On one side of the coin Mark Collie is a gritty songsmith fascinated by those who reside on the fringes of society. On the flip side of that same coin is a man who has raised millions of dollars for charity while also drawing attention to a variety of meaningful causes.
Country Wide Epidemic
For over the past 20 years Mark Collie has been raising money to fund research for finding a cure for Diabetes. A type-1 diabetic since youth, Collie has used his celebrity for the greater good and has run the Mark Collie Foundation since the mid 1990’s. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for diabetes research. Additionally, the foundation makes a concerted effort to combat the disease amongst the Native American Population, where it has already reached the level of an epidemic.
In 1994, Mark Collie first conceived the idea to put country music singers in Legends cars and race for a cure. The Mark Collie Celebrity Race For a Cure was a miraculous event that brought together musicians, NASCAR drivers, actors, and athletes to raise money for diabetes research. Collie reached a huge goal in his fundraising efforts, with the help of thousands of volunteers, when the first diabetes research chair was established at Vanderbilt University.
Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center
Since 1997, Mark Collie has donated a significant portion of the proceeds of his annual Celebrity Race for a Cure to the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center in Tennessee. The Center was already a world-class research institution before Collie’s involvement, but over the past 15+ years, the VDRTC now includes more community outreach programs aimed at teaching children to learn to live with their diabetes.