If You Get Confused, Listen to the
Music Play: A Note From
Rex Foundation Executive Director
Dear Friends of Rex:
I am sure many of us have spent some time over the past few days considering the uncertainty that has developed as a result of the recent election. I am reminded of the time I was confronting similar feelings while dealing with the passing of Jerry and the tumult that it brought. One of the more reassuring methods of dealing with those feelings was the role that music and community played in our collective recovery.
In the latter part of 1995, the uncertainty that we all contemplated, the band included, had us thinking about the future of the band’s ability and desire to perform, as well as wondering if our community bond would stay intact. These topics and many more were on everyone’s mind. For the Board of Directors of the Rex Foundation, the question became how we could sustain Rex absent the funding that had been so generously provided by the band’s great performances.
In 2001, it had been six years since Rex had put together a benefit. At a board meeting we all came together and determined that if we were to maintain our mission, we needed to gather and revel in community and music.
As a result of that meeting we decided to produce an event we called “The Healing Power of Music.” It was an amazing night and it put us back on the path of restoring Rex as one of the crown jewels of the Grateful Dead experience.
Ever since we produced The Healing Power of Music, Rex has continued to host events of all sorts—concerts, ski races, Grateful Dead Tribute nights with Major League Baseball and The National Hockey League, as well as local shows, fairs, and benefits raising funds for Rex at the grassroots level. We have been included in estate plans, and on a daily basis individuals consider us part of their charitable giving. Most of these sources had never even been contemplated prior to 1995, and all have provided Rex with a sustaining force. All of you have provided us with the ability to serve a broader community in need of funding. Gaining your support has been been extremely gratifying, and an essential ingredient of the Rex renaissance.
It is amazing what happens with the passage of time. In spite of our worst fears we all persevered. And yes, changes did occur, yet the music we loved lived on and has continued to nourish us in ways that we could not have imagined in 1995. I for one find comfort in finding the possible in impossible.
On December 3 our community will once again gather at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The event this year, called Ramble on Rose, is one that is essential to maintaining our ability to raise funds, which, in turn, allows us to make grants to well deserving non-profits.
We are very fortunate to have the Midnight Ramble Band performing at this year’s event. Levon Helm hand-picked these musicians as his house band in Woodstock, and they eventually became his touring band when his health would allow. They are true keepers of the flame and do an incredible job of bringing the music we all know to life. It is a very rare treat to have them on the West Coast.
For more than 30 years, the Rex Foundation has funded organizations most people might never have heard of, but all of whom do meaningful work that we find important. I believe that these same groups need all of us now more than ever, and I doubt there could be any better way to celebrate their work than by coming together with songs in the air and spirits held high.