After Troy Gentry's death in September 2017, his wife, Angie Gentry, wanted her husband's giving spirit to live on, and the first way she did that was by making a gift of life donation.
Angie told PEOPLE that on the day Troy died, one of her first thoughts after hearing the news was whether Troy's organs could be donated in an effort to help others. While his organs ultimately weren't viable for transplant due to the injuries he had received in the fatal helicopter crash, his bones, tissue and corneas were all able to be donated.
“I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to make a donation because what’s it going to hurt?” Angie said. “And it’s going to help somebody.”
“If this is your time and God says, I’m taking you home today,' but other parts of you still work perfectly well that could help somebody else, why would you not donate them?" she added. "You don’t throw something away that’s perfect. It was something I felt Troy would have said: 'Do it.'"
In addition to the gift of life donation, Angie has since set up the Troy Gentry Foundation, which champions causes that were near to the singer's heart including organizations that aid in cancer research, help military families and families in need and provide music education.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the C-Ya On The Flipside benefit concert was held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to raise money for the Troy Gentry Foundation as well as organizations including the TJ Martell Foundation and The Journey Home Project.
Backstage before the show, Angie explained that it feels good to be able to help her husband's legacy live on.
"You know, somebody made a comment the other day, 'You get to turn the light back on,'" she recalled. "I said, 'No, we just wanna keep it burning.' He worked really hard in 20 years of his career to get where he was and to be able to help people in the way he helped them. And it's just a great way to keep his memory."
The concert was hosted by Blake Shelton and Storme Warren and headlined by stars like Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch and Troy's bandmate, Eddie Montgomery, and Angie shared that the lineup came together simply by flipping through Troy's phonebook.
"We went through and pretty much every artist in the lineup tonight had a relationship or friendship with Troy," she revealed. "And that's how we got through it. We called them 'cause we went through Troy's phonebook and said, 'Let's see who's in here who matters.' And so we did and all these guys are comin' in, all his friends comin' in."0comments
"It's a bittersweet thing," she added. "I'm used to being around them with him and that's interesting to have them here without him, but it's just a great group of guys and great friends. It's like a reunion."
Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Diamond