On Saturday night, Alan Jackson visited his hometown of Newnan, Georgia for his Where I Come From: Tornado Benefit Concert, which raised money for the city to help recovery efforts after an EF-4 tornado hit the area on March 26. The day-long event has already raised an estimated $2 million for tornado relief.
"This was a great day," Jackson said in a statement. "A lot of people dedicated their time here, volunteering. It takes a lot to put on a show this big, and we really are grateful for all the help. Most of all, we appreciate all of you people that have come out and help all these folks in need." The country star's set was preceded by performances from Chris Young, Caylee Hammack, Newnan natives Adam Wright and Brian Wright, Jered Ames, who plays at Jackson's Nashville bar AJ's Good Time Bar, and local artists Corbette Jackson and Will Finley. The event was emceed by College Football Hall of Famer David Pollack.
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Jackson's performance was live-streamed on Facebook and was available to view for several days following the show, reaching nearly 1 million fans worldwide, who helped contribute to fundraising efforts. Donations can still be made via Facebook, by phone (text "Give" to 844-737-4859), via Venmo (@CowetaFoundation) or the Foundation's website.
"It's good to be back down here in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia," Jackson told the crowd during the show. "I'm from Newnan…my wife, Denise, is from Newnan…we were both born and raised here…and all of our childhood and young adult memories come from this area. When we saw what that tornado did coming through here a few months ago, it broke my heart. It broke Denise's heart. We had relatives affected by it and friends. The high school that we went to got hit. I was hoping we'd be able to do something to try to help down here and…it's just been amazing how this community came together to make this happen."
The tornado that hit Newnan was just below the most powerful ranking on the National Weather Service's scale and destroyed at least 70 homes. Many others suffered major damage and a total of over 1700 structures were impacted and compromised. Proceeds from Saturday's show will benefit the Coweta Community Foundation, which is managing charitable efforts to help the people of Newnan in the wake of the storm.
During the concert, presenting sponsor Cornerstone Building Brands contributed over $500,000 to fundraising efforts, presenting the Coweta Community Foundation with a check for $100,000 to support tornado relief efforts and committing $500,000 in building materials to Habitat for Humanity for use specifically in Newnan and Coweta County as tornado recovery and rebuilding efforts continue. Title sponsor Southtowne Chevrolet, based in Newnan, added $105,000 to the Foundation's tornado relief efforts.