Amy Helm in sold-out Bard benefit for Red Hook Education Foundation

The Spiegeltent at Bard College was rocking solid June 29 when Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers performed at the Red Hook Education Foundation’s third annual fundraiser.

The sold-out benefit concert, the largest fundraising event of the year for the Foundation, netted more than $24,000 to support the Foundation’s efforts to promote equity and inspire excellence in Red Hook’s public schools.

“We would not have become so successful so quickly without the tremendous support our wonderful community has shown us since our inception in 2010” said Foundation President Eleanor Davis.

Helm, who is well known in the Hudson Valley music scene, especially for helping to launch the Midnight Rambles in Woodstock with her father, Levon Helm, gave two encores at the show. The large audience crowded the dance floor for most of the show and Helm was joined on stage by local musician Natalie Merchant for part of the two encores.

Paul Finch, Superintendent of Red Hook’s schools, spoke before the performance and honored the several retiring public school teachers who attended the show. He also thanked the Education Foundation for all the programs and projects it has helped launch and support.

Since its founding, the Foundation has raised over $150,000 to support its mission. Hundreds of individual donors have given money and time to support such Foundation programs as the College and Career Initiative, the Mill Road Garden Classroom, the Debate Clubs and the Student in Need Initiative.