501(c)(3) status announced at media conference

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From left to right: C.J. Greco, Ryan Reid, Jerry Payne, Chad Sullins, Grady Cross, Johnny Cooper, Brad Piccolo, and Rick Reiley

At a media conference this morning, the Red Dirt Relief Fund (RDRF) Board of Directors, along with several Red Dirt musicians, announced formal status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Modeled after The Grammy Foundation’s MusiCares program, RDRF makes donated funds available to any person who has been in the business of making Red Dirt music for at least 5 years. Individuals are eligible for a grant of up to $2000 annually, $5000 maximum in a lifetime. In 2012, RDRF has granted $2,000 each to two Oklahoma musicians—one who lost his home in the summer wildfires and one who required a major surgery and had no insurance.

According to RDRF President and Red Dirt Ranger, John Cooper, “You know they say musicians don’t have insurance, they throw benefits. This Fund was created to help musicians when they need it most.”

Musicians can request funds here and individuals can make tax-deductible donations here.

Spurred by years of talk about creating such an organization, Red Dirt musicians finally found the means to establish RDRF when Red Bull Energy Drink offered the proceeds of it’s popular Red Dirt roots music event, Red Bull Gypsy Café. In November 2011, a Board was formed and began work establishing the non-profit. Last month, the Board received notice from the IRS of it’s 501(c)(3) status, effective September 20, 2012.  This now allows RDRF to accept tax-deductible donations, something they hope will help the fund continue to grow.