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ACL Fest: Day 2.2: Row of good causes

Michael Barnes

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 5, 2013

They don’t attract lines. Yet there’s always a healthy assembly around the Row of Good Causes just inside the ACL Music Fest gate on Barton Springs Road. It helps that much of the day, the tents benefit from both shade and breeze. “We get one-on-one time with people who want to know how to help,” says Barbara Ling, marketing director of the Nature Conservancy. While Ling talks up the group’s latest ventures, Tim Eischen explains matters in depth to two young women who seem as impressed with the tall environmental scientist as with his views. “We are focusing on fresh water,” Ling says. “We support Texas Prop. 6 which sets aside 20 percent of a new water fund for conservation.” The Texas chapter of the Conservancy teamed with the ACL act Portugal the Man to sign up 9,110 new supporters, she says. Down the Row, volunteer Allan Weinburger works hard for new bone marrow donors at Love Hope Strength. “We’re a music-driven cander group,” he says. “The method is totally non-invasive these days. They take blood from one arm and put it in the other.” Weinburger sang the praises of charity founders Mike Peters (of the Alarm) and James Chippendate. The registry is free and online. “We’re ready to hit the 50,000 mark,” Weingburger says. “And we’ve found 692 potential matches.” The group has also signed up donors during the world tours of Robert Palmer and Kenny Chesney, while staging what was, for a while, the certified highest rock concert in the world at a Mt. Everest base camp. Weinberger sported a temporary tatoo with the group’s logo, but national manager Rob Rushing sported a real one on his calf. The mother-daughter team of Nancy Powell and Valerie Cavitt spoke eloquently about, a free service founded by Adam Dell — Michael’s brother — that matches landowners with gardeners. “You tell us your location,” Powell says. “We tell you if there are willing landowners or gardeners nearby. The pair handed out organic gala apples, but admitted they were not from nearby. We already figured that.