Kenny Rogers has been entertaining fans for the holidays with his Christmas & Hits show for 31 years.  And he thinks he's been at Turning Stone for every one of those years.  He spoke with us about his show and his campaign to raise toys and donations for kids in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Turning Stone Show
Kenny's 'Christmas & Hits' show is a favorite at Turning Stone and sells out every year.  Its been so successful, its been moved from the show room into the events center. And its not just something the fans love.  Kenny says 'it's one of those things I love to do because it gives me a chance to really feel Christmas for 35 days, since we start the day after Thanksgiving. It also gives me a chance to go around and enjoy everyone else's snow and I can go back to Atlanta where it snowed 12 years ago.'

Billy Dean will once again join Kenny for his show at the Turning Stone Thursday night, along with the Chittenango high school choir 'which is always spectacular. We also have 6 or 7 local kids that come out and add the whole joy to the Christmas program.'  Those kids come from Bolivar Elementary school this year.

Toy Drive
In addition to entertaining his fans, Kenny is also opening his heart and his wallet for the families in Connecticut and the kids affected by hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. 'I sit here and watch the news all day on my bus and I realize what a terrible thing happened in Connecticut and I want to help.  I start with a cash donation, then ask the audience to try and match it with toy donations.  Fisher Price is donating 200 toys as well.  I'll take the cash raised and buy more toys, which should get us around 1000 toys this year.'  And Kenny realizes he couldn't accomplish it all without the support of his fans. 'its a time of year where everybody realizes how fortunate they are and they want to help other people. Giving makes the person giving feel better.'

To learn how you can help, visit Kenny Rogers website.  Here's what he's collected so far with the help of the Englewood Fire Department in New Jersey.

Helping Heal
They say music can help with the healing process and Kenny is glad to be a small part of that process. 'I'm glad to be a part of it and I'm excited about being able to hep the community because I think its a community that really needs healing.  Sometimes it has to heal from within.  There's been a lot going on with the floods and hurricanes, then this on top of everything else.'  His Christmas & Hits show stops in New Jersey tonight and Connecticut on Friday.

Life on the road is hard for Kenny who has twin 8 year old boys who come out on tour occasionally.  'I really miss them. I don't like being gone this long but I talk to them every night.' Which is so much more important after the recent events at Sandy Hook elementary.  'You really have to stop every now and then and take stock of how lucky you are.  My boys are in the second grade and you just think, if that were me how would I respond and I don't honestly know.  I think that's more than any of us could deal with on an if basis.'

Tickets for Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits show at Turning Stone are $30/$50/$60 and can be purchased at the Turning Stone box office or by calling 361-7469.

Check out the kids with Kenny from last year's show at Turning Stone.

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