toby keith foundation
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Toby Keith Foundation Helps Oklahoma's Pediatric Cancer Patients and Their Families

The Toby Keith Foundation has made a difference in Oklahoma.

The late Toby Keith gave back to his home state of Oklahoma in a huge way. The Toby Keith Foundation was founded in 2006 to help with cancer treatment for children throughout the state. In recent years, the foundation has streamlined its efforts around no-cost housing for children with cancer. In 2014, the OK Kids Korral was established. It's a cost-free home for pediatric cancer patients receiving medical treatment at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center and other facilities in the Oklahoma City area.

Thanks to the country music star's nonprofit organization, the families of pediatric cancer patients have a comfortable and convenient place to stay through the support of OK Kids Korral. OK Kids Korral provides both day and night lodging at its state-of-the-art facilities. The mission of the Toby Keith Foundation is for families to have a safe, comfortable and relaxing place to connect and focus on the wellbeing of their loved ones.

"OK Kids Korral features areas targeting the specific needs of children with cancer," the foundation's website reads. "It also provides spaces where children can let loose and parents can simply relax."

Per KJRH, the OK Kids Korral's amenities include  a movie theater, playground, meditation and prayer room and gourmet kitchen.

Keith's wife from the mid-'80s until his death, Tricia Covel, has long served as the foundation's vice president.

The idea for the foundation dates back to when a friend of Keith's 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a tumor.

"I had been donating all of my efforts and money to St. Jude's, which is an incredible organization," Keith told Golf Digest. "I called in a favor, and they took her but weren't able to save her. Her mother said later she didn't have anything with her when they arrived. St. Jude's told her, 'Here's your room, here's some Walmart cards, here's some food 24/7.' They didn't charge her a penny."

Ultimately, Keith made sure that comparable hospitality for patients and their families was available in Oklahoma.

"We do whatever we can to help these families survive while they're helping their child beat cancer," Armando Rosell, a board member of the OK Kids Korral, said in January of 2024 at the facility's 10th anniversary celebration (as quoted by ABC affiliate KOCO).

The OK Kids Korral and related services has been funded over the years by the Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic and Auction. In 2023, Keith appeared at the June 2- 3 event.

By no means did Keith intend to slow down when it came to his foundation, despite his own bout with cancer.

"Next year, it'll be the 10th year for OK Kids Korral, 20th year of my foundation party," Keith told the Oklahoman at last year's event. "We're gonna celebrate a 10 and a 20, and we're gonna blow it out. It's amazing how much support we get. But it takes that kind of support to handle 300 families a year."

Keith died on Feb. 5, 2024 at the age of 62 following a battle with stomach cancer.

Editor's Note: This story previously ran on Nov. 25, 2021. It was updated on Feb. 6, 2024.

READ MORE: Toby Keith's Kids: Meet the Country Icon's Three Children