He may have been telling jokes, but Jeff Foxworthy helped raise some serious dough – over $350,000 – for Michael W Smith‘s teen outreach center Rocketown at the “Redneck Rally for Rocketown” Thursday night.
Among the fundraiser’s 500-plus attendees were Governor Bill Haslam, Mayor Karl Dean, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Congressman Jim Cooper as well as Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher.
“This is my first time to actually go through Rocketown, and it is amazing,” Foxworthy said at a pre-event press conference. Foxworthy volunteers to help the homeless in Atlanta, and called Rocketown’s mission “the front end of what I work with at the back end.”
“We’re called to love on each other. And what better way to love on somebody than to take somebody that doesn’t feel significant and say, “You know what? You are worth something, and you do have gifts’…This is giving human beings significance, and I am proud to be a part of it, if it’s only telling redneck jokes.”
In addition to dinner and entertainment from Foxworthy and Avenue Bank employee band the Hummingbirds, the evening featured live and silent auctions, during which Smith parted ways with his 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible for $26,000.
“I don’t drive this thing hardly at all” Smith said at the press conference.
“Tell me,” Foxworthy cut in, “you made out with your wife at least once in it.”
“Twice,” Smith responded.
Other items bringing in top bids in the auction included a Pro-Team 175 TXW Bass Tracker Boat, two tickets for the “Michael W. Smith Friends” 2012 Canada/New England Cruise and a guitar signed by Underwood.