Five hundred and ninety-six students at Doak Elementary School in Greeneville, TN knew they were helping others by raising funds and awareness for the Greene County Relay for Life’s cancer initiatives but they had no idea that their generosity would actually put them in front of one of the hottest trios in Country music — The Band Perry!

The siblings, who are local celebrities, initially offered students an autographed photo as an incentive for their efforts, then decided making a visit would be a better way to celebrate.

Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry of Republic Nashville’s The Band Perry surprised the students last Thursday morning, rewarding them for their dedication to the annual community fundraiser, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

Second grader Makeelee Nelson, who had seen the band in concert but had never met the them, was moved beyond words before finally blurting out, “I’m so gonna faint!”

The school’s support of ACS is a way to honor the work and dedication of the late teacher Lisa White, a cancer victim who was a long-time supporter of the Greene County Relay for Life. Each year since White’s passing, the Doak School has held a fundraising campaign, and last year, raised more then $34,000. This year’s goal is $35,000 and The Band Perry’s visit and autograph session was just one of the ways that the students and faculty of Doak School are trying to meet that goal.

The Grammy-nominated group said they were thrilled to be a part of this event, especially since funds were going to the American Cancer Society.

Visiting Doak, where her friend taught school, was very special and moving to Kimberly.

“Cancer is something that has touched our lives,” Kimberly Perry said. “We had an aunt who passed away from cancer, and Lisa White was a dear friend of ours. To honor those ladies’ lives in this way — and to raise some money for the American Cancer Society — is something we like being a part of.”


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