(KWTX) The American Cancer Society has announced its headliner for this summer’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball and it’s a nationally known band with a lead singer who not only has Central Texas ties, but also a personal connection to the mission of the nonprofit.
A Thousand Horses, whose song “Smoke” rose to No. 1 on radio leading to a tour invitation this past year with Kid Rock, will headline the biggest fundraiser of the year for the ACS on June 29 in Waco.
The group’s front man Michael Hobby is married to Waco native and Waco High School graduate Caroline Cutbirth and while he says he loves coming to Waco to visit his in-laws, Sharron and Steve Cutbirth, this work trip has special meaning.
His 15-year-old brother, Grayson, died of brain cancer when the singer was just 12.
“I had an older brother who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away after an eight-year battle,” Hobby said.
“So anytime we can support that and help raise money and help the Cancer Society we love to do it. It has a special place in my heart.”
The singer says the harsh reality of childhood cancer was unfortunately a part of his own childhood and became even more eye-opening the older he got.
“I was just a kid so we just played and rode four-wheelers and did what we normally do when he felt good. It was just a part of my upbringing and my life being in and out of hospitals with him,” Hobby said.
“The innocence of a child is what I had of it but the older I get the more I realize that pressure that it did put on our family and my parents especially with dealing with that and losing a child to it. It is something that changes your life.”
Cattle Baron’s chair Bricker Bruner says having a successful band like A Thousand Horses is special enough, but says Hobby’s passion to help the organization is what sets this year apart.
“It gives proof to what we do and why we’re doing what we do,” Bruner said.
The 2019 Waco Cattle Baron’s Ball is Saturday, June 29 at the Waco Convention center.
Tickets and sponsorships are still available by calling the ACS office (254) 753-0806.