This past weekend, hundreds of country radio and music industry professionals gathered in Memphis for the annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids seminar. Joining this group were more than 30 country stars, including Martina McBride, Kix Brooks, Randy HouserEli Young Band, Lee Brice, Lauren Alaina and Edens Edge. The artists toured the hospital and spent time with patients and their families.

“There’s no way you can walk through the halls at St. Jude and not think of your own children,” said McBride. “I’m going to hug them a little tighter when I get home, I can tell you that. This is such a wonderful place of hope. Anything that we can do to help St. Jude, we should just do it, because they are literally saving lives and finding new cures for cancer that they share with the whole world.”

A fundraising organization that has raised more than $400 million for St. Jude, Country Cares was the brainchild of Randy Owen. In 1989, Owen rallied country stars, fans and radio stations to come together to benefit the children's hospital. The Country Cares for St. Jude Kids seminar takes place at Memphis' Peabody Hotel and serves as a time to equip radio hosts and others with the tools to effectively run radiothons and other fundraisers for the cause.

“For me, St. Jude has always been very inspiring,” Brooks said. “These kids have no concept of not making it. That inspires me and, it makes you realize, ‘I’ve got a responsibility to make sure it happens, that these kids make it.’ This is the thing people have to remember. This is not a desperate, sad place. If anything, these kids are so strong and they have hope."