Team Andrew: Country star Luke Bryan holds concert for local soldier
Photo by WRCB anchor Callie Starnes
Andrew and Tori's home in the shape of a cake.
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A local non-profit group is much closer to its goal to build a wounded soldier a new home, thanks to country music star Luke Bryan.
Bryan, who was recently named entertainer of the year, played for a packed house Monday night.
He won't see a dime.
Instead, all the money raised will help fund the building of Specialist Andrew Smith's new home.
Hours before he took stage, Luke Bryan fans lined up to support local soldier Specialist Andrew Smith.
"It's a great cause," friends Lisa Geise and Karen Owens say. "A great cause, I even bought two extra tickets as a donation just for that."
Local non-profit Steps2Hope plans to build Andrew and his wife Tori a fully accessible home.
A home they got a first look at Monday, in the form of a cake.
Footing the bill for a portion of that home: country music start Luke Bryan.
Bryan played for a packed house at Track 29, at no cost.
The ticket sales, which topped $52,000, will go to building Andrew and Tori's new home.
"Every time it's humbling but this is incredibly humbling," Andrew says. "We just learned Luke Bryan isn't getting a penny for this. Words just don't say enough."
"It's so cool to see so many people respecting Andrew's sacrifice," Tori says. "As a wife and as an American, it's moving. It's beyond words."
It's a gig Bryan says he couldn't turn down when he heard Andrew's story.
He talked to Channel 3 backstage about what the show means to him.
"To be a part of this night and to help him heal and to help everybody that's in his world heal, it's the least we could do for what guys like Andrew and his wife Tori have dealt with," Luke Bryan tells Channel 3.
It's a huge leap toward Steps2Hope's goal, but there is more work to be done.
"People have given so generously over the last few months in funds, now it's time to join up as helpers," Mark Wilson with Steps2Hope says. "We'll need thousands of people to build a house in a week."
Steps2Hope and Bryan are hoping Monday night will inspire others to step up, to see to it a local hero gets the homecoming he deserves.
"You can only take so much," Bryan says. "You have to give back."
In addition to ticket sales, our partners at US101, who orchestrated the event, auctioned off items signed by Bryan, bringing in an additional $4,000.
Steps2Hope is a little over half way to its goal. Learn more by clicking here.