Cracker BarrelTeam Captains Kellie Pickler and Thomas Rhett and 12 Country Music Artists (Rhett Akins, Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, Chase Bryant, Kristian Bush, Dan + Shay, Love & Theft, Scotty McCreery, Cassadee Pope and Jamie Lynn Spears) Play Checkers at the 2015 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Party for a Cause Festival in Texas on April 18

Twelve country music celebrities have joined the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Country Checkers Challenge™ and will play to support the USO(United Service Organizations) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans).

Kellie CBOn Saturday, April 18, team captains Kellie Pickler and Thomas Rhett, and their teams of country music artists, will play on a giant checkerboard onsite at the 3rd Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Through a $35,000 donation from Cracker Barrel, ACM Lifting Lives® will donate $25,000 to the winning team’s charity and $10,000 to the losing team’s charity. Pickler’s team will play for the USO and Rhett’s team will play for DAV as the benefiting charities.

“For many years Cracker Barrel has celebrated the spirit of music through our exclusive music program.  The Country Checkers Challenge partnership with the ACM provides us with a great opportunity to recognize two military organizations—the USO and DAV,” said Chris Ciavarra, senior vice president of marketing for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. “We are delighted to honor these non-profit organizations through a donation to help them continue the great work they do across the nation in support of active and retired military servicemen and women.”

The country music entertainers participating in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Country Checkers Challenge include Rhett Akins, Dan + Shay, Danielle Bradbery, Scotty McCreery and Cassadee Pope playing on Thomas Rhett’s team.  Lauren Alaina, Chase Bryant, Kristian Bush, Love & Theft and Jamie Lynn Spears will play on Kellie Pickler’s team.

Storme Warren CBSiriusXM “The Highway” Satellite Radio personality Storme Warren will serve as host for the event.

Fans can participate in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Country Checkers Challenge sweepstakes game at CrackerBarrel.com.  The game continues through March 22 when six Grand Prize Winners will each win a trip for two to the ACM Awards at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas and a spot on the checkerboard to play in the ultimate Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Country Checkers Challenge with team captains Pickler and Rhett. All rules and regulations can be found at CrackerBarrel.com.

Special ACM retail merchandise is available for sale at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations.  The merchandise includes limited edition ACM 50th annual t-shirts and hats. Also included is This is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Academy’s first-ever commemorative hardcover book, written by esteemed former music journalist and current ACM executive, Lisa Lee.

Thomas Rhett CBThe 3rd Annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas is a two day event, beginning at 12:00 PM on April 17-18, 2015, which will include multiple stages for ongoing LIVE country music performances, interactive experiences, a family-friendly country marketplace with food trucks and vendors from around the country, and much more, all leading up to the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which will be broadcast LIVE for the first time ever from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

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Team Captains Kellie Pickler and Thomas Rhett and 12 Country Music Artists (Rhett Akins, Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, Chase Bryant, Kristian Bush, Dan + Shay, Love & Theft, Scotty McCreery, Cassadee Pope and Jamie Lynn Spears) Play Checkers at the 2015 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Party for a...