Midwestern musicians band together to make a difference in Australia

Australia is on fire.
Saeed Khan/Getty

Not all heroes wear capes. As well as its use in meme warfare, the idiom has become a well-deserved badge for ordinary folks taking it upon themselves to undertake an extraordinary calling. Walt Hamburger, along with fellow musicians from the Appleton area, are doing just that. They are doing what must be done, not because they have to, but because they want to.

“Hopefully we can make a small impact. They are estimating deaths at 1.25 billion animals and counting” – Walt Hamburger

After devastating wildfires ravaged the Australian wildlife leaving an estimated 1.25 billion, yes billion, animals dead in their wake Walt Hamburger, Christopher Gold, Texas Butter Todd, Cave Paintings, Kurt Gunn and Nicholas Raymond gathered together to do something about it. The group of driven musicians dedicated their skills to put together a fundraiser in hopes of helping in any way they could. The fundraiser born out of kindness begins at 9pm on January 17th at Deja Vu Martini Lounge in downtown Appleton. Each artist will be showcasing 2-3 songs. Walt Hamburger is hoping to also offer some raffles and an auction to help raise funds for the cause. The raffles and auction, so far, will be dependent on volunteers and businesses willing to donate time, services, or products. If you have a business that is interested in showing your support with a donation, please reach out to Walt Hamburger @Walt Hamburger, or message the foundation page at http://www.facebook.com/walthamburgerfoundation.

The fundraiser is being held with no cover charge to allow anyone who would like to show their support to attend. Any donations collected at the event will go to the Walt Hamburger Foundation. One Week Records labelmate Laura Mardon has been tasked with finding just the right animal welfare program to submit the donations.

Officially founded in 2017, the foundation was created to raise money for animal rescues in need and art students. Their mission “Protect the paws, project the arts” will be in full swing at the Deja Vu Martini Lounge this weekend. More than a few musicians have flooded with support and may be added to the bill later this week.

A strong supporter of animals, Walt Hamburger has made it a personal tradition over the years to collect donations benefiting Fox Valley animal shelters at Mile of Music, the areas annual music festival that focuses on original music artists. In August he managed to raise over $5,000 within the festival’s four day span.

Christopher Gold is no stranger to lending a helping hand either. For the last nine consecutive years he has held an annual toy drive concert and fundraiser for Harbor House, a domestic abuse program that “exists to break the stigma of abuse, offer refuge to survivors, and create pathways to empowerment.”. In December the event raised more than $6,000 and 460 toys. Which is no small accomplishment by any means.

Together Walt and Christopher have enough heart to do what it takes to help out fellow humans and animals alike. But this time they’re bringing their friends. They would love to see everyone attend the event, however, if you are unable to be there in person and would like to show your support with a small donation please visit paypal.me/whfoundation. They ask you put the word “Australia” in the comments when submitting a donation.

As individuals we all hope people can band together in times of great distress to make a difference. The music community is no different. I’ve found that, in no small way, when the tough gets going our music families, fans, and fellow artists are more than willing to put aside differences, find time within riggerous schedules, and put forth an amazing effort. I am pround to be a small part of that community and hope to see you all at the Deja Vu Martini Lounge on January 17th showing our support.

– Joshua Crouse – Music Speaks Magazine

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