MACON, Ga. -- United Way of Central Georgia, Mercer University Athletics, Visit Macon and 100.9 The Creek, are partnering for the first-ever 478 SINGS United.

Officials say the event will celebrate and recognize the great musical talent in Central Georgia while helping meet community needs growing out of the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual singing competition and fundraiser will feature local bands and musicians.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $2,500, plus receive the opportunity to perform at the opening Mercer Bears football game on September 12th as part of the 2020 Ford Mercer Concert Series. In addition, the winner will record a track at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon.

All money raised during tournament voting will reportedly benefit the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“At a time when our lives have all been disrupted by this pandemic, we’ve all had to make a lot of adjustments to our normal daily lives,” said George McCanless, President and CEO of United Way of Central Georgia. “The Mercer Athletic Department approached us with the idea for the ‘March Madness’ style band (virtual) tournament soon after we announced the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. We hope the event inspires some fun and friendly competition, all while lifting spirits and raising funds for people who need help during this stressful time.”
“Our goal is to provide the Central Georgia community something positive and entertaining while at home,” said Daniel Tate, Mercer Associate Athletic Director. “This competition gives us the opportunity to give back by supporting the United Way and Community Foundation in their efforts with the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.”

Officials say the competition will be organized in a single elimination bracket tournament [like March Madness] organized by a selection committee. Musicians/bands who want to participate must submit registration for the tournament by April 15. The bracket and first round match-up dates will be announced soon after, according to a release. The winner of each match-up will be based on the number of votes in the United Way fundraiser. Each $1 contributed will count as one vote, with all funds going straight to the Central Georgia COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, according to the release. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the community!

For eligibility requirements and to enter the tournament, musicians and bands can visit here.

Season tickets for the upcoming 2020 Mercer football season are now available for purchase. Packages include tickets to the Ford Concert Series performances and each of Mercer's five home games in 2020. In order to reserve the best seats in Five Star Stadium for what is sure to be an exciting season of Bears football, fans are encouraged to go here to purchase tickets.

United Way of Central Georgia is a leading funder of health and human service organizations that have a measurable impact in fourteen Central Georgia counties and impact the lives of one in four local people annually. For more information on United Way, click here.