The members of Phish reflect on the 25th anniversary of their non-profit organization, The WaterWheel Foundation, in a wholesome new video posted to the band’s social media on Thursday.
As the video caption explains, “The WaterWheel Foundation was launched alongside Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream on March 18, 1997 as a way for Phish to donate ice cream royalties to benefit the environmental well-bring of Lake Champlain. Later that year, WaterWheel joined Phish on tour to raise money for non-profits in areas where the band performed and the foundation quickly solidified its place within the fan community.”
In the clip, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell give thanks to all the people who have donated and helped The WaterWheel Foundation advance its charitable efforts over the last quarter-century. As the band members explain in intercut clips as what sounds like a “Reba” jam plays underneath, “We started The WaterWheel Foundation 25 years ago hoping to create positive change through the kindness and generosity of the Phish fan community. WaterWheel exists because tens of thousands of you have made generous donations. With your support, WaterWheel has raised more than nine million dollars and supported more than 900 non-profit organizations in the cities we visit on tour, in Vermont, and beyond.”
“These organization come from a wide sphere of causes,” they continue, “including those working to protect the environment, promote social justice, fight food insecurity, provide music education, register voters, help women and children and the homeless and others in need. Thank you for your generosity. … Together, we are making a truly meaningful impact. And for all the WaterWheel staff, and everyone who’s volunteered and put their hearts and souls into their work, we cannot thank you enough. Happy anniversary, WaterWheel.”
“Here’s to another 25 years,” McConnell offers. “Here’s to another hundred years,” adds Fish. “Here’s to another 35 years… when we’ll be a hundred years old!” Trey laughs. “Wait, no, that’s not right… Here’s to 15,000 more years!”
As Fishman quips, putting an exclamation mark on the note of gratitude, “WaterWheel is the best idea we ever had. In the end, I think WaterWheel will be the most important thing that this band leaves behind.”
Phish returns to Madison Square Garden in New York, NY for a four-night New Year’s run beginning on Wednesday, December 28th. For information on upcoming Phish tour dates, head here.
Phish Celebrates 25 Years of The WaterWheel Foundation
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