By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – March 13, 2019)
To say the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a worthy and necessary cause would be a massive understatement. Blood cancer continues to crush families and leave its victims dealing with heartache, exorbitant financial responsibilities, and often a crippling feeling of hopelessness that can only be calmed through the support of the intimate community and the powerful faith around those in its throws.
In 2018, blood cancer struck us hard at The Zone, after cancer of a different type had already bludgeoned our work family several months before. While all the donations and the GoFundMe pages and the kind words were hugely meaningful, we all felt as if we hadn’t done enough. That emotion superseded our own personal interactions with this disease, and traveled further to the idea that so many people are dealing with it in this country and around the world.
Something had to be done. If we couldn’t cure it ourselves, maybe we could at least do MORE. In fact, we SHOULD do more. Those thoughts gnawed inside the head of Jonathan Hutton, and through prayer, advice from his wife and his friends, and an invitation to run for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year, he chose to take on an enormous responsibility. This is not just, “Hey, go donate some money. It’s for a good cause!” This is an immense undertaking, and watching my great friend treat it as if it were life and death – because it is – has been inspiring on a level I never expected.
Here’s his co-host and friend, Paul Kuharsky, on the campaign and the efforts:
Hutton has basically taken on a second full-time job with his LLS campaign and it’s been a remarkable thing to behold. He’s like a machine. His ideas have been incredible and his follow through is excellent. The Midday 180 has tried to assist in any way possible for what’s an excellent cause that we, too, want our brand to amplify.
Some of his ideas like The Midday Masters and The Z-O-N-E Tournament are things we’ve talked about for a while as a show and we’ve never been able to pull off. Now with the LLS as the catalyst he’s made them a reality and our hope is to carry them on in the future, making them annual.
He’s smartly thought of a way to touch every element of our listening audience; he’s tied in The Zone’s sales staff; he’s incorporated Chad, David and I as well as 3HL and Wake-Up Zone as well as all of our sponsors. It can’t be any more thorough of an effort. He’s going to break records with what he raises, I’m certain of it. I’m proud to be a small part of it and I’m super proud of him. He needs a vacation when it’s over and I’ll be happy to facilitate those shows.
Jonathan will be the first one to tell you that whether he “wins” or not is irrelevant. He felt compelled to help when Amanda Willis, the wife of our program director, Brad, was diagnosed with blood cancer in the summer of 2018. Our boss is as good as they come, both at his job and as a human being, and his wife is a wonderful, God-fearing woman and an exceptional mother. The truth is, blood cancer doesn’t read our CV or our resume, doesn’t care how many followers we have on social media, and doesn’t even consider whether we’ve lived a good life or we’ve been selfish and evil. It hits anybody, anytime, with no warning, and it’s life altering in the worst ways imaginable.
Here are the facts, which are sobering to say the least. Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every nine minutes, someone dies from blood cancer. More than 1.3 million people are living with or in remission from leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. More than ONE THIRD of blood cancer patients do not survive five years after diagnosis.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has invested $1.2 billion and counting to research initiatives designed to turn these facts into fiction. Nearly every therapy used in treatment today came through LLS efforts, as have immunotherapy, genomics, and precision medicine. In addition, LLS offers education and support to patients and families when they need it most. And LLS advocates on behalf of patients and families to increase access to lifesaving treatments. In short, LLS is awesome.
And so, Jonathan took on the campaign, simply hoping to raise as much money and as much awareness as possible. We’ve all done whatever we can to assist him, and as a result of his incredible efforts, the schedule of events leading to the close of the campaign on April 27th is longer than a CVS receipt. Thus, I wanted to use the Big 6 Blog to put together an organized, comprehensive, and detailed listing of everything he’s doing. Included in the listings are comments from the specific people partnering with Jonathan on each event.
104.5 The Zone program director Brad Willis said this respective to Jonathan’s efforts: Jonathan has really gone above and beyond to create fun, interactive, one-of-a-kind events that listeners of 104-5 The Zone, and area sports fans, can really get behind.
…because beating cancer is in our blood.
#TEAMHUTTON1045 LLS MWOY EVENTS
THURSDAY, MARCH 14: RADIOTHON AND THE Z-O-N-E BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Z-O-N-E Tournament – Presented by Two Rivers Ford
No one is more excited about the hoops than Midday 180 daily opining wizard and Mt. Juliet’s own Chad Withrow, who is bringing back his popular SportsFest attraction to help with the campaign. He’s Uber-competitive and proud of it, so he’ll be shooting more than his share. The concept is simple. It’s H-O-R-S-E, done bracket-style, but using a word more related to the radio station. I’m not sure I even needed to explain it, but what’s done is done.
Rather than me talk about it, here’s Chadillac himself on the event and his friend and colleague’s work:
I’m amazed at what Jonathan has accomplished for LLS. His commitment to quality and attention to detail is on full display with every event and auction item he has put together. When Hutton does something, he goes all in and he does it right. It’s been a privilege to help organize the Z-O-N-E Tournament as a small part of his overall efforts on behalf of LLS of Tennessee.
We were able to get 64 people to contribute $40 to his charity and this is the first time we’ve ever charged for this tournament. That speaks both to Jonathan’s standing in the community and how much people want to be involved in what he is doing and the willingness of our listeners to give of their time and their money. We are all grateful and I’m happy to contribute in anyway I can.
The timing couldn’t be better, as the SEC Basketball Tournament hits the Music City…and if you’ve tried to get ducats for the games, you (and #VFL Ron Slay) have figured out how hot a ticket it is. Thus…the prize is pretty (okay more than pretty) fantastic. And Chad is not eligible – Chad, if you’re reading this, you are NOT eligible to win. But I digress, the prize:
For the Radiothon I will offer someone a chance to co-write and produce (in the studio) a Lennay Kekua song that can make fun of Paul Kuharsky, Chad, Hutton or anyone they wish to make fun of. If the bid is enough, it could air on The Midday 180.
That might raise enough to get a coffee at Starbucks!
FRIDAY, MARCH 22: MUMFORD & SONS: SUITE NIGHT AT BRIDGESTONE ARENA
Mumford & Sons: Bridgestone Arena – Two Rivers Ford John Barker Suite Experience
The first ever Midday 180 “Night Out” happened to be Mumford & Sons at the Ryman Auditorium in 2012. I wasn’t invited. I went on my own, but there are no hard feelings, considering I hadn’t even met Jonathan, Paul, or Chad yet and was still a few months from even realizing 104.5 The Zone was a radio station. I was in Bowling Green. I knew nothing of Nashville except the Ryman and some movie theaters that had films I couldn’t see in BG.
Anyway, as part of #teamhutton1045, the Midday 180 will be hosting another “Night Out” event at Bridgestone Arena on Friday, March 22. Mumford & Sons have graciously chosen to play our fine city during the campaign as part of their 2019 Delta Tour, so this one was a no brainer. John Barker donated his Two Rivers Ford suite to #TeamHutton1045 for the night. Two Rivers Ford has been just incredible in their support of the campaign, lending accommodations and sponsorships to multiple events, including this one.
“So how do I get to go?” Is that what you’re asking? If it isn’t, it should be. Here’s how you go. You send an email and you bid on the tickets, with 100% of all proceeds going to LLS and Jonathan’s campaign. Highest bidders will receive the tickets and will join the 180 crew for a great night with excellent music.
“Where do I email?” Pushy…but I respect it. Right here.
MONDAY, MARCH 25: UNITED BY HOPE – FIGHTING WITH SONG
Songwriters Night: Pleasant Hill Mansion, Governors Club, Brentwood, TN (6:00 PM)
Artists: Kris Allen, Jason Eskridge, Gabby Patrice, Brian Boyle’s sister. (Brian is one of the newer Predators and he has CML. She will also be talking about what it’s like to watch your brother go through treatment.)
Robert Counts, Megan Conner, Jabe Burgess
Arrive between 6-7, enjoy food, view various auction, items, etc. VIPs will enjoy a meet and greet before the show begins. Jabe Burgess will lead off the main festivities, and later in the evening LLS MWOY candidates will be introduced. Terrific music, superb aesthetics and all for a cause we can all unite behind…whether in song or just in life.
Ticket prices, (All tickets include dinner and drinks)
General Admission – $35, VIP – guaranteed seating – $50 – 24 tix available, Tables of 8 – $400 (6 available)
Premium tables of 8 $1500 (3 available)
GET YOUR TICKETS BY CLICKING THIS LINK
SATURDAY, MARCH 30: 104.5 THE ZONE SPORTSFEST AT NISSAN STADIUM + LEXUS IS 200T TEST DRIVE
10th Annual SportsFest at Nissan Stadium (9 AM-4 PM)
While we love our jobs, one of our favorite days of the entire year is when we get to meet you…not the other way around. We’re humbled that you enjoy what we do, but it’s getting to shake a hand or simply put a face to a name as we all come together to celebrate the great escape that sports provide, marry that to the Music City, and finally add to it the community we’ve built alongside you for so many years. Tickets this year are free, but there’s a way to enhance the experience in a manner we’ve never offered before, all to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society…
2016 Lexus IS 200T Presented by Music City Autoplex
Between our lineup of celebrity guest speakers, you’ll have the opportunity to take a test drive of the stellar 2016 Lexus IS 200T, but the question you might be asking yourself is whether all you can do is test drive it. On that day, yes, but on Saturday, April 27th at the Grand Finale Gala, Music City Autoplex has provided the candy red eye-catcher, which only has 26,000 miles on it (plenty of mileage left on the manufacturer’s warranty), as one of Jonathan’s big ticket auction items. 100% of the proceeds that night will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Yes, that’s right. MCA is donating every cent on this car to LLS.
A few specs and details on the IS 200T: Candy apple red, tan leather interior, dual power seats, tilt and alloy wheels, paddle shifters with the sport package, power windows and door locks, sunroof, satellite radio (preset to The Zone).
Graduation present? Perfect. Present for yourself? Perfect. Present for your family? Maybe not as fun as it being just for you, but still…perfect. And the best part, LLS reaps all the benefits. Better than perfect.
*On March 18, Hutton and the car will be live at Music City Autoplex throughout the day. It’s available that day for test drives as well. Anytime Midday 180 is broadcasting on location between now and the end of the campaign, Jonathan will bring the car along.
This time, the comments come from Jonathan Hutton himself:
This is tremendous support… and unparalleled commitment to our community. The generosity of this donation is incredible.
A specific thank you to the ownership group… including Van Stewart, who didn’t bat an eye at what I was asking for when we sat down together months ago and discussed what TeamHutton1045 was trying to accomplish. And to Wesley Haines and Bryan Baxter, who have supported this completely… THANK YOU.
This is not some car they didn’t want. They had this Lexus SHIPPED in last week… they put it through their Autoplex-Certified inspections… and it’s fully ready to be a great car for years to come… and your donation will benefit cancer research for years to come. I genuinely love the partnership I have with MCA. This place is uncommon…it’s special.
THURSDAY, APRIL 4: MIDDAY MASTERS PRESENTED BY OLYMPIAN CONSTRUCTION
Midday Masters at Topgolf Nashville (6 PM – 10 PM)
Yeah, so this one’s going to be really cool, and as with many of Jonathan’s events, it couldn’t possibly be better timed. Thursday, April 11, 2019 is the start of The Masters at Augusta National. Exactly one week before our eyes fixate on the pros, we get to play pros ourselves at Topgolf Nashville, all for LLS, and all for fun…well, also for the chance at a Midday Masters Green Jacket. Yes, that’s a thing…and it’s a thing you want.
You know you do. So here’s how it works:
– Teams will play TopContender game at Topgolf
– Teams of six, best ball format (The best score on each ball will be used as the score for the team)
– Shotgun start, two rounds
– Top collective team score wins a round of golf for every player at The Golf Club of Tennessee, plus other cool prizes
– Top individual performance wins Midday Masters green jacket (quick tiebreaker game can be played, if needed)
Purchase your Topgolf bay for The Midday Masters and your team of 6 players will join Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky for a fun-filled evening. Food will be included with your ticket, plus enjoy a cash bar and silent auction. 104-5 The Zone will broadcast live inside The Cowan throughout the tournament.
*** Have a solid group for the tournament but need a player or two to round out your team of 6? We can help. We’ll team you with Zone hosts (lucky you if you draw me) and recognizable figures across the Nashville sports landscape. Purchase your team and email Hutton1045@gmail.com with how many “free agents” you’ll need and we’ll take care of the rest.
Best of all, 100% of all proceeds raised will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Get your tickets RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
SUNDAY, APRIL 7: WRESTLEMANIA 35 VIEWING PARTY WITH SQUARED CIRCLE RADIO
WrestleMania 35 Viewing Party with SCR at the Zone Performance Studio
This one’s a little close to my heart, considering alongside David Reed and Brandon Haghany, I’ve been blessed to host SCR since it began in January of 2014. We have ALWAYS wanted to do a watch party inside our performance studio. Finally, we have that opportunity. In addition to watching the Showcase of the Immortals on a huge projection screen, Papa John’s is providing our food and beverages for the evening. Limited spots remain, so email email@example.com or DM us on Twitter @ZoneWrestling to be added to the list before we fill all our slots.
Oh, as an added bonus, we’ll be doing something special that night… perhaps commentary between matches, a live show on house microphones in the room, Q&A, polls and predictions on all the key matches, and plenty more. We are still coming up with more ideas to make this a completely immersive WrestleMania experience. You don’t have to sit at home. All it takes is $25 per person, with 100% of the proceeds going to #teamhutton1045 and the LLS! Remember, that DOES include your food for the evening. We look forward to seeing you there.
The Man would be disappointed if you didn’t join us.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18: AN EVENING WITH AMY ADAMS STRUNK AT THE BELL TOWER
An Evening with Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk, Hosted by the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain
Here’s the most important thing here… Martin’s BBQ is providing the food, so you’re better than good there. Oh, also you get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear Amy Adams Strunk speak about the Tennessee Titans in a candid conversation hosted by one of the preeminent NFL journalists of the past half century, John McClain. You get to do it at The Bell Tower of all places to boot! To say this event is rare would be an understatement, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s Midday 180 host and PaulKuharsky.com editor in chief, Paul Kuharsky, on the concept:
Getting Amy Adams Strunk on board for a John McClain dinner was amazing. When Hut first told me about it, I was floored. I know how much I’ve valued every chance I’ve had to speak with her since she’s become the controlling owner and the idea that fans of the team will get to hear her in this context is really spectacular. I hope those who have not jumped on the chance yet will do so quickly. You’re not going to want to hear about how cool it was from everyone who was there, and what’s said at The Bell Tower is going to stay at The Bell Tower. Some of you may get your first true experience at being part of something that’s truly off the record.
John McClain Dinners have always been ridiculously popular each year, always for a good cause, and to bring them back to Nashville AND have Amy Adams Strunk on hand is remarkable. Here’s the Man in Black, John McClain, on the opportunity and the idea:
I don’t know of another NFL owner who would do what Amy’s doing, and I know she’s as excited as I am to meet Titans’ fans and come together for a tremendous cause – raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
When Jonathan approached me about reviving the “McClain Dinners” I did for the Charles Davis Foundation for more than a decade, I was thrilled to be asked to participate. Nashville has been my home away from home for 22 years. I’ve been blessed to be a part of 104.5 The Zone, and anything I can do to help raise money for charities in Nashville is a privilege.
In a city of country music superstars, Jonathan Hutton is a rock star. He’s got to be the hardest-working guy in show business considering the gargantuan effort he’s putting into his fund-raising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I can’t wait to get to Nashville and join Jonathan, Amy and so many of my friends and Titans fans on what’s going to be a very special evening for a great cause. I hope you’ll join us.
Zone program director Brad Willis added this about the night:
This is such a great opportunity for a Titans fan to hear from the controlling owner, just days before Nashville hosts the NFL Draft. To have that kind of access, and know that your money is going to a great cause like LLS, is hard to beat.
For more information and to make sure you’re a part of a historic, dream night for any Titans fan, CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
THURSDAY, APRIL 25: TITANS RADIO DRAFT EXPERIENCE + HYATT HOUSE “HUTTON SUITE”
Titans Radio Draft Night Experience
Yes, the 2019 NFL Draft is here in Nashville for the first time ever, and as usual, the Titans Radio team will be ALL over it. These are the people you listen to every week during the Tennessee Titans season, but you’ve never had a chance to get up close and personal with the crew the way you can as part of this event.
I enjoy seeing how dedicated Jonathan is to this campaign. He is ALL IN, and for all of the right reasons. To raise the most money for LLS of Tennessee. He’s put his heart and soul into this with some very creative ideas and events. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Jonathan, who by the way is a good man and I think that’s one of the main reasons everyone has been so generous.I am very much looking forward to the events that lead up to the end of the campaign that coincide with the NFL Draft.
At this point, Dave McGinnis began getting very excited about the Draft and started using a bunch of insider football terminology that even left ME needing a duo of Aleve. He’s the best. You’ll see for yourself on the 25th.
Stay that evening at Hyatt House Nashville at Vanderbilt
Grand Finale Gala – Black Tie at City Winery
It all comes down to this! The 2019 LLS MWOY campaign closes in style – literally – at City Winery as all the biggest auction items (many of which haven’t been revealed yet – but allow me to tell you – GET READY, they’re impressive) will be given out to the highest bidders. That includes the Lexus IS 200T that you’ll have already test driven and ogled at SportsFest or on location with The Midday 180.
This will be a big night…a whole lot of people have raised a whole lot of money for LLS, and it will be celebration for all the hard work each one of them has put in. The only winner in the end is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Jonathan can’t emphasize that enough. It will be that last exhale…which we know will be followed by hope for a cure, for better technology, for more research, and for increased awareness and care for blood cancer in our community and all of Middle Tennessee.
The campaign may end, but the fight will continue until its purpose becomes obsolete. That occurs when our society has indeed beaten this thing.
ONGOING EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES (Updated as New Events Are Added)
- DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: Bridgestone Arena: May 11: No donation even required for this one. All you have to do is visit hutton1045.com between right now and April 25 and sign up to win. This is purely appreciation for visiting the webpage. DMB, as we at the station well know, is Jonathan’s all-time favorite band…he wanted as many of the campaign events as possible to be things that he would want to do, that he believes his audience would want to be part of, and that would matter to them. This is a prime example. Something for nothing. But if you donate while you’re there, you rock!
- MORE TBA: I will update the post as more items are added, but I know already of a few things we haven’t mentioned, and believe you me, there are some other doozies out there to get excited about!
Here’s Hutton’s message to us all… it’s why ALL this is happening, and it’s why he needs your support!