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HAAM Benefit Day raises $323,000

Gary Dinges

Editor’s note: This article was originally published November 14, 2013

This year’s Health Alliance for Austin Musicians Benefit Day raised $323,000, the nonprofit group announced Thursday, ensuring more than 2,000 local performers will have continued access to healthcare.

The amount brought in was about $10,000 more than last year, but fell short of the $350,000 outgoing executive director Carolyn Schwarz had previously said she’d hoped for this year.

As part of Benefit Day, which was held Sept. 24, 200 shops and restaurants across Central Texas donated a portion of their sales – typically 5 percent – to HAAM.

Businesses that took part in the event this year included Frost Bank, Thundercloud Subs, Time Warner Cable, Torchy’s Tacos, Whataburger, Whole Foods Market and a number of live music venues citywide.

More than 150 musicians performed at those businesses as part of HAAM Benefit Day festivities.

“The growth of HAAM Benefit Day at our Whole Foods Market stores and all over Austin is proof of just how important the health and well-being of our local musicians is to the Austin community,” said Whole Foods Market spokeswoman Rachel Malish. “It’s amazing that on one fun-filled day, the Austin community can come together to raise awareness and support, ensuring that HAAM can continue their work for hundreds of Austin musicians each year.”

Benefit Day brings in about a third of HAAM’s annual budget, according to Schwarz.

Planning for the 2014 HAAM Benefit Day is already well under way, Malish said. It will be held Sept. 23.