Celebrities from music, television, movies, and sports will come together this weekend to help raise funds and awareness for the American Red Cross recovery effort following the massive flooding in West Virginia last week.
The "Rebuild West Virginia" telethon for flood relief will air nationally on television and radio stations across the U.S. and stream online from 7-9 p.m. Friday. Proceeds will go directly to Red Cross relief efforts across all affected areas of West Virginia. The telethon will air statewide in West Virginia, including all areas directly affected by the flooding, with the assistance of the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.
The Friday telethon will be followed by a live concert event Sunday in Charleston headlined by West Virginia resident and "America's Got Talent" winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., who is donating all the profits in the month of July from his new song "Come Home To West Virginia" to flood relief efforts.
Telethon viewers will be encouraged to make donations directly to flood relief efforts at www.rebuildwestvirginia.com; to text the word "WVFLOODS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation; or to call (877) 273-0511 during the telethon to assist with the effort.
Music and messages will be shared by: Billy Ray Cyrus, country superstar and star of the new CMT series "Still The King;" actor and Princeton native Kevin Sizemore (Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462, NCIS, Resurrection, Under The Dome, Rizzoli & Isles); Leonard Coleman and Blunt, the former lead singers of legendary groups the Temptations, Platters, and Drifters; Beckley resident Cody Wickline from Season Eight of "The Voice"; Mike Estes, formerly of Lynyrd Skynyrd; "Rocket Boys" author and Coalwood, W.Va., native Homer Hickam; Princeton resident Dreama "Mrs. Gilligan" Denver; Charleston's The Carpenter Ants; actor Chad Lindberg (The Fast and the Furious, October Sky); Lewisburg resident and former NBA star Bimbo Coles; major league pitching sensation and Charleston native John Kruk; Kenova native and contemporary Christian superstar Michael W. Smith; John Fogerty pianist/solo artist Bob Malone, who has composed an original song for flood relief called "The River Gives"; Charleston native and actor Bobby Ray Shafer from "The Office"; singer and actress Renee Olstead (Still Standing, The Secret Life of the American Teenager); Mountain Stage host Larry Groce; actress Markie Post (Night Court, The Fall Guy); actor David DeLuise (The Wizards of Waverly Place), and many more.
Radio and television stations across West Virginia have agreed to broadcast the telethon. West Virginia Public Television will carry the telethon live from 7-9 p.m., followed by a repeat of the broadcast from 9-11 p.m. In addition, TV stations reaching into over a dozen states also already agreed to carry the broadcast, which is free and available by open source. It can be streamed at www.wvva.com/Global/category.asp?c=210828
Thousands are expected to attend the July 3 "Rebuilding West Virginia" live concert event headlined by Murphy Jr. and his Big Band, which will include a special guest appearance by Glenn Leonard, the former lead vocalist from the Temptations, dueling with Landau on a "Murphy Meets Motown" tribute. The evening will be capped by a huge fireworks display accompanied by a patriotic music mix on Mix 100.9 radio and more special surprises. The free concert event will be held at The Levee in downtown Charleston starting at 8 p.m. Monetary and cleaning supply donations for the Red Cross being accepted on site. Murphy has promised to stay and sign every copy of his new "Come Home To West Virginia" CD sold to benefit flood recovery efforts.
West Virginia was devastated by historic flooding June 23-24, causing the deaths of 23 residents, forcing thousands of residents to flee from their homes and businesses, and resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. The National Guard and FEMA are on site, along with tens of thousands of volunteers. Clean up efforts are expected to take many months.