AUSTIN – What do you get when you cross an Academy Award-winning actor, a world-renowned country musician and a college football coaching legend? Millions of dollars raised for children in need.
That was the goal of Matthew McConaughey, Jack Ingram and Mack Brown Thursday night at the Mack, Jack & McConaughey Gala at ACL Live at Moody Theater, with special help from the Dixie Chicks.
After all was said and done, the sixth-annual event raised more than $2.25 million.
“We are beyond grateful to the many generous MJ&M sponsors from across the country and the incredible musicians who join us year after year, making this event so special,” said Brown.
According to the former Longhorn coach and Hall of Famer, the concert and gala sold out within a matter of minutes. That's amazingly good news for the Mack, Jack & McConaughey organization, which has hosted the annual event over the last few years to raise money for a number of charities who strive to empower children in need.
“We started our program to give kids goals, nutrition, fitness, gratitude and community service," McConaughey told KVUE. "And then you ask them what they’re thankful for and they say, ‘I finally got a safe place to come after school.' And we’re like, 'I didn’t even think of that.'”
Mack, Jack & McConaughey is a joint fundraising effort by actor McConaughey, singer Ingram and Texas coaching legend Brown. The trio came together in hopes of giving back to the community by benefiting organizations dedicated to children’s education, health and wellness.
Since its launch in 2013, the nonprofit has gifted nearly $10 million to charitable organizations. Funds raised through the 2018 event will support CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, just keep livin Foundation and The Rise School of Austin.
Thursday kicked off the multi-day event with the gala and a special performance by the Dixie Chicks, with a fashion show, golf tournament and the “Jack & Friends” concert slated for Friday.
Brown joked that McConaughey might even join the Dixie Chicks on the bongos (spoiler, it actually happened).
“The evening was a celebration, a toast to the heart behind MJ&M – the beneficiaries," McConaughey added. "These organizations work tirelessly to empower kids and change lives, and we are honored to work with them. We are making a difference and the proof is in the numbers – kids’ lives are being saved, kids who never dreamed they could are graduating high school, medical breakthroughs are happening.”
To learn more about the Mack, Jack & McConaughey organization, click here.