Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dedicated Dierks Bentley Congress Member Dies

Anyone who ever experienced Dierks Bentley's Miles and Music For Kids charity event, probably met his number one fan--Laura Parrish.  She never missed seeing Dierks at Ricky Kelley's Harley Davidson of Columbia where Dierks would lead thousands of motorcycles on a trek to downtown Nashville, to then perform for thousands more.

That's where I met Laura and her husband Scotty.  They were the sweetest couple you will ever meet.  I knew every year I would see them waiting patiently for their turn to get a quick hug and photo with Dierks at the Harley dealership. 

This was Laura's annual chance to personally deliver the gifts and "awards" she had hand-made for Dierks and his kids.  She always had a smile on her face and would beam with pride when she'd show me what she made.  "Do you think he'll like it?" she would ask, and of course I would reply, "I know he will since it came from you!"

But Dierks was never in a hurry when he saw Laura.  He spent quality time with her and showed so much gratitude and love for his number one fan.

A dedicated member of the DB Congress, Laura was very active on social media, consistently messaging and posting to us on Facebook and emailing Dierk's team, excitedly sharing the details of the gifts she created and was sending to Dierks for this holiday or that awards show--without fail.

But there won't be any more gifts or meet and greets for Laura.  Sadly, she died Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Dierks and his manager, Mary posted the sad news on Instagram:

Our Sweet friend and Dierks' #1 fan Laura Parrish passed award today.  The intense love and devotion she gave all of us is like nothing I've ever experienced.  I feel so lucky to have been part of her joy.  Opening night of summer tour is dedicated to you!!  Rest peacefully, my friend.
Mary Hilliard Harrington

My number 1 fan passed away the other day.  We were actually her biggest fans too.  Love you Laura Parrish!  Wish I could be at the service today in Columbia TN.
Dierks Bentley

Condolences and flowers were sent to the service today on behalf of her fellow DB Congress reps:

In Loving Memory of our friend and
Dierks Bentley Congress (fan club)
loyal and dedicated TN member,
Laura Parrish.
Rest in Peace-we'll miss you! 
Our thoughts & prayers are with Scotty & the family.
Your fellow DB Congress Reps

Ronna Clark
DB Congress Chair (FL)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dierks Bentley Flies High With Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

There's no doubt some 737s are rocking like a G6 in Nashville this week!

Dierks Bentley has been selected to join the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners as Industry/Commerce/Finance representative. This is a volunteer position.

“As a widely-acclaimed country music artist, he brings unique experience and expertise regarding the entertainment industry, tourism and business. And he's a licensed pilot as well," said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO.

With award-winning hit song, Drunk on a Plane, this appointment might sound humorously ironic, but when listening to the words, “Buyin’ drinks for everybody but the pilot …” it’s clear he’s responsible in the cockpit.

“I love Nashville and I love aviation,” he said in a recent interview about this appointment. “There are many big changes happening in our city right now as it continues to grow so rapidly. I am very excited to get a chance to be involved in facilitating and managing that growth as it pertains to our airports and aviation services.”

Dierks will help manage the $1.2 billion capital investment in the MNAA facilities “while working to make [the] airport a true international hub for commerce and tourism.”

Being a pilot is as much as part of Dierks’ life as is country music.

In a recent iHeart podcast with Bobby Bones, Dierks defines becoming a pilot as a manifestation over the years, the fulfillment of a dream that began when he was 19.

“I want to be the pilot, not a passenger,” he says.

If the band is on tour, they all fly with Dierks in the pilot seat. This has saved precious time the band treasures with their families.

“When we walk on stage, [the band is] in a great mood," he says. "Their families are happy; their wives are in good spirits; and they got to be with their kids that morning. When we get onto the stage, it makes for a better show for us, for our fans. … At this point in my career, they go hand-in-hand.”

As a Nashville resident and frequent flyer in the area, Dierks will bring a unique voice to the table, all with the focus of keeping families in the forefront. This perspective will no doubt bring high-impact opportunities to the MNAA.

Photos from @DierksBentley Facebook page.

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Five" Ways Cassidy Bentley Won In Boston

Cruisin’ the road on Monday, here are the top Five ways Cassidy Bentley, wife of country artist Dierks Bentley, won the 2017 Boston Marathon:

5. She learned how to use hashtags, all to promote her journey.
In just six weeks, Cass went from a brand-new Instagram page to almost 7,000 followers. Her second post (about hiking with Dierks) included the hashtag #firsttimehashtagging. From there … #nailedit.

4. She connected with thousands along the way.
Before writing this blog, we had to see what Cass said in her memoirs of the day. She didn’t disappoint. “Hugs to the little kids lined on the side of the street with their hands out to high five the runners. Hugs to the volunteers and everyone there keeping people safe. Hugs to the girls who cheered for me at mile 6 and the person who I couldn't see who screamed my name and "Safe Haven" at mile 10. I hope you heard me scream back. To everyone who shared encouraging words and those who donated to Safe Haven...gigantic bear hug.” She did this virtually, too, replying to comments on her social media pages and sending thank yous to donors.

3. She demonstrated her life is full of heart. And she’s incredibly real.
Cass shared thoughts through her website and social media pages that are quite vulnerable. She posted images and commentary discussing the feeling of “failing to impersonate someone who is comfortable and relaxed in front of cameras,” moments of “general grouchiness in the house,” and even a bloody toe. These were posted side-by-side with the reality of why she is doing this run. “I left today inspired by [Safe Haven] but with an aching heart … I wish you could have been with me today to see these kids, bright spirits, full of potential so you could feel how worthwhile their mission is.” By now, I think we’re all wishing she was the girl next door.

2. She finished.
And, man, did she. One thing could be heard from everyone who was in Boston on Monday—the heat took its toll. Overheating, exhaustion and dehydration were prevalent throughout the race, resulting in many not crossing the finish line. “The last six miles of yesterday's race were mind bending. I lost my center and everything hurt and it felt like it would never, ever end.” Yet, she endured, finishing the 26.2-mile course in a remarkable 3 hours, 26 minutes, 12 seconds!

1. She raised $24,290 for Safe Haven Family Shelter. As she said, “This year, I wanted to find a way to use my run to connect with people and help others. I wanted to give it meaning beyond crossing the finish line or achieving a certain time.” Mission accomplished.

She has one adorable pit crew!

Congratulations to DB Congress Member Nancy Eaton who also ran her second Boston Marathon, shaving almost 30 minutes off her time from last year. She ran on the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center team in honor of her friend and coworker who passed away while training for Boston last year. Great job, Nancy!

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cassidy Bentley Runs Boston Marathon for Charity Featured in "Riser" Video

This Monday, every mile will most certainly be a memory for Cassidy Bentley as she tackles the prestigious Boston Marathon!

Wife to our president, Dierks Bentley, and mom to their three adorable kids, Cass qualified for Boston for a second year—a winning feat unto itself. To even enter this event, she needed to run 26.2 miles in less than 3 hours and 45 minutes. (It’s clear to see why Dierks wrote Feel That Fire!)

"I've taken a lot of pictures with [Dierks] over the years in full, professional hair and makeup... But when I see pictures of me after races, sweaty and spent and proud and smiling, I feel a wave of recognition of my true self." 

As Taste of Country said, she’s absolutely gorgeous, “but her heart might be the most beautiful thing about her.” She’s not running Boston for the medal (well, not for only the medal); she’s doing it to raise awareness and support for the Safe Haven Family Shelter in Nashville.

Cassidy (right) and Dierks (center) with the Safe Haven staff. Photo from Nashville Post.

"This year, I wanted to find a way to use my run to connect with people and help others," she said on her fundraising website. "I wanted to give it meaning beyond crossing the finish line or achieving a certain time (although I do want to do that, too!)."

Cass describes Safe Haven as an organization that “keeps families who are homeless together, provides them with shelter and eventually permanent housing along with the therapy, support and training needed to gain self-sufficiency and rebuild their lives.”

Well, that’s a cause all of us can stand behind, even if we can’t run for it.

So she’s taken to the streets (and the treadmill!) to run in their honor.

And the donations have been pouring in ever since. In fact, she's raised $18,485 in the last six weeks. A couple familiar donations listed on her page include gifts from Nicole Kidman, Bobble Bones, Sheryl Crow (who performed with Dierks at Legends last week) and, ahem, a rather large gift from Doug Douglason (Dierks' Hot Country Knights alias, anyone?)! You, too, can still donate to Safe Haven for another four days!

The Bentley’s support of Safe Haven is years in the making. Dierks' notable “Riser” music video even featured a family whose life was changed through the support of this shelter.

“I’ve seen up close the incredibly important, desperately needed, inspiring work they do,” Cass said. “I’m thrilled to be running in their honor and in honor of present and future families who need Safe Haven.”

What started 11 years ago as jogging a couple miles to pass the time while her husband was on the road has turned into a notable running career that has the power to positively influence countless families.

Dierks and the kids are known for their unwavering support of Cass while she runs (though their daughter Jordan fully believes her mom should focus on winning). With signs, photos, and cheers to carry her along (and the thousands of comments she’s received through her Instagram and Facebook pages), she knows she’s not alone in this run.

The Bentley girls at mile 15 at Cassidy's first Boston Marathon in 2014
“I’m so proud of Cassidy and it’s so fun watching her get ready for this race,” Dierks said in a recent article. “It takes months and months of preparation and determination to pull this off.”

The only question we have now is: Does she listen to Dierks on her running playlist?

Enjoy the journey this Monday, Cass! The DB Congress is running with you!

You can join Cassidy in supporting Safe Haven by clicking here.

Also running Boston again this year is DB Congress member Nancy Eaton! She also has an incredible story full of overcoming tragedy. Read more about her story here.

This Monday, you can follow Cass and Nancy as they tackle Boston!
Cassidy's bib number: 12159
Nancy's bib number: 29825

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep, WA