When my friend Gina Changas and I heard that entertainers were needed to play the VIP tent for fundraisers during the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build, we both had the same idea: Con Hunley!
And what a good idea it was. Hunley and his band sold out the $125-per-ticket event. And when it was over, folks who never had heard him before had been turned into fans. “I knew he had a great voice, but he is so much more than that. He is such an entertainer,” said Christi Branscom, the president of Grace Construction, the lead builder on the project. “He was just amazing.”
For his part, Hunley said he had a good time, too. He said playing the 75-seat VIP tent reminded him of his early days playing small venues like The Corner Lounge in Knoxville’s “Happy Holler” neighborhood, where he got his start. (I hope he noticed that the VIP tent was a little more elegant than “The Corner!”)
I appreciated him playing one of his standards, “Georgia on My Mind,” for me, since I’m from Georgia and it is one of my favorites. And he won over the rest of the crowd with “The Tennessee Waltz” and his big finale, “America the Beautiful.” But I think I have a new favorite: “Only Time Will Tell.” Here’s the great refrain: “Only time will tell, but it ain’t talking.” Love, love, love! (Don’t tell Kenny Chesney, but Con’s version is better — it’s more soulful.)
Here are a few photos from the fundraiser where Con and his band played Sunday. The money will benefit the Knoxville Family Build Fund, which will be used to help pay off the mortgage on the home of the family “Extreme” chose to rebuild. Click here for the news release about the family. If you missed the fundraiser, you can make a much-appreciated donation at any Home Federal Bank branch. (Home Federal donated $20,000 to kick off the fund.)
Here’s that recap.
To get in the VIP tent, you had to put on booties to protect the flooring.
The VIP tent is beautiful and very relaxing. Here are Ann Brookshire and Sheena McCall checking out the fabulous furniture provided by Gift Gourmet & Interiors.
At one point, Con suggested that he might join the construction workers on the build. “I do have my tool bucket in my truck,” he said. “Don’t quit your night job!” his brother quickly retorted. Ha.