LAWTON, Okla._Several local musicians have put a CD together to raise money to provide help to families with sick children across the state.
About a year ago, singer-songwriter Chris Caldwell Sr. of Lawton came up with the idea for the CD, entitled "Life Goes On." It includes 13 tracks from nine local artists, with all the proceeds going to the OK Kids Korral, which is located just two blocks from the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. The Toby Keith Foundation funds and runs the OK Kids Korral, which provides a cost-free place to stay for families while their children are undergoing treatment at the hospital.
One family who visited the OK Kids Korral recently calculated the amount of money it has saved them over the last year, and it was approximately $6,500.
What the families who stay at OK Kids Korral are going through financially and emotionally with their sick children is why Caldwell decided to put the CD together.
"We help a lot of people. That's what started our 'Life Goes On' project actually was three benefits we did for three young girls who had cancer last year," Caldwell explained.
It was through those concerts that Caldwell found a larger project he could get behind.
Juliet Nees-Bright, the executive director of the Toby Keith Foundation, says they want to help keep families from other parts of the state from being forced to make long, repeated round-trips for treatment.
"To get to the doctor's appointment, to get to chemotherapy, to get to radiation. We wanted them to be right here right near their doctor's, right near their hospitals and to take away some of that worry that a diagnosis of cancer puts on a family," Nees-Bright said.
Caldwell says one of the more emotional tracks he wrote for the album is a song called "I'm Still Looking for You," which he wrote about the after-life, following the deaths of his father and grandfather.
"That is what started the rebuilding. You know, you might say for me for the last two years, it has given me a lot of fulfillment. And like I said, we got fulfillment out of just doing it and now we are getting more fulfillment out of helping those children," Caldwell said.
Each CD costs $10, a cost another artist on the album, Robby Crow says is well worth the price.
"Helping a child is just the best thing you can do. It just makes you feel so good and they need us and it is our job to help them, take care of them," Crow said.
The OK Kids Korral opened in January 2013. It is about 25,000 square feet and 16 families can be checked in at a time to stay there. This year alone, the OK Kids Korral has been the home away from home for families from 50 of Oklahoma's counties.
You can purchase a CD at any of the following locations: