All five living ex-presidents gathered together on one stage Saturday to help raise hurricane relief funds during the Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal benefit at Texas A&M University. Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all appeared on stage and enjoyed performances during the night, following their video pledge for One America Appeal in September in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. President Trump wasn’t on hand, but did send a video message according to CNN:
“To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance,” Trump says in the message. “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.”
Performers during the event included Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Moore, and Yolanda Adams according to CNN, with “God Bless The USA” singer Lee Greenwood taking up the role of MC for the event. But the real surprise of the night was Lady Gaga, who appeared unannounced for the event and seemed honored to meet with the former presidents.
The efforts of One America Appeal and One Heart have raised $31 million by the end of Saturday night’s event, pulling in private funds from more than 80,000 donors according to CNN. Former President Carter also announced that Habitat for Humanity will build 6,000 homes in areas affected by the hurricanes, but the special moment was saved for H.W. Bush’s efforts for volunteer programs:
“It’s important that those affected by these devastating storms know that even if the path to recovery feels like a road that goes on forever, we’re with them for the long haul,” President George H.W. Bush said.
The elder Bush and the volunteer programs he started came in for special praise before the crowd of Texans.
“He sets an example for all of us, as does first lady Barbara Bush,” Obama said.
“I speak for the folks right here when I say we really admire and love George H.W. Bush,” the younger Bush said.
The night really seemed to turn into something special, particularly given the health scares we’ve seen with Carter and the elder Bush in the past year. Also, Lady Gaga appearing as a bonus. Not too shabby.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 22, 2017