ARTICLE: Jo Dee Messina Helps St. Judes With Inaugural Music Row Road Race

Jo Dee Messina donned her running shoes and campaigned for runners in the community to join her at the inaugural Music Row Road Race on Saturday, May 16 through historic downtown Nashville. The 5K and Celebrity Fun Run was organized to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

As you looked through the crowd it was easy to identify the participants who choose to raise additional donations and become a St. Judes’ Hero as they all wore a maroon tank top with the HERO insignia on front designating them as a St. Jude’s Hero. These caring members of the community were there to show their support in making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer and other catastrophic diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where children are treated regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

“Bring On The Rain” was not the theme song organizers had in mind for the event; skies were gray and rain fell during the early morning registration, but as the fun run for the younger runners started, the clouds parted and the sun came out to make the race day perfect. Mayor Karl Dean was on hand to thank everyone for coming out and start the race; both he and Messina joined the participants to run in the event which started and ended in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Jo Dee lost her five year old nephew to cancer so it makes perfect sense that St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital is very close to her heart and she loves to run, so the idea was born to merge the two and the 1st annual fundraiser was organized. The event was sponsored by Cracker Barrel, Nashville YMCA, Pie In The Sky Pizza, Nashville Muse, Fox 17, WSIX the Big 98 and The Spa of Cool Springs. Tents and booths were set up in the Hall of Fame Park for the various sponsors where you could indulge in chair massages in the Hero tent, entertainment for youngsters such as balloon animals, crafts and children’s games and everyone enjoyed the live music performances by Charlotte Medley, Due West, Jimmy Barret, and Rachel Williams, who was joined on stage for an impromptu song with Ms. Messina.

St. Jude’s organizers held a ceremony in the Hall of Fame Park following the road race where the top runners in each age division were given an award in the shape of a glass musical note. An on stage presentation of framed Hatch Print commemorative posters where given to Jo Dee and the top event sponsors for their participation.

Saturday evening, a concert was held at the Wildhorse Saloon for the participants and volunteers. Musical trio Point of Grace opened the show headlined by Messina, who kept the show very intimate and personal, taking requests from the crowd as well as sharing touching personal stories about her songs and those in her life touched by cancer. Jo Dee was honored with several standing ovations from the crowd during the evening for her outstanding performances and emotion charged songs. The top ten fundraisers for the Hero’s event were given an opportunity to meet Jo Dee backstage for autographs and photos. During the concert fans rallied and collected over $1500 more in donations to be added to the $100,000 raised at the 5K run earlier in the day.

For more information on St. Judes’ Children’s Hospital visit For more information on Jo Dee Messina visit or

Additional photos of the Music City 5K Road Race and post event concert can be seen at .

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