Projects in Asia and fund raising anywhere


Willowgreen gives and rocks Celtic style in Wisconsin.

From Bemidji to Hollywood, the Give and Live tour brought Thailand to America.

Jill Holly and Scott perform her original song "Calling All Angels" in Minneapolis.

Silent auctions of Thai imports, Karen silver, and products and services from local businesses.

Hollywood author/voice talent Ben Johnson gave generously. "Let's build a school."

If I lived in Nashville, I'd definitely be part of the community at Edgehill Methodist Church.

Happy Steph and Janice in North Carolina: President and Vice President of Smiles.

Beers and buds in Bemidji,
the Native America word for sneeze. BEMIDJI!!! Bless you.

Without the care and cars of the Yount family, I'd still have a storage unit filled with the past.



26 August - 6 October 2005: Across America


FERC Give and Live Benefits USA Concert Tour 2005
Raises One Million Baht for Thailand's Children!

As Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans, the FERC Give and Live Benefits USA Tour began a few hundred miles away in Virginia. Seven concerts in six states during August-October 2005 raised over a million baht for charitable projects for less fortunate children here in northern Thailand. Silent auctions of goods and services from local businesses and Thai imports plus sales of CDs, Give and Live T-shirts, Karen silver, hill tribe bags and handicrafts from the Children’s Garden orphanage made the project an educational and financial success.

One million baht equals $25,000 which goes a long way in Thailand.
The funds raised by FERC (Foundation for the Education of Rural Children) will be used to purchase educational and therapeutic equipment for kids with multi-disabilities at the Chiangmai School for the Blind, to provide all living, lodging, educational and medical expenses for a year for the 30 orphans at Children’s Garden near Doi Saket, to buy 50 mattresses for dormitories, to give scholarships to 20-40 pre-approved children at vocational or governmental facilities and to build at least two new schools at locations to be announced.    

Six states and seven cities from Bemidji to Hollywood.
A grass roots ecumenical tour, the venues were diverse: the historic Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia; St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Edgehill Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; the Jewish Community Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji in rural northern Minnesota; the Harrington Arts Center at the Accordion Museum in Superior, Wisconsin; and finally at the elegant home of author/voice-over talent Ben Patrick Johnson in the hills above Hollywood.

A multimedia show with music, comedy, photos and friends.
The core of each concert was my multimedia show of original music and comedy with photos of beautiful Thailand and the kids we’re helping, synchronized to songs about eating anything, driving everywhere and sleeping anytime (“Living in the Thailight Zone”), loving Thailand (“My Home Away From Home”) and losing your parents and children to AIDS: “Grandparents and grandchildren left behind, alone together but caught up in a bind. They’re too old to earn or learn something new and too young to know what to do.” Guest artist graced the stage at most events: Grammy Award winner Barbara Bailey Hutchison (who recently performed here in Chiangmai at FERC’s 6th Annual Gala in February 2005) in NC, VA and in her hometown Nashville; singer/guitarist Derek Jacobson in VA; recording artist Jill Holly and singer-songwriter Sara Wagner in Minneapolis; the women’s folk trio Trillium in Bemidji; and the Celtic band Willowgreen in Wisconsin.

So what is...I mean...where is Thailand again?
Concert production, promotion and the logistics of getting merchandise to each venue aside, the challenges were formidable. Everyday America read hurricane headlines and watched destitute people struggling to survive as contaminated waters and debris ravaged their homes. On the night of the North Carolina concert, three Katrina benefits were scheduled. Although last year’s tsunami put us on the map in some folk’s minds, Thailand is not a household word in the USA. The six full pages of travel ads in the Minneapolis newspaper listed only six fares to Asia with none to Thailand. People from the Midwest and the South vacation mainly in Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. But the hundreds that came to the events gave generously to a new organization with unfamiliar causes.

Let's do it again. And let's go for a ride.
Many seeds were also planted for the future. Most volunteers talked about “next time.” Help with events was offered in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Madison, Wisconsin, in New York, in my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. A connection with a long-time friend spawned the plans for a charity motorcycle ride here in northern Thailand during January 9-19, 2007: Give-Live-Ride Thailand. 10 riders will raise 100,000 baht each for Give and Live plus pay their own expenses for a pleasure ride and some charitable service work at one of our projects. Two have already signed up.

Friends and family kept me going, going, gone.
The heart-warming moments during the tour were constant. Seeing family and friends, then working with them for a common cause. Feeling the care and community at Barbara Hutchison’s church in Nashville and watching those folks make sure silent auction items given by their friends received sufficient bids to make the donor feel good. An impromptu mini-concert for my 93-year old stepfather and his nurse, probably his last concert and the last time I see him. Though one of the goals was fund-raising, other essential goals were education and awareness. And to take the first steps toward those goals. A choice moment was when 8-year old Matt, the son of dear friends, found me after the second concert, one where he saw kids his age on the screen, heard their stories through music, and felt compassion for their lives. For several years I’ve always thought him to be shy and reserved, but he looked me right in the eye and said emphatically, “That was powerful.” Those three words made that evening a grand success and helped me through the rest of the tour.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
It took me about a month to recover from the tour. I forgot I'm not 25 anymore. I probably would have been a road kill without all the grand folks who gave their time, energy, art, products, support, food, lodging, transportation, whatever. I wish I had remembered to take photos at every show and had a photo of every volunteer to include right here. This page would be about 11 meters long. I have an old photo of great friend, playwright, badminton expert and major helper Charlie Lovett that I could have used here but I can probably raise more money if I show it to him and just threaten to use it.

FERC Give and Live Benefits USA Concert Tour 2005 press release

FERC Give and Live USA Concert Tour 2005
promotion, performers and venues

Previous DAY TO DAY updates:
FERC's 6th Annual Benefit Gala!
19 February 2005, Chiangmai, Thailand
There's more to give than money.
28 November 2004: Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
FERC's First Give and Live Benefit
September - October 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
Two years ago I wasn't sure I'd live two more minutes.
27 July 2004: Sansai, Thailand
Day to Day has become month to month.
21 March 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
R & R and R & R for the R:
rest, relaxation, roots and rubber for the road...
20 December 2003: Chiangmai and Pai, Thailand

Later DAY TO DAY updates:
Give-Live-Ride Thailand Charity Motorcycle Ride 2007!
January 2007, All Over Northern Thailand
220,000 baht, fireworks, badminton and love!
16 November 2005, Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
Srinehru Hmong School Gets New Facilities!

15 October 2005, Khun Chang Khian, Thailand

Questions? Comments? Donations?
© 2005 by Give and Live, USA
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Board member Judy and silent auction maven Janie model
Lahu hill tribe garments from Children's Garden orphanage.

Miss the tour? You can
still give from afar!


Or give and get!!!

Grammy Award winner Barbara Bailey Hutchison and her very large heart joined the tour in
VA, NC and TN.

New board member Todd Pellizerr and Scott plan the Give-Live-Ride Thailand Charity Motorcycle Ride in 2006.

Emcee and "Funkytown" composer Steven Greenberg stole the show in Minneapolis but kindly gave it back to me.

Inspirational Matt and family
fed my spirit and my stomach.

Thai-style, thank you flowers
for the women behind the
scene and on stage: board members Amy Asbury and
Judy Jost with singers Sara Wagner and Jill Holly.

The Daggett family in NC
bought a donated grand piano which will build a new school!