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CMA partners with ABC, Toys For Tots to distribute toys to children in need during at holidays

by jmaloni

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Thu, Oct 30th 2014 07:55 pm

"CMA Country Christmas" hosted by Jennifer Nettles, tapes Nov. 7 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, and airs Monday, Dec. 1, on ABC

Celebrate the season with some of the biggest names in music performing holiday classics on "CMA Country Christmas," a two-hour special hosted for the fifth year by Jennifer Nettles airing Monday, Dec. 1 (8 p.m. ET), on ABC.

The special tapes in front of a live audience Friday, Nov. 7, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Artists previously announced include Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Lucy Hale, Hunter Hayes, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Idina Menzel, Nettles, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley jamming with Steven Tyler.

For the third year, audience members are being encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the taping to help make the holidays brighter for Nashville-area children. In 2014, CMA is partnering with Disney|ABC Television Group and Toys For Tots to distribute the gifts to children in need.

"Our artist community is extremely generous and so are our fans," said Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO. "It is our goal to make sure no child goes without a present this Christmas, and we are grateful to our network partner, ABC, and Toys For Tots for helping to make this dream come true for children everywhere."

A new toy during the holiday season goes a long way in a child's eyes and for that reason, The Walt Disney Co. has supported the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Foundation for more than 60 years as a way to connect with children and families in need during the holidays. The program's mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys during November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The relationship with TWDC and Toys For Tots began in 1948 when Walt Disney and his animators personally designed the original Toys For Tots train logo that is still in use today.

Earlier this week on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Tom Bergeron, host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Dancing With The Stars," also announced "AFV's" partnership with Toys For Tots. Their campaign, which has a different twist, entices viewers to upload their funniest 25-second tickle videos through Nov. 15. In return, "AFV" will donate $5 to Toys For Tots for every tickle video received (up to $25,000), with the grand total announced on the Dec. 7 episode.

"Finding a present under the tree on Christmas morning is an experience every child deserves," said retired Marine Major Bill Grein, vice president of the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. "Over the past 66 years, The Walt Disney Co., our first national corporate sponsor, has certainly done more than its fair share to help our Marines bring that joy to children whose families have struggled so much. Each year we are able to reach 7 million children. With the full support of The Walt Disney Co. again this year, we are hopeful that we'll fulfill the holiday dreams of many additional deserving children. The toys raised at 'CMA Country Christmas' this year is certainly a great start."

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