Actor/musician Gary “Lt. Dan” Sinise to play benefit concert in Martinsville, will be grand marshal for April 1 Goody’s Fast Relief 500
Gary Sinise, the actor who became famous as Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump,” will be grand marshal for
Sunday’s the April 1 Goody’s Fast Relief 500, but he has some bigger plans while he’s in Martinsville.
Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band are scheduled to perform a benefit concert at Martinsville High School on
Saturday March 31. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to help build a specially equipped home for a triple-amputee veteran who lives in Ararat.
Marine Cpl. J.B. Kerns lost both legs and his right arm in April 2011, after an improvised explosive device detonated near him during his third tour in Afghanistan. Kerns has had dozens of surgeries since then. Sinise announced recently that the Gary Sinise Foundation and The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (named after the NY firefighter who perished on 9/11), are teaming up on Building For America’s Bravest program to build a “smart home” for Kerns that will allow him to live independently.
On April 1, Kerns will wave the green flag as the race’s honorary starter.
Sinise received an Academy Award nomination for his “Forrest Gump” role. In the movie, Lt. Dan loses both legs in Vietnam. Sinise, who stars in the TV series “CSI: New York,” formed the Lt. Dan Band in 2004 for USO Tours. The act performs about 40 times a year for troops and their families and to support charities that serve wounded soldiers and their families, according to a Martinsville Speedway news release.
The concert starts at 7 p.m. March 31. General admission tickets are $25. Some VIP tickets, which include a ticket to the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and a Sunday morning meet-and-greet with Sinise at the Martinsville Speedway.
The Piedmont Arts Association is selling tickets at www.piedmontarts.org or via 276-632-3221. To make donations, go to http://www.garysinisefoundation.org/help_us/donate or https://tunneltotowersfoundation.org/donate_now.aspx .
The Sinise and Siller foundations have been working together since 2011 to build smart home for three quadruple amputees, according to the news release. This year, the foundations are working on nine more homes for soldiers seriously wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, including Kerns.