August 1, 2010; Source: San Francisco Examiner | We who write for the Nonprofit Quarterly have interesting and eclectic backgrounds in journalism, one might say. This author, for example, started his writing career in college as a rock music reviewer Fusion, Rolling Stone’s long forgotten East Coast competitor, where he was an acolyte of West Coast bands such as the Quicksilver Messenger Service and, of course, the Grateful Dead.
For some time, the Dead were ensconced in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, with iconic bandleader Jerry Garcia at its helm. Garcia died of a heart attack in 1995 while seeking treatment at a drug rehab facility. Since then, Garcia has been honored annually with festivals and events, including this year’s eighth annual “Jerry Day,” which coincides with his August 1 birthday.
One of the philanthropic accomplishments of the Dead is the Rex Foundation, which the Examiner says has raised $8.6 million since it was founded in 1983 to help people in the arts, sciences, and education. The Dead were the foundation’s major source of income for years, but with Garcia’s passing, the band faded and so did the foundation’s revenue stream.