Coronavirus in Austin: Gary Keller donates $50,000 to HAAM to cover musicians’ premiums
Local businessman and philanthropist, Gary Keller, a longtime supporter of Austin’s music community has donated $50,000 to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, a nonprofit that provides low cost health insurance to local artists.
Last week HAAM’s executive director, Reenie Collins told the Statesman that her organization was mobilizing to help musicians meet basic needs. They have been mailing HEB gift cards to their clients to help with food expenses and looking into ways to assist with prescription drug costs.
“My biggest fear is that people, because they need food, are not going to pay for their portion of their insurance premiums,” Collins said last week.
In a press release about Keller’s donation, Collins said the money would immediately go towards basic needs assistance, including paying member’s insurance premiums over the next month.
“During these tough and uncertain times, we know health coverage will be more important than ever,” Keller said in a statement. “HAAM has the infrastructure in place to help, and we know by donating to them, we will be able to do the most good, in the quickest way possible.”
He encouraged other individuals and organizations to do the same.
“The Austin music community has been the backbone of our city, and we want to ensure when all of this is over, our music remains. I challenge any business with a major presence in this town to step in and support the very thing that we pride our beloved city upon: music,” he said.