Niceville, Fla. (April 14, 2009) – “A Celebration of Taylor,” a special tribute concert featuring a rare acoustic performance by the multi-platinum recording artist The All-American Rejects on Wednesday, March 18th at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville, Fla. successfully raised over $65,000 for the Taylor Haugen Foundation. Local resident and award-winning singer songwriter Reed Waddle was on hand to perform the opening act for the sold out event. All proceeds from the concert directly benefit the Taylor Haugen Foundation.
“We were absolutely thrilled that The All-American Rejects were gracious enough to agree to perform a benefit concert in T’s honor,” said Brian Haugen, father of Taylor Haugen. “The All-American Rejects were one of his favorite bands and together with Reed Waddle we could not have imagined a more special way to celebrate T and those who were touched by his life. The concert date also held significance for us because it took place just two days after what would have been T’s 16th birthday.”
Originally from Oklahoma, The All-American Rejects have released three studio albums in the last eight years and have since become one of the country’s most popular multi-platinum artists achieving success with their self-titled studio debut album followed by their multi-platinum sophomore cd Move Along. The All-American Rejects’ latest album When The World Comes Down was released in December of 2008 and they are currently on a world tour which kicked off in January. The debut single off their new album, ”Gives You Hell” is their first #1 on Mainstream Top 40 radio, with digital sales in excess of $1.7 million. The song peaked at #4 on Billboard Hot 100 making it the most successful All-American Rejects song.
“I was actually in the Panhandle area at the time of Taylor’s death and remembered reading about it in the local papers,” said Tyson Ritter, lead vocalist of The All-American Rejects. “We love the area and feel honored that we were able to support the Taylor Haugen Foundation through this concert.”
The selection of opening act Reed Waddle was an easy choice for the foundation. A close friend of the Haugen family, Waddle knew Taylor well and his performance added a personal note in what was arguably one of the largest and most enthusiastic turnouts to date for a concert held at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. The Destin native recently returned from Aspen, CO where he recorded his fourth album Piece by Piece with the assistance of multi-platinum pop icon John Oates of the famed duo Hall & Oates, and producer Jamie Rosenberg.
For more information on The All-American Rejects, visit www.allamericanrejects.com. To learn more about Reed Waddle, visit www.reedwaddle.com.
About the Taylor Haugen Foundation
Following the death of Taylor Haugen, the beloved 15-year-old Niceville High School (NHS) student who passed away on August 30, 2008 from injuries sustained during a NHS football game while playing JV wide-receiver, parents Brian & Kathy Haugen established the Taylor Haugen Foundation in memory of their son. In the spirit of Taylor’s extraordinary character, the purpose of the foundation is to provide support to faith-based, outgoing, community-oriented, academically-proficient athletes and supporting activities and organizations. The Taylor Haugen Foundation is a 501-c-3 non profit organization. Donations to The Taylor Haugen Foundation are tax deductible and can be mailed to: The Taylor Haugen Foundation, PO Box 101, Valparaiso, FL 32580. For more information, visit www.TaylorHaugen.org or call 850.496.0059.