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Kid Rock serving up 1,000 Thanksgiving dinners

of the Oakland Press

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Kid Rock isn't just putting music in people's ears on Thanksgiving Day.

He's putting food on their tables, too.

The Clarkston-based artist, who will perform with his Twisted Brown Trucker Band at halftime of this year's Thanksgiving Day football game at Detroit's Ford Field, has purchased $25,000 worth of gift cards from Meijer stores, which will be distributed to 1,000 needy families in the metro area via LiveNation Entertainment and a variety of local broadcast media outlets. With special holiday pricing, the Happy Thanksgiving, Detroit initiative -- jointly sponsored by Rock, his Made in Detroit clothing line and his Badass Beer brand -- will buy a full holiday meal for a family of about four, including turkey, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls, and desert.

LiveNation's Dave Clark says Rock's camp initially came to the promoter last weekend with the idea of buying the actual 1,000 dinners to distribute. But when it became difficult to finding a turkey farm able to handle that capacity, the gift card idea was implemented.

"The big concern was to make sure they actually got in the hands of whose who are in need," Clark explains. "There are lots of different media in town that actually have connections with charitable organizations, so we reached out to quite a few formats...We're not telling them, 'Please make sure you give (the cards) to this particular food bank or to this church. Just make sure they get in the right hands."

Among those taking part in the effort are the Oakland Press, Fox2 and radio stations such as WRIF, WNIC, WYCD, WKQI, WDVD and Windsor's CIMX, among others. They're distributing the gift cards in a variety of ways, some directly to charities they work with while others have created avenues that allow people to nominate families they know are in need -- or even themselves -- for cards.

"These days everybody's hitting people coming up," Clark notes, "and it's become difficult in these times to find people or companies to just hand things out or donate things. It seems like a revolving door of people asking others for assistance. So this was perfect timing where these (outlets) had already been trying to work on projects to help out. It's a natural fit for some of them."

The Happy Thanksgiving, Detroit giveaway takes place as Rock is in Los Angeles, preparing for his performance on Sunday's (Nov. 21) American Music Awards. Meanwhile, tickets for his 40th birthday concert on Jan. 15 at Ford Field will go on sale Friday, Nov. 26. Prices and special VIP and fan club packages will be announced soon.

Rock's new album, "Born Free," came out Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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