Despite a rocky 2012, Rodney Atkins will focus his efforts and use his talent to help raise money for cancer research at a Kentucky Derby Eve dinner party. The party, called the Julep, will be held on May 4 in Louisville to benefit the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. Make no qualms about it, this is an event for those living high on the hog. At $500 a plate, Atkins will have the opportunity to help raise tens of thousands of dollars for the cancer center.

It’s surprising that the native Knoxvillian-turned-country-star can make time in his schedule for the event — which should show how important its goal to Atkins. The ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ singer has been busy juggling his career and philanthropy efforts while coping with a divorce from his wife, Tammy Jo.

In addition to helping raise funds for cancer research, Atkins has also spent his time recently performing for soldiers in Afghanistan and advocating for radio station WRIL’s tornado relief fundraiser, as well as other military-related benefits.

“I had no idea the support and the love that was out there from people,” Atkins shared with Taste of Country. “It’s carried me through the darkest times. It’s amazing when I sing ‘Going Through Hell’ and I realize that’s going to happen again with something else. I think God always has a plan. God puts situations in your life [that make you think] it’s something you can’t get through, but because of the support system around you, you do. It’s been amazing. With what I’ve been through, I just pray to do the right thing and say the right thing, and if I don’t know the right words, God will put them in my mouth. [If I] take the high road, the right thing will happen.”

Atkins has a few more miles to go before he’ll actually perform at the Julep in Louisville. He’s currently traveling on a heavy tour schedule and will be out on the road performing through the summer.

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