Craig Campbell & Friends Raise Money to End Cancer With Celebrity Cornhole Challenge

The stars came out for Craig Campbell’s 2018 Celebrity Cornhole Challenge to help kick off CMA Fest week. Brett Young, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Walker Hayes and The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston and Kelby Ray were among the many friends who answered Campbell’s call to participate in the event that raises money for Fight Colorectal Cancer, showing support not just for Campbell, but a cause that’s close to his heart. The “Family Man” singer lost his father to the disease when he was 11-years-old and he’s been working alongside Fight CRC to raise money to find a cure.

“It feels great to have such great friends in the country music community, people that I can call or text and say ‘we’re raising money for Fight CRC, can you help me?’” Campbell says of the artists who’ve participated in the tournament. “It’s pretty cool to have those relationships with my country music friends.” Just one of those friends is longtime participant Jerrod Niemann, who’s been a part of the cornhole challenge for more than five years, and calls Campbell a “genuine human being.”

“When he first invited me to this, I saw in his eyes how important it was,” Niemann reflects. “Then once I got here and learned more about it, it became important to me as well, so it’s an honor to be here. It’s like a family reunion, every year you do it, you see more people show up and it becomes a family. I’m proud to be a part of that family.”

Like Niemann, fourth-time participants Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LOCASH were eager to help Campbell support a cause that fights a disease that affects many people. And while they couldn’t help but talk a little smack leading up to the game (“he tried to bribe us to get us to sit out of the tournament,” Brust joked of Campbell), they know how important the work is he’s doing with Fight CRC. “Craig is a really good friend, he’s a great person. Anytime he needs us, we’re going to be there,” Lucas says. “Anything to help him, but to fight cancer in general and colorectal…we’re going to find the cure. That’s why we’re here.”

Craig Campbell, Photo courtesy of Sweet Talk Publicity

For NASCAR driver Scott Lagasse, Jr., Campbell’s efforts are personal, as Lagasse is a colon cancer survivor and is humbled to be a part of an event that shines a light on a disease that’s impacted his life. “To see what Craig’s doing here and the energy that goes into this and what it’s producing is a lot of fun to be around,” he says. “I’ve been through it, and I want to help get that message out, so it’s an easy way and a fun way to do that.”

Campbell is one of Fight CRC’s national spokespeople and through his cornhole challenge has generated nearly $200,000 for the organization, which raises awareness of the preventable disease and provides resources and education for those diagnosed with colorectal cancer and offers grants to fund research. “One event at a time, we’re bringing awareness to colorectal cancer. The biggest part of my mission is to encourage people to get screened and to take away the stigmatism of the colonoscopy,” Campbell says. “That’s why I have this event.”

Brett Young, Photo courtesy of Sweet Talk Publicity

Campbell was crowned the winner during the 2018 cornhole challenge, dethroning reigning champion Dee Jay Silver. He’ll perform at the One Million Strong Dinner, also in benefit of Fight CRC, at City Winery in Nashville on June 6.