“There's not a word yet for old friends who've just met. Part heaven, part space, or have I found my place? You can just visit, but I plan to stay. I'm going to go back there someday.” - Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams
The day before our friend, Robert “Barefoot Bob” Eckhart passed away, @ivy_light and I were contacted by @Furry_Thug and @DrPeterVenkman with a wonderful proposal: Why not get together some great prints and raffle them off to raise money for the memorial fund which had been set up for Bob’s children? It was a fantastic idea, and one that allowed us to combat our feelings of helplessness by doing something positive.
Word quickly spread, and we were inundated with donations of merchandise. The prize list grew so large that @johnnyd suggested we auction off a few of the more valuable items in order to generate more donations. With crucial input, planning and hard work from @tmwsiy and Chris Glushko, as well as the clutch web design skills and tireless effort of Dan Saewitz, we were able to announce the raffle and auction by the end of the week, as Bob was laid to rest. On that saddest of days for Bob’s wife, Danelle, we were able to offer a fitting tribute to her husband’s generous spirit by showing her how much Bob had meant to the community.
What began as a great idea became something remarkable and deeply moving. I, like many who contributed to this effort, did not have a chance to meet Bob before he passed away. But I was touched by him nonetheless, and I consider him a friend. Becoming so close to people that I haven’t physically met is an amazing experience that I’ve not had outside of the Phish community. For whatever reason, the music of Phish seems to attract people with extraordinary capacity for generosity and compassion. In that way, Bob was the quintessential Phish fan. As a farewell gift to his friends, Bob brought us all even closer to one another. It was truly something special, an experience that none of us will ever forget.
So very much love.
To everyone who contributed their hard-earned money, their treasured memorabilia, their valuable time, and their immense talents to this venture, thank you! Though your generous gifts can not be measured only in dollars, the money will go a long way toward funding the education of Joseph and Noah Eckhart. Together, we helped to raise $5955 through the raffle, which had 122 participants, and $2589.60 through the auction, for a total of $8544.60!
FANTASTIC!! THANK YOU, ALL!!!
In addition to extending our gratitude to everyone who donated through the raffle, auction, or just straight to the memorial fund, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who donated merchandise to make this effort possible:
Charlie Dirksen (who donated his raffle prizes for auction)
Chris Glushko (who donated his raffle prize for auction)
And several donors who wish to remain anonymous.
Once again, thank you, everyone. Even if you did not have the opportunity to donate, thank you for being a part of this incredible community.