Local star still a friend
BY JASON COLLINGTON World Scene Writer
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10/29/08 at 7:31 AM
Reba continues to show love for hospital
DENISON, Texas -- Reba
McEntire is a lot of things right
now -- singer, sitcom star and
clothing designer -- but she
hasn't forgotten how to be a
McEntire came to this town just
south of the Red River to see
what a decade's worth of benefit
concerts have done.
Since teaming up with Texoma
Medical Center, where her doctors
were based during her childhood,
McEntire has raised $4 million.
Her name is all over the hospital's campus, including the rehabilitation center and ranch house,
which is a home-away-from-home
for families of critically ill patients.
Since its opening in 1992, thousands of families have taken comfort in this home with a big front
porch. More than 10,000 Oklahomans have stayed there.
"They're healing, and that is
what the whole thing is about,"
McEntire said during a press conference.
The country music superstar
had her press briefing a few hours
before her performance in yet another benefit concert in Durant,
the home of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, which McEntire attended before moving to
"From the music to the hospital
to Reba's Ranch House, to the
mammography unit, the rehab
center -- it's all about healing. If
we can get everyone back on their
feet back home, then we've done
Proceeds from the Memorial
Day concert are earmarked for the
ranch house's endowment. Hospital leaders said McEntire's contributions over the years were "immeasurable."
"They do all the work," McEntire said of the hospital and the
community, which isn't far from her hometown of Chockie,
"I come in here one or two
days and they treat me like a
She said what motivated her
to help this part of southeastern Oklahoma and northern
Texas was a pledge she made
during a lunch date with her
"It's important to me for
these families to have someone
to talk to," she said. "It's a
wonderful, very comfortable
queen of country
music is doing a
lot of her work
off stage these
days. Some 48
million of her albums have been
sold, she's the
star of a highly
rated sitcom, and
McEntire received critical
praised for her stint in the title
role in the Broadway hit, "Annie Get Your Gun."
McEntire recently finished
giving a voice to Betsy the
cow in a new movie of the
children's classic "Charlotte's
Web," and she also did voice
work as a character in the upcoming "Fox and the Hound
Success in all those arenas
has tagged McEntire with
what marketers everywhere
crave -- mass commercial appeal.
In March, Dillard's launched
a clothing line called Reba,
which offers fashions that
range in price from $48 to
"As best as I could, I have
put my own voice into the
clothing line and the TV
show," said McEntire, whose
mother modeled a light blue
sweater set from the collection
during the press conference.
"Every time they come with
a script, they ask me 'Would
you say this?' I say, 'No. This
is what I would say.'
"Same way with the clothes.
I am now beginning to say,
'You know what, the Southern
women I know wouldn't wear
this, but they would wear this.'
I think the reason the TV
show and the clothing line are
different from anyone else's is
because I have a different way
of doing things."
She isn't planning on just
slapping her name on clothes.
The cowgirl wants to make
women's shoes as comfortable
as the boots she wears.
"Curiosity motivates me to
go on," she said about all her
projects. "I love what I do. I
am very blessed. I've always
thought that if I didn't do the
things God has given me the
talents for, he would give them
to someone else. So I sure
took him up on it and thank
him every day."
This summer McEntire will
tour with Terri Clark and Brad
Paisley. She's also going to do
a benefit concert at Carnegie
Hall later this month.
She'll soon return to Los Angeles, where she
lives most of the
year, and start
the fifth season of
"Reba." The WB
picked up the series for two more
"Out of everything I have been
able to do, I am
very grateful for
my family and my
friends," she said. "That is the
most important thing in life
God has given me."
McEntire was happy that another Oklahoma girl from a
small town has gotten her first
big break by winning this
year's edition of "American
"I am very proud of Carrie
(Underwood), and I think she
has done a great job," McEntire said of the Checotah native. "She is as sweet as a button. I think she is going to be
a great 'American Idol.' "
McEntire doesn't make it
back to Oklahoma much because of her schedule, but she
said she always likes finding
herself surrounded by familiar
"Coming back home
grounds you," she said. "It reminds you of your roots and
your raising. People from Oklahoma and Texas are just very
down to earth people who are
loving and giving and supportive."
Jason Collington 581-8464
Country music star Reba McEntire speaks Monday outside Reba’s Ranch House, a home-away-from-home for
families and loved ones of critically ill patients at Texoma Medical Center in Denison, Texas.