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Jam Band Charity: Deadheads and Phish Phans Focus on Giving

Hardcore fans of jam bands are a very giving, as are the bands they support. The Grateful Dead recently donated some band memorabilia to a charity auction, while Phishheads/Phans (call them what you will) have raised and distributed over $1 million for charity organizations started by fans of the band.

The non-profit organization WHY Hunger has organized an auction that includes VIP tickets to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, great tickets to a New York Giants home game, and guitars autographed by Santana, Sting, Cheap Trick, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The Dead contributed a t-shirt design stencil autographed by all original members of the band.

This year's WHY Hungerthon will be the biggest to date. Last year's Hungerthon campaign raised nearly $550,000.

Phish's followers have reached a milestone as well. Two foundations founded and operated by Phish fans have collectively raised $1 million. Both organizations are entirely run by volunteers, which makes those Phishheads a pretty respectable group.

The Mockingbird Foundation, an organization that supports music education for children, has raised over $613,000. The Mimi Fishman Foundation, which was started by the mother of Phish's drummer, raises money for vision-related charities by organizing online auctions Phish collectibles donated by the band. The Foundation now receives donated memorabilia from other notable jam bands as well. The Foundation takes pride in having donated over $390,000 to 38 organizations.

See? Jam band fans really do care about more than just tokin' in the attic.


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