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

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dierks Bentley Gives Viewers Energetic, Classic Night at the ACMs

While the Vegas flair was prevalent throughout this year’s ACM Awards—from bright lights and stage design to colorful attire and appropriately-colorful humor—there was one thing that remained a true classic: Dierks Bentley.

Hosting the show with Luke Bryan (the pair affectionately known as “Lurkes”), Dierks brought charm, wit, four wardrobe changes (okay, we lost count), and raw talent to the stage. A viewer poll through Gold Derby reports that 84 percent say the show’s hosts were “AMAZING! Hope they come back next year!”

In addition to comedic antics from Dierks and Luke, such as fishing in the Bellagio fountain, swinging together with Cirque du Soleil, and even posing for wild photos with the Thunder from Down Under (encouraging Aussie Keith Urban to “strap on the chaps!”), the performances ruled the show.

Dierks, Luke, and Eagles rock legend Joe Walsh kicked off the night in a pleasantly surprising way—a high-energy, musically-loaded tribute to the late Chuck Berry.

Dierks fans didn’t have to wait long to hear a live rendition of one of the songs that has been gracing our speakers since last May, performing “Black.”

The Boot describes this performance accurately, saying, “Sometimes the best performances are the simplest. Bentley proved that if your song is strong enough, you don’t need pyrotechnics or dancers to captivate the crowd. Wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, Bentley did what he does best: perform."

For those watching (already obvious to the Congress!), it’s clear that performing is Dierks’ sweet spot. In classic form, he was quick to engage with the crowd, swaying and singing to the music while holding hands with those in the front.

Luke even took a turn singing “Black," jokingly, to himself, as a wax statue from Madame Tussauds. Dierks quickly told him to stop, exclaiming, “My wife’s out there! Don’t ruin the song for me!”

Near the end of the night, “Flatliner” with Cole Swindell, had the entirety of Vegas rocking! From Keith Urban getting down in the audience to Jason Aldean singing along, everyone was on their feet. There is no question the two have a blast working together. As Billboard said, “The duo's high-energy performance [ironically] had heart and pulse rates elevated throughout T-Mobile Arena.” Cole even ended the song saying, “I will never forget this moment. Dierks. Thank you so much.”

We will never forget it either, Cole.

And oh, the attire. From jeans and t-shirts to a perfectly-fitted light gray suit with white button down and black tie, Dierks let the 15 million viewers know he can pull off anything (including the attire he and Luke donned to make a play on Thomas Rhett’s closet)!

Even Sounds Like Nashville jumped on the Dierks train. While Bentley may have kept it simple for the night, there’s no problem with sticking to the basics when you look like that.”

True fact, Nashville. True fact.

Even Dierks’ wife, Cassidy, stole the spotlight on the red carpet.

Hosting? Witty, fun and on-point. Performances? Energetic, classic and engaging. Though Dierks didn’t walk away with an ACM “hat” trophy, he’ll always be “a winner in our eyes."

Thank you to the ACM for these images, and Just Jared for the photo of Dierks and Cass.

Jessica Borrelli
DB Congress Rep