May 23, 2011 —
Just about everyone in Sullivan County and the Upper Delaware Valley knows that the iconic jam band Phish is performing three shows over the Memorial Day Weekend at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. But the new development is that while in the area, Phish has chosen to link up with Catskill Mountainkeeper to promote the work Mountainkeeper has been doing to protect the environment.
Ramsay Adams, the executive director of Mountainkeeper, said he got the word about the selection on May 23, and said that he and his colleagues are delighted and honored to be single out this way. As part of the arrangement, representatives from Mountainkeeper, will be on hand at the concerts with a table and literature at the concerts as part of booth operated by the WaterWheel Foundation.
According to the Phish web site, “The foundation was created by Phish in 1997 to oversee that band’s various charitable activities.”
The mission of WaterWheel's Touring Division is to “raise funds for a pre-selected non-profit in each community that Phish visits while on tour. The net proceeds raised at each show - fan donations plus the sale of WaterWheel logo merchandise and items autographed by the band - are donated to the organization tabling at the show, after deducting overhead costs.”
The foundation chooses organizations that serve a wide variety of needs, including those that serve woman and children, as well as those that operate food banks and center on programs like urban gardening. Also, the foundation is interested in promoting organizations like Moutainkeeper with environmental missions that specifically focus on clean water and land conservation.
Mountainkeeper, which obtains funding from individual donations, and grants from public and private charities, has been instrumental over the past five years in bringing attention to a wide variety of issued that may represent a danger to the environment, including gas drilling, the proposed New York Regional Interconnection power line, multiple gaming casinos proposed for Sullivan County and the dwindling amount of farmland available in the region.