Before CMA Music Festival officially started, country stars like Keith Anderson, Craig Campbell, Eric Paslay, Tanya Tucker and Darryl Worley picked up guns for a shoot-out with brain tumors and traumatic brain injury at the annual Tug McGraw Foundation Charity Pro-Am Sporting Clay Event on June 7.
“This is my favorite thing of the week,” Keith Anderson told us before the teams of sharpshooters…more or less…hit the course. “It’s for a great cause. The year I lost my mom to brain cancer, these guys called and told me what they were doing, all the research for brain cancer and brain trauma. It’s such a great cause for the cancer world, for the military and for sports also.”
It was Craig Campbell’s first event of the day out of three, including his own celebrity cornhole challenge, but he hasn’t missed it in five years and isn’t likely to in the future. “If you can combine raising money and awareness for charities and have a good time, it’s a win,” he says smiling. “Not only are we coming out here to raise money, we’re going to shoot some guns and blow stuff up, it’s going to be a good time.”
It might be a good time, but it’s also a serious competition. Among the competitors are professional marksmen who are stars in their own sport. And speaking of sports, Nashville Predator Mike Fisher (also the husband of Carrie Underwood) was excited to be back for the event’s fifth year as well. He told us, “I always look forward to this. It’s competitive and it’s fun, most importantly, it’s going to a great cause, the Tug McGraw Foundation. This is the most shooting I do in the year. I’m definitely not a pro, but I do okay.”
Darryl Worley, an avid outdoorsman, had a hilarious approach to the day’s challenges though. “I’m not one of these guys that’s all practiced up, I may be terrible this year,” he says laughing. “I don’t have any expectations, I don’t put any pressure on myself, if you do some woman will outshoot you and then you’ll be bummed out. The women are really good shots.”
The focus of the Tug McGraw Foundation is to provide support and resources for people affected by brain tumors and brain related trauma, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).