Rush Singer Geddy Lee Supports a ‘Grape Cause’ in His Spare Time
Rush singer and bassist Geddy Lee is much more than one of the most revered progressive rock musicians of all time. He does "grape" things in his spare time, pairing his love of wine with his passion for philanthropy.
The vino enthusiast, 59, serves on the board of directors of Grapes for Humanity Global Foundation, which is a Canadian-originated, now-international charity that has raised over $4 million via wine-related fundraisers. The organization launched in 2001 to support landmine victims, since founder Arlene Willis lost her brother in a landmine accident.
"Arlene had lost her brother due to a landmine accident, and became dedicated to trying to go to countries like Cambodia, Laos and Honduras that had been affected by landmines and help build prosthetic clinics and the people that had fallen through the cracks of their own government welfare," Lee said in a chat with Samaritan Mag.
He elected to become involved since he could roll his sleeves up and get his hands dirty and see the actual results of the efforts. He continued, "I was very drawn to it because we did small projects. If we raised $50,000, we'd go to Honduras, build a clinic, and you saw the direct result of that money in action. And that's something, to me, that makes you feel really good because you know there's no waste there."
Additionally, Lee has hosted 'Excellent Adventures' with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson on behalf of the organization, where silent auctions are included among wine country excursions.
"We organized these train trips to the wine country," the frontman said. "We get the generous help of a local winery - the first time we did it was in Niagara and Moray Tawse of Tawse Winery offered up his place. We bring people from the city, get a private car through the generous help of VIA Rail, and we take a train up to the winery. We spend the afternoon picking grapes; learning how that particular bit of cultural area operates, and have a fantastic lunch out at the vineyard."
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Rush tour dates:
Sep-7 Manchester, NH Verizon Wireless Arena
Sep-9 Washington, DC Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater
Sep-11 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Center
Sep-13 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Sep-15 Chicago, IL United Center
Sep-18 Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills
Sep-20 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Sep-22 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Sep-24 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Sep-26 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Sep-28 Saskatoon, SK Credit Union Centre
Sep-30 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Oct-10 Bridgeport, CT Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard
Oct-12 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Oct-14 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Oct-18 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Oct-20 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Oct-22 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Oct-24 Boston, MA TD Garden
Oct-26 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
Oct-28 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Oct-30 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
*Nov-1 Atlanta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Nov-3 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
Nov-13 Seattle, WA KeyArena
Nov-15 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
Nov-17 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Nov-19 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheatre
Nov-23 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Nov-25 Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center
Nov-28 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Nov-30 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
Dec-2 Houston, TX Toyota Center
*Atlanta tickets through usual outlets, not a Live Nation Event