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American Idol runner-up Kree Harrison sings at Compassion Hospice event
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
Southeast Texans welcomed home American Idol runner-up Kree Harrison today, and they did it in style. The audience was covered in vibrant hues of blue, purple, pink, orange, and green colored powder. Although some of this was due to powder flung in the air before Harrison's performance, most of the powder coating came from the Compassion Color Run 5K that morning.
Hundreds of people ran or walked in the color run to raise money for Compassion Hospice.
"This is to raise funds so we can continue that promise to the community: care without compromise. And anyone can receive hospice care regardless of if they're insured or not," said Compassion Hospice Center Event Coordinator Kay Miller-Horne.
Horne says, over the past five years, Compassion Hospice has given more than half a million dollars in end of life care to Southeast Texans who couldn't afford it.
"That's our promise," said Horne, "regardless of who they are, regardless of how rich or poor they are, everyone deserves dignity and respect and we hold to that."
Horne says Compassion Hospice is one of the few non-profit hospices in Southeast Texas, and money raised goes toward medical care, medication, food, and basic needs for low-income patients.
Kree Harrison jumped on board Compassion Hospice's mission.
"It's always fun to perform near home, so my family was out there, and that was cool. Anytime I can be part of a good cause is something that I want to do," said Harrison. "I told them, I'll do it again."
She says she's glad to breathe the fresh Texas air.
"Eventually I think I'm just going to kiss this ground, I'm so happy to be home," said Harrison.
The color run and concert raised more than 50 thousand dollars.
"I think it's really great that we're trying to raise money for hospice and all that, and also another main reason I'm here is to get colored!" said participant Morgan LeBlanc.
An easy feat, considering colored powder filled the air.
"It distracts you so you forget how far you've been running," said Mason Mathews, who won first place in the 5K.
"Not awesome. Because it got in my mouth," said Averie Hartman.
Kree Harrison says she's going to use her time back home to recharge.
"I haven't really taken a breath since the show, so to come back, and I'm going to write songs here and just kind of unwind for a minute," said Harrison. "And then come back and go full force again."
Catching her breath for a moment, while also helping to ensure that Southeast Texans are comfortable at the end of their days.