Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Spread the Love for Marathon Victims

Despite not being a country music fan, I have to admire Kenny Chesney and his Spread the Love campaign.


Upon hearing of the explosions near the end of the Boston Marathon, Chesney jumped into action. He dedicated the royalties from fans downloading one of his popular songs to help victims pay for expensive prosthetic devices to return their lives to some form of normalcy.

His campaign is especially useful because the expense and pain of learning to walk on blades of titanium instead of flesh and bone occurs long after the mobile news trucks have gone on to other breaking news.

The CBS Sunday Morning show featured Chesney over the weekend, showing the megawatt music star to be as passionate about helping people as wooing large crowds.

Chesney chose his song carefully, selecting lyrics, he says, to “help heal the nation’s souls.”

“It’s hard to imagine a world where taking your children to school, going to the movies or witnessing something as iconic as the Boston Marathon is a dangerous thing to do,” Chesney says. “For me, I want to help give these people as much of their lives back as possible, but I’d also like to counteract some of the negativity in the world… Remind people that there are more good people out there, and it’s up to us to Spread the Love.”

chesney02_620x350Chesney has developed a personal relationship with people who are still amid their life adjustment, resigning themselves to see only part of their former selves when they look in the mirror. One victim he has befriended is a dance instructor.

It takes character and courage – and cash. It also helps to have musical accompaniment.

“I can’t change what happened,” Chesney says. “I can’t imagine how the families, as well the city of Boston, feel – and I want to do what I can. If we can all remember that the negativity only wins if we let it, that’s a good start. That, and helping these families with this huge process of dealing with a prosthetic. Hopefully, we can all come together and make a difference.”

Spred the LoveChesney’s song and sensitive act of charity is impressive and a far cry from the all-too-frequent “I’m drunk and lonely again” country music theme. Maybe that’s why he chose a song done in Reggae style.

You can out more about the Spread the Love campaign at


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