Eric Church fans are famous for taking off their cowboy boots and holding them high during his live shows, but maybe now they’ll start holding up running shoes instead.
On September 27 Church was performing in San Francisco when he spotted a 10-year-old fan in crowd — holding up not a boot, but a homemade sign. It must have caught Church’s attention because he asked a security guard to bring the sign to the stage, and what happened next will put a smile on your face.
The fan was local student Makenna Wallace, and her sign read “Will you sponsor my jog-a-thon?” She had excellent timing — standing up to make her request during “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” — and of course Church said he would do it. He even complimented her sunglasses.
The story could have ended there, but Church made sure to follow up with the family and ultimately promised to pledge $10,000. According to The Union Democrat newspaper, Church’s team sent an email saying as much.
The email said, “Eric and his wife Katherine wanted to donate, and it should be credited to Makenna’s tally and the check was in the mail,” Makenna’s mother Megan told the paper.
Makenna went on to run 15 laps for her jog-a-thon — which was raising money to replace her school’s aging playground — and she also raised $735 before her new country star friend got involved. Her school now plans to hold a ceremony in her honor, and Makenna still can’t believe her long-shot plan worked.
“If I could say anything to him I would say, thank you, you’re my hero, stuff like that,” she said. “I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh this is really happening? I was really shaky. I was happy, nervous, it was awesome.”
“He had no clue anything about her, us, or our community. But he saw her, recognized and followed through with this generous donation that is going to help this school tremendously,” said Megan. “We are just so thankful and grateful for his generosity.”
Church’s Double Down Tour continues through November 22 – 23 in Sacramento, California.