Anyone who has attended a Dead & Company show this summer has surely seen Participation Row, the charity outreach program spearheaded by both HeadCount and REVERB. The organizations have put together a place for charity representatives to get together and share information about their respective causes, with auctions and outreach efforts to entice participation.Today, we’ve learned that Manasha and Keelin Garcia have added their charity, the Jerry Garcia Foundation, to the list of charities at Participation Row. The Jerry Garcia Foundation supports meaningful causes through arts and music, and their booth will encourage fans to write on the #StoriesofGratitude board.“We are honored to be a part of The Participation Row charity village in the presence of music that continues to uplift and inspire,” said Manasha Garcia in a statement about their joining the cause. “The Foundation is very grateful to Dead & Company, HeadCount and Reverb for their generosity.”The Jerry Garcia Foundation’s guest charity partners, including Musicians On A Mission, 1% for the Planet, Alive Inside Foundation, Shimer College, Fender Music Foundation and Playing for Change Foundation, will share the table at Participation Row on designated event dates. It looks to be an excellent way to inspire change throughout the community.
By Rory CarrollLOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) – Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he “tasted death” during the mental health crisis that brought him to the brink of suicide but is back and on a mission to help others.The British fighter shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko to capture the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.But he was stripped of those belts the next year after alcohol and drug use rendered him unable to compete.He ballooned in weight and few, including Fury himself, thought he’d ever see the inside of a ring again. But he rediscovered his love of boxing and the sport he walked away from proved to be his salvation.“I’ve been to hell and back and I’ve been given a second chance at life,” he told Reuters.“I turned my life around from 420 pounds and suicidal thoughts on a daily basis to getting back to the top of the heavyweight division,” he said. “To almost taste death and to come back to this level has definitely been a blessing.”Fury said he is passionate about helping others who struggle with mental health issues and has embarked on speaking tours in the UK and Europe to spread the word to those suffering that they can get better.“On the second return journey, I’m doing as much as I can to help others in needy positions and as much as I can to spread the word on mental health and smash the stigma because everybody deserves a second chance.” The response has been overwhelming. “People are flying in from all over to say thank you. You’ve saved my brother, my uncle, my cousin, my wife. One guy flew in from Malaysia to thank me personally and give me a hug.“So it means the world, it means so much to get the recognition for the help,” he said.Fury credits his own turnaround to the purifying effects of exercise, something he recommends but only up to a point.“Anyone in the midst of a mental health crisis should immediately contact a doctor,” he said.“I believe that if you do suffer from mental health, and I know a lot of people out there do, having a little training programme really works,” he said.“I don’t mean like a high-performance athlete, I mean just on a regular, day to day basis. What you can manage as an individual.“Whether it is a little 10-minute walk or a jog, whatever you can manage. And if you can maintain it like a daily thing, I think it really does help.”FEELING ‘FANTASTIC’ AHEAD OF UPCOMING BOUTSFury said he feels “fantastic” ahead of his September 14 bout with Otto Wallin and his highly-anticipated February 22 rematch with Deontay Wilder but said mental health struggles always lurk in the background.“There’s a great song the Eagles wrote called ‘Hotel California,’” Fury said while, appropriately, speaking to Reuters in a hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave,” he said.“I believe that’s mental health because you can get well – you can check out any time you want – but you can never leave it because you’re born with it.Fury, who in February signed a reported $100 million contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions to have his fights broadcast on ESPN, said he is now content to live in the moment. “I don’t have long-term goals, I only live day to day,” he said.“My long-term goal is to be happy and well and healthy. And anything after that is a real bonus. Nothing is guaranteed in life and nothing is promised.“We’re not even promised tomorrow morning so we’ve got to live and enjoy the moments we have in time, and that’s all we have – moments in time,” he said. “I’m making the best of every moment in time I have as of late.”
DES MOINES — Almost 400,000 Iowans have asked for an absentee ballot for the June 2nd Primary and early voting is likely to set an all-time record for a primary.“People have listened and they heard. They got the message: let’s vote safe, let’s vote from home right now,” says Secretary of State Paul Pate, the state’s commissioner of elections.His office mailed absentee ballot request forms to every registered Iowa voter, encouraging Iowans to ask their county auditor for the vote-by-mail option rather than in-person voting on Primary Day.“I think the pandemic has put a much stronger emphasis on voting,” Pate says. “People are at home. They’re paying attention to what the government’s doing.”The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Friday at 5 p.m. and officials suggest any request sent through the U.S. Postal Service be mailed today to ensure it gets to the county auditor on time. Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says in Iowa’s largest county, an average of about 9000 people typically ask for an absentee ballot for a Primary. His office has already processed 10,000 “and we still have 54,000 requests,” Fitzgerald says.While there will be in-person voting available on Primary day, election officials like Fitzgerald are encouraging Iowans to use this vote-at-home option.“We are in the pandemic,” Fitzgerald says. “You have people now that are voting safely, making sure they don’t spread the virus.”Pate says Iowa National Guard soldiers distributed personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to county auditors last week that will be used by poll workers at precinct voting sites on June 2nd. Each voting booth will be cleaned between uses. Some counties plan to offer voters gloves. In Polk County, each Primary Day voter will be given their own pen to use and take with them after they cast their ballot.“We want Iowans to be able to vote,” Pate says. “We want them to be able to vote safely and we want our poll workers to be safe.”Fitzgerald says in Polk County — and most others — the number of precincts have been reduced, to ensure there’s enough space inside for social distancing and to make sure there are enough poll workers.“I don’t want to wake up like they did in Wisconsin and find out that 400 people have quit, so we’re constantly training,” Fitzgerald says. “We’re constantly talking to our poll workers.”Pate predicts as many as 70 percent of ballots cast in the June Primary, however, will be absentee ballots. He says Iowans can track their absentee ballots on www.voterready.iowa.gov.“When the auditor’s office receives your request i’ll show that. It’ll show when the auditor sends (the absentee ballot) out. It’ll show when it got back to the auditor’s office, Pate says, “so you know it got there.”The two election officials made their comments this weekend on the “Iowa Press” program on Iowa PBS. They both are urging Iowans voting by mail to avoid a common mistake — and remember to sign and date the ballot.