalip Canoes Cabaret was no less packed than a normal Friday night only this time… it wasn’t free to get in ($20 Admission/Donation required) and people were on fire.  Literally, “when Chance hit the stage at 9:30 there was a palpable buzz in the crowd.”  Stubbs continued with “you’d have thought I was bringing on Elvis, or Garth with the response he got.”

By the end of the first set, Chance, his band, Stubbs and the Tulalip we’re all smiles with an accumulated donation surpassing $10,000.  So much so, there’s a $10,000 “selfie” they took backstage floating around online somewhere that’s the talk of the town. (Photo courtesy of @ChanceMcKinney Instagram Feed)

$10,000 Donation to Oso in just one set "selfie"

$10,000 Donation to Oso in just one set “selfie”

“Folks were literally throwing money up on stage” says McKinney.  “I spent 4 hours on stage that night and only managed to sing 22 songs.  Normally, we’d do anywhere from 45-50 songs in a night, but with folks handing me twenties, hundreds and whatever change they had on ’em I spent more time collecting dollars than performing.”

“I’ve never been a part of anything like that.  Never.  Just off the top of my head I remember money coming in from all the surrounding Washington communities (Arlington, Darrington, Mukilteo, Marysville, Everett, Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Seattle, etc.) and some unexpected out of state donations.  There was a guy there from my hometown of Missoula, MT that must’ve thrown at least 6 or 7 hundred dollar bills on stage.  I remember a gal from Washington, Georgia… a guy from Arlington, Texas and others from Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and so many other states I think I’ve forgotten.”

In all, McKinney and the Tulalip collected $16,007.48 by night’s end.  100% of that went straight to Oso Victims.  “We actually searched around for an organization that had no overhead.  We wanted every single penny to make it to the folks who needed it.” (Photo courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/ChanceMcKinneyMusic)

Shane Warbus (Tulalip Resort Casino) & Chance McKinney congratulate each other after April 4th Oso Landslide Victims Benefit concert on a $16,000 donation.

Shane Warbus (Tulalip Resort Casino) & Chance McKinney congratulate each other after April 4th Oso Landslide Victims Benefit concert on a $16,000 donation.

“I’ve tried to explain to people what happened that night, but it always comes out shy of the truth.  How often can you really say that?  I mean, most of us spend our whole lives over exaggerating, but that night can’t be explained without under exaggerating.  The outpouring of human generosity.  The looks in people’s eyes when they handed over money or told their story. The willingness to take care of those in genuine need.  Those are the things I’ll take away and remember for the rest of my life.”

Chance McKinney and Tulalip Resort Casino Donate $16,000 to Oso Victims

Chance McKinney and Tulalip Resort Casino Donate $16,000 to Oso Victims

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And that’s another, Cougar, First “Chance”

McKinney heads back for Homecoming 2011 WSU v. Stanford

Sometime early in the Summer of 2011, Chance received two calls in the same day from an old fling.  Nahhh, it wasn’t one of those un-welcomed kinda awkward, silent calls you’d expect.  It was good news… no, make that great news!  See, Chance moved from Missoula, MT to Pullman, WA straight out of high school to attend the closest Pac-10  (now Pac-12) school and compete for Washington State University’s perennial powerhouse of a track team.  She beckoned him, lured him in and has held a place in his heart since graduating 10 years ago.   Well, “she” called.  And when your first love calls, you can’t help but pick up the phone and see what she wants and how she’s doin’… right?!

But before we get to that, we need a little context to the story…

Summer 2010.  Chance is on a Southwest Airlines flight makin’ a stop in Boise before heading onto Seattle to meet up with Blake Shelton for a week’s worth of shows up n’ down the coast of Washington State and Oregon.  He’s still tryin’ to comprehend the CMT win, the CMT Studio 330 session (recorded with Reba McEntire and Steel Magnolia), tour dates with Dwight Yoakam, Jamie O’Neal, Grand Funk Railroad and all the dates (including Blake, Luke Bryan, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special) yet to come.  On that flight sat a girl who struck up a conversation with him talkin’ of her internship at the capital in Boise for the summer, until she returned back to WSU in the Fall (see where this is heading?).

Anyway, that girl… let’s call her DB (to protect her identity) happen to also be finishing her Masters and working for the WSU Athletic Department after completing her scholarship in swimming the year prior.  She asked what “what do you do?”  Chance, still not accustomed to sayin’… “well, I sing for a livin'” told her he was a former high school math teacher who just happened to be in the right place at the right time recently and ended up out on tour with some of her favorite acts (luck of the draw, she was a country fan).  They made introductions, realized they were both Cougar Alumni and chatted about Pullman and athletic careers for a bit.  DB got off the plane, Chance went onto Seattle, tour schedule got busy… add another new friend on the new career path.

Chance McKinney heads back to Homecoming 2011 WSU v. Stanford

Skip ahead to Fall of 2010.  Chance gets an email from DB… actually DB’s boss (then Director of Marketing) in the WSU Athletic Dept inquiring about shows and what it would take (logistics-wise) to get him back to his stomping grounds.  Emails bounce back n’ forth, ground work is laid, and the picture starts to take shape.

Now, back to Summer of 2011 and the “tw0-call” day.  The editor of WSU’s Alumni Magazine calls asking if he can do a review and write an article on former All-American Javelin Thrower, now country singer, Chance McKinney.  On the same day, WSU Director of Marketing calls asking if Chance would be interested in performing at some point during the upcoming football season.  Not bad, the ol’ fling still has a little interest… umm how ’bout yes, and yes.

So, here’s the result of a 45-minute SWA flight sittin’ next to a former WSU Alum…

October 15th, 2011.  Homecoming Weekend.  WSU v. Stanford.  Chance McKinney and the CrossWire boys will be performing at the Pre-Game Rally as the Cougs try to knock of the #4 nationally ranked Cardinal of Stanford.  CMCW will do a pre-game show in Hollingbery Fieldhouse from 2:30 – 4:00pm and then Chance has a little surprise at halftime for the 35,000+ fans there ready to support the Cougars of Washington State!

Think Pullman is ready for a little “Industrialized Country?”  Think WSU and Chance have a nice little recipe for success in the future?  Yeah, that’s what we think too!


New 2011 Concert Announcements

Chance McKinney of Chance McKinney n CrossWire

 

Chance McKinney of Chance McKinney n CrossWire

CMCW Summer Concert Announcements 2011

Things continue to move at a blistering pace for Chance McKinney n’ CrossWire as they roll into the Summer of 2011.  Let’s just go ahead and add a couple NEW names to the list of National Recording Artists Chance and the CMCW boys will be performing with this summer.  Ready?

Mark Chestnutt

David Nail

Craig Morgan

Joe Nichols

How’s that for some additional “power” to a line-up?  Let’s review…  that makes CMCW the most prolific opening act in the northwest this year!

John Rich (WA)

Sebastian Bach – Skid Row (WA)

Dwight Yoakam (WA)

Charlie Pride (WA)

Mark Chestnutt (MT)

Dierks Bentley (WA)

Eden’s Edge (WA)

Sunny Sweeney (WA)

David Nail (WA)

Gloriana (WA)

Sunny Sweeney (OR)

Steve Azar (OR)

Phil Vassar (OR)

Alan Jackson (OR)

David Nail (UT)

Craig Morgan (UT)

Joe Nichols (UT)

How much fun is that?  Buckets!  See you on the road and everywhere in between.

Chance McKinney n CrossWire

Summer Concerts for Chance McKinney n CrossWire