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09/01/14

Historic Springfield Creamery T-Shirt Supports Rex

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Now immortalized for posterity as Sunshine Daydream, the Grateful Dead’s August 27, 1972 concert in Veneta was one for the history books on many fronts — especially because it kept the Springfield Creamery alive.

So we’re delighted that the Creamery is celebrating this epic event with a classic T-shirt, celebrating the day A Rock Band Saved A Yogurt Company, with the proceeds going to Rex. (Order yours here!)

Explains Sheryl Kesey Thompson, “The T-Shirt evolved out of a longtime desire to offer a ‘give back’ to the Grateful Dead of some type, as we honor and remember the fork in the road that the ’72 concert had for the Creamery. We also  looked for something to offer when folks, intrigued by the Nancy’s/GD connection,  asked, ‘Do you have a copy of that Nancy’s label/ticket from the Sunshine Daydream Show?’ or ‘Can I get a copy of the poster?’” They didn’t, but last year’s Sunshine Daydream release led to creative thinking, and voila.

Besides the Rock Band/Yogurt Company art on the back, the shirt features, on the front, a reproduction of the original ticket. Accompanying the shirt is a booklet that tells the whole story:

A trip that actually started in 1960, when newlyweds Chuck and Sue Kesey opened a small creamery in Springfield, Oregon. About a decade later, Nancy Van Brasch Hamren joined Springfield Creamery and teamed up with Chuck, a Dairy Technologist, to perfect a yogurt recipe. In 1970, Nancy’s Yogurt was born, believed to be the first U.S. yogurt cultured with the yet unknown probiotic, L. acidophilus.

By ’72, Springfield Creamery was facing some serious financial woes, with the looming possibility of shutting the doors to the humble company. Luck would have it that Chuck’s brother, author Ken Kesey, knew the Grateful Dead and the family presented a long-shot request: perhaps the band could perform a benefit concert for Springfield Creamery. The Grateful Dead graciously agreed and came to Oregon 28 days later, on a 110-degree day and played a concert for nearly 20,000 people in a field in Veneta, Oregon. On that pinnacle day, August 27, 1972, enough money was to raised to keep Springfield Creamery afloat; The Day a Rock Band Saved a Yogurt Company.

So, that is our story. And here we are over 41 years later, joined by the next two generations and about 55 other dedicated folks at Springfield Creamery, including Nancy herself. We still make Nancy’s Yogurt and remain honored to be crafting healthy, probiotic food for thousands of people each and every day. We have not forgotten that this is greatly due to the fact that over four decades ago, in an unlikely union, the Grateful Dead offered a hand-up to Springfield Creamery. Today it is time for us to give back. To commemorate the Creamery-saving Sunshine Daydream Concert of 1972, Springfield Creamery will donate proceeds from this T-shirt sale to The Rex Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the Grateful Dead.

We remain forever grateful for your support all these years ~

Thank You!

The Kesey Family
Chuck, Sue, Sheryl and Kit
and
The Folks at Springfield Creamery