Tommy Thayer, Darius Rucker unveil new storybook app at MUSC Children's Hospital

 / www.postandcourier.com

Superstar musicians Darius Rucker and Tommy Thayer teamed up at the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital on Monday to unveil a new smartphone app which will benefit the Children's Miracle Network.

The "storybook" app features the tale of Ernest Hummingbird, who wants to learn to sing but is discouraged because hummingbirds are only supposed to hum. In the end, he overcomes that obstacle.

"It is a story of perseverance and pursuing your dreams," said Thayer, a guitarist for the rock band KISS. "It's a beautiful little story. It's a lot of fun."

Thayer said he's been working on the project for two years.

More than a dozen pediatric patients gathered in the MUSC Children's Hospital atrium on Monday to listen as Rucker and Thayer shared the app and sang a song about best friends. The musicians also donated 10 iPad minis to the hospital for children to use and to read the digital storybook. 

Rucker, who narrates "Ernest Hummingbird," is a longtime supporter of the MUSC Children's Hospital. Last year, his family donated $265,000 to help construct a new building on the corner of Calhoun Street and Courtenay Drive.

"For me, it's all about giving back," Rucker, a country singer and Hootie & the Blowfish founder, said.

Proceeds from the sale of the "Ernest Hummingbird" app, which was illustrated by David Feiss of "Cow and Chicken" fame, will benefit the Children's Miracle Network. The group raises funds and awareness for its 170 member hospitals, including MUSC Children's Hospital.

The app costs $2.99 but will be available for free through Tuesday. Download the storybook online at ndsi.co/ernest.

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