Bear Rinehart of award-winning South Carolina rock band NEEDTOBREATHE and OneWorld Health Executive Director Michael O’Neal appeared this morning on NBC Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, Quick 9, and Golf Channel Podcast to announce the date of the 2018 NEEDTOBREATHE Classic.
The annual charity event, started by Commonwealth Cares Foundation, has raised more than $1 million for OneWorld Health on a mission to bring sustainable quality healthcare to developing communities in Central America and Africa. The sixth annual NEEDTOBREATHE Classic will take place once again at the Daniel Island Club on April 23, 2018.
“Partnering with NEEDTOBREATHE on this annual golf tournament has allowed us to elevate the work of OneWorld Health in bringing life-saving medical care to populations in need,” said Britt Gilbert, founder of Commonwealth Cares Foundation, the charitable arm of Commonwealth Financial Group. “Each year we are truly in awe of the athletes and musicians who gather on Daniel Island to not only enjoy a day of golf and an evening of music, but also to join in our passion for OneWorld Health and its global health care mission.”
Michael O’Neal, executive director of OneWorld Health, said, “We are incredibly thankful for NEEDTOBREATHE and Commonwealth Cares Foundation and their continued support of our efforts to provide quality, affordable care to communities in need. Both organizations are led and filled with committed, passionate folks that understand the urgency of making health care more accessible to communities in need.
“Through our partnership we have been able to implement new medical facilities that can now meet the most basic healthcare needs, paving the way for sustainable care and improved quality of life,” O’Neal said.
GRAMMY-nominated rock group NEEDTOBREATHE partnered with Commonwealth Cares Foundation in 2013 starting the yearly celebrity golf tournament to raise funds and increase awareness for OneWorld Health, whose vision is to empower communities around the world to achieve long-term improvements in health and quality of life. The celebrity line-up each year is inclusive of athletes, musicians, actors, and PGA players that in previous years have included musicians Darius Rucker, Ben Rector, Drew & Ellie Holcomb, Steven Curtis Chapman, football stars Tajh Boyd, Adam Humphries, Sterling Sharpe, and Ryan Succop, as well as professional golfers Kevin Streelman and Russell Henley.
Earlier this year, the band flew to Tola, Nicaragua, to celebrate the grand opening of the first NEEDTOBREATHE Medical Center, which was built using funds from the annual golf classic as well as proceeds from each ticket sold on their headlining tours and donations from their fans. The medical center has served more than 4,000 patients in its first year – with the highest patient volume of any OneWorld Health facility in its first quarter – and projected to serve more than 140,000 patients over the next 20 years. The medical center’s services include ultrasound and a comprehensive laboratory, providing thousands of patients access to life-saving care.
“Health is the basis of everything,” Rinehart shared in a recent interview with Forbes, “You can’t do anything without being healthy, especially in places like Nicaragua where manual labor is the most important thing you often need to survive. Malaria, dysentery, these are problems that can be fixed. They have an answer. Our goal is to use music as a permanent platform for good, and what OneWorld Health is doing in Tola will allow these kids to live full lives.”
The second NEEDTOBREATHE Medical Center will open next year in Jinotega, Nicaragua, and will serve both the urban population and the mountainous region surrounding Jinotega where health care services are largely absent. The medical center in Jinotega is projected to serve more than 160,000 patients over 20 years.
For more information about the 2018 NEEDTOBREATHE Classic, visit http://www.commonwealthcares.org/needtobreathe-classic.
The announcement from the dynamic rock group comes on the heels of releasing an exclusive Deluxe Edition vinyl release of their chart topping “standout album” (Billboard) H A R D L O V E and six-song CD and EP, HARD CUTS: Songs from the H A R D L O V E Sessions. The release featured four new songs from the award-winning rock band as well as “HARD LOVE feat. Andra Day” – a soulful collaboration with the two-time GRAMMY nominee, three-time BET Award nominee, and Billboard Powerhouse Award winner and “HARD LOVE feat. Serena Ryder.” This fall, NEEDTOBREATHE will kick off an expansive three-leg ALL THE FEELS TOUR: their self-proclaimed “most artistically ambitious” tour yet. The dynamic tour through iconic American venues launches in September with an amphitheater run that will be opened by very special guest, singer/songwriter and “Brother” featured artist Gavin DeGraw, as well as Nashville rock n’ roll quartet The New Respects, and then takes the South Carolina rockers through a stint of prominent rock clubs that will be joined by opening acts Canadian singer/songwriter Billy Raffoul, Nashville rock n’ roll band The Brummies, or alt-rock band Wilder. The 50+ city tour ends with a string of intimate acoustic shows dubbed “An Evening with NEEDTOBREATHE.”