Toys Distributed in Middle Tennessee by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation; “CMA Country Christmas,” Hosted by Jennifer Nettles, Re-airs Saturday, Dec. 20 on the ABC Television Network

NASHVILLE – Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Country Music industry and fans, the holidays will be a little brighter for children in Middle Tennessee. CMA collected more than 5,000 toys that will be distributed to deserving children by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation this year.

“This community is well known for its giving nature,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “I’m not surprised that they would step up to contribute to a cause this meaningful during the holidays, but I am in awe of the outpouring of gifts and grateful to our artists, industry and fans for helping to make dreams come true for children this Christmas.”

“On behalf of the Toys for Tots Foundation as well as every less fortunate child in Middle Tennessee that will receive Toys for Tots gifts this Christmas, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you who made a contribution in any way! In the first year of the partnership with the Country Music Association at the CMA Awards Red Carpet event as well as the ‘CMA Country Christmas’ taping we managed to raise over 50 boxes of toys to be given out to these less fortunate children,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dennis E. Bowers, Jr. “We look forward to working with the Country Music Association for years to come and making this grow year after year to help less fortunate children in the local Middle Tennessee area.”

Most of the toys were collected at the taping of CMA’s holiday special, “CMA Country Christmas,” which was hosted for the fifth year by Jennifer Nettles. The special, which features performances by Clare Bowen, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Lucy Hale, Hunter Hayes, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Idina Menzel in a duet with Nettles, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith with Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley jamming with Steven Tyler, will re-air on Saturday, Dec. 20 (9:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

A new toy during the holiday season goes a long way in a child’s eyes and for that reason, The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) 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 mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program 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.

With the initial broadcast of “CMA Country Christmas” and “Castle,” ABC took second on Monday, Dec. 1 to NBC (“The Voice”/”State of Affairs”) in Total Viewers (8.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.5/4). “CMA Country Christmas” was up for the second consecutive year in both Total Viewers (+20 percent – 8.9 million vs. 7.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (+7 percent – 1.6/4 vs. 1.5/4). In fact, “CMA Country Christmas” delivered its second-best-ever numbers in viewers and young adults. The ABC special was the night’s No. 2 entertainment show in viewers and young adults, behind only NBC’s “The Voice.” (Source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Program Ratings, 12/1/14)

“CMA Country Christmas” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Paul Miller is the Director, and David Wild is the writer. The special was shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

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