David Feherty didn’t say much about leaving CBS network after providing his spirited commentary for almost 20 years at a recent Texas appearance with George Strait. But his actions spoke volumes. The former pro from Northern Ireland, who said he would begin working for NBC in 2016, simply appeared on the stage with Country Music icon Strait and others and offered his “very last CBS jacket” for auction.
Feherty joined Strait and Texas businessman Tom Cusick on Nov. 7, 2015 for the fifth annual Vaqueros del Mar Invitational, hosted at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort to raise a record $618,000 to support wounded U.S. servicemen and women through the David Feherty’s Troops First Foundation.
The energetic and enthusiastic Feherty raised his dark blue CBS crested jacket to the more than 450 participants at the event with a tongue-in-cheek good-riddance smirk to go along with two putters crafted by Scotty Cameron especially for the fundraiser. The items fetched over $7,000.
In total, this year’s event raised more than $750,000 than the 2014 venue, bringing the five year total to more than $2 million for the military wounded in action. Strait and Cusick, who are joint owners of the Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort, founded the fundraiser in November 2011 to support Feherty’s foundation.
Feherty spent most of his time devotedly hawking and rousing the bidders with such auction items as trips to Las Vegas in September 2016 to see Strait perform, duck hunting in Argentina, and beach stays in Cabo San Lucas. Away from the spotlight, his sincerity for the cause was obvious as he helped and greeted wounded soldiers on the stage.
“I’m just looking forward to different challenges with NBC where I will be able to work with the Olympics and Ryder Cup,” Feherty mentioned later. “The Ryder Cup is up there with the Stanley Cup and earning Olympic Gold.”
Feherty revealed that his favorite type of interviews “are the ones where I can show people there is a different side, on that may be unknown, or may be completely unfamiliar with what they may perceive.”
The Irish gentleman was diplomatic when discussing CBS indicating he would especially miss “the people. I have great friends who were supportive and shored me up during the times I wasn’t able to be as good as I could. I will miss the people.”
Prior to the auction, a Celebration Party featured entertainment by Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Keith Gattis, Dean Dillon, and Jamey Johnson. Strait and Benson packed the stage with wounded warriors in an emotional and patriotic interlude. Cowboys, cowgirls, soldiers, entertainers, and fans removed their hats and placed their hands over their hearts as Benson led the ballroom in a devoted version of “America, the Beautiful.” The room raised their shot glasses and drinks with a respectful toast to all United States military and patriotic Americans.
“The least we can do is support these brave men and women who fight for us and we are all humbled and grateful for their service,” Strait added.
Strait, who has 60 No. 1 singles and nearly 70 million records sold, is the most-nominated artist in CMA Awards history and was the first country music artist honored with Billboard’s “Legend Of Live” Award. His last show, which took place at AT&T Stadium on June 7, 2014, shattered the North American attendance record for an indoor concert with 104,793 ticket-holders.
David Feherty and Rick Kell founded the nonprofit organization in August of 2008 to provide assistance to soldiers who have been wounded in combat. With unduplicated relevance as a core principle, Feherty and Kell have created several programs and specialized events designed for Wounded Warriors and their families that address relationship building, mentoring, reintegration and looking forward.
Feherty will be touring in 2016 at the following venues:
- Tuesday, February 2 @ 7:30 PM, Fox Theatre – Tucson, AZ
- Wednesday, February 3 @ 7:30 PM, Orpheum Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
- Tuesday, February 23 @ 7 PM, Sunrise Theatre – Fort Pierce, FL
- Wednesday, February 24 @ 8 PM, Parker Playhouse – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Wednesday, March 9 @ 8 PM, Capitol Theatre – Tampa, FL
- Thursday, April 7 @ 8 PM, Bell Auditorium – Augusta, GA