organizations

Dead, Yankees & Colbert Donate To WhyHunger

2010 marks the 25th year that WhyHunger, the non-profit organization founded by Harry Chapin and Bill Ayres, has made its annual November Hungerthon auction a premiere charitable event during the holiday season. To date, the auction has raised over $11 million to help put a stop to hunger and poverty worldwide.

This year, WhyHunger will open the auction to participants nationwide online; promoting it on SIRIUS XM and at radio stations across the country on Saturday, November 20th and Tuesday, November 23rd, making it the biggest Hungerthon yet at a time when many are struggling.

Here are just a few of the many items up for bidding during the 2010 Hungerthon:

- Autographed guitars from Sting; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Carlos Santana and Cheap Trick
- Grateful Dead pelon (t-shirt design stencil) autographed by all original members of the band
- Baseballs autographed by the Yankees' Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera and by the Mets' David Wright
- Comedy Central Package - 2 VIP tickets to attend a taping of The Colbert Report and 4 VIP tickets to attend a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- Tom Chapin house concert
- Lunch with Charles Grodin
- Dinner with Vincent Pastore
- NY Giants - 2 great seats to attend a 2010/2011 season home game, with a pre-game personalized tour of Timex Performance Center stadium by the NY Giants' Director of Community Relations (with opportunities for autographs)

Additional Hungerthon auction items will be announced soon.

About WhyHunger: WhyHunger is dedicated to fighting the root causes of hunger and poverty by supporting grassroots organizations that create self-reliance, economic justice and equal access to nutritious and affordable food. Founded in 1975 by the late musician and activist Harry Chapin and current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to the hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and more than 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger's main programs include the National Hunger Hotline, 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, government programs and community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building and access to more than 8,000 anti-hunger and poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; Global Movements, which links the organization's domestic work to broader global movements for food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R., Papa Roach and many others. www.whyhunger.org

Phish Fans Donate More Than One Million Dollars to Charity

Two organizations founded and operated by fans of the rock band Phish announced today that they have raised and distributed a combined $1,000,000 for charity. The joint announcement was made by The Mimi Fishman Foundation, which raises funds through online auctions, and The Mockingbird Foundation, which publishes historical information about Phish in print and online. Both organizations are operated on an all-volunteer basis, with no salaries, paid staff, or offices.

The Mockingbird Foundation was organized in 1996 by Craig DeLucia and a dozen other fans to raise funds for music education for children through the publication of an encyclopedic book about Phish and its music. Expanding its efforts to include the cultivation and distribution of Phish-related intellectual property more generally, the Foundation has published two editions of a 900-page book, released a double-disc tribute album, produced a variety of tour-friendly merchandise, and re-launched the Phish.net website as a comprehensive database with a dozen mobile extensions. As a result of these efforts, as well as direct donations, the Mockingbird Foundation has been able to fund 193 grants (in 42 states) totaling over $613,000. www.mbird.org

The Mimi Fishman Foundation was organized in 1998, by Mimi Fishman (mother of Phish drummer Jon Fishman) and family friend David Shulman, to raise funds for vision-related charities through online auctions of Phish-donated memorabilia. While expanding its focus of charitable giving to include women, children, and animal-related charities, the Foundation also expanded its musical reach by receiving donated auction items from other bands, including The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Umphrey’s McGee. The Mimi Fishman Foundation has administered over 30 online auctions resulting in grants being made to 38 organizations totaling over $390,000. www.mimifishman.org

Communal efforts by Phish fans reflect the history of the band itself. Phish earned commercial success during the 1990s stealthily, with little radio play and a video that primarily aired as joke fodder on Beavis and Butthead. They evolved from a rumored bar band to an idolized arena organization, benefitting from ingenuity and courage as much as from talent. Ingenuity and courage also drove fans of the same period to begin orchestrating charitable works at shows: the Green Crew collected trash from venue surroundings, the Karma Crew and Clifford Care Bears discouraged hard drug use, the Phellowship provided camaraderie for sober fans, and the Phunky Bitches provided support to female fans. While several of those nascent elements continue, the charitable ambitions of volunteer fans expanded alongside Phish's success. Groups incorporated, boards of directors were formed, and Phish fan philanthropy was born.

The Mockingbird and Mimi Fishman Foundations look forward to many more years of serving Phish fans and grantees alike. Each has already raised the funds for additional grants to be announced this fall, and each is underway with new plans to continue their success.