07/17/08

Rex Jam Report #1 – Mountain Jam

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Mountain Jam – Hunter Mountain, NY
Sunday June 1, 2008 8:30 pm – w/Ratdog
In support of Family of Woodstock

This was the first Rex Jam of the summer, and my first one ever. I think that, all things considered, it went really well. I organized my crew of volunteers – some people I’ve known for years, and others I’d really only just met (Thanks to Mollie, Joey, Debi, Jonny Wa, Sam, Susan & Matthew, Ann Marie, Jennifer and Erica!) to help me carry out the collection of funds. Michael Pillot, who was in charge of the Awareness Village, was my contact for the event and he was just great. Easy to work with – and an all around nice guy – he was a tremendous support. So, Michael, if you’re reading – thanks!

The first rush came when I stood on the same stage where Govt Mule, Michael Franti, Ratdog, Levon Helm and a ton of great musicians had played that weekend, and gave the appeal to the seven or eight thousand people assembled in front of me (the photo above is of the view from the stage). It was intense. I’ve never been described as shy, and I have done my share of public speaking, but never to an audience that size. Yes – I was nervous, but I guess I hid it well. People I spoke with afterwards told me I did a great job and marveled at how I seemed so poised and comfortable up there. I just kept reminding myself to speak slowly and clearly… (thanks to Jon and Lisa for their input). Michael Berg, the executive director of Family of Woodstock also spoke, giving some information about the program (follow the link to the website for more about Family). It was nice to not have to be up there entirely by myself.

The second rush came when we were tallying up our collection. Each jug contained a glowstick (to help it be seen in the dark!) and a substantial amount of money. With each bucket, I became more and more excited about what we had accomplished on this first endeavor. I was thrilled to be able to call Sandy with the total that night (more than $750 in only 10 minutes or so). I felt like we had really made a difference.

We raised a nice chunk of change for Family of Woodstock. We also learned a lot about what works well, and what can be done better. We intend to put this information to work to make the next Rex Jam an even greater success.