Monday, June 21, 2010

Our biggest nights yet!

Five weeks into the tour, our campaign with Water = Hope is making a big impact with Brad Paisley fans! We just finished shows in Darien Lake, NY and Philadelphia, bringing the first ‘leg’ of the tour to a finish with some impressive results!

Our show at Darien Lake - located between Buffalo and Rochester - had us a little concerned about being able to recruit volunteers, since it is a bit of a drive from either city. We were excited to have a great crew of volunteers come out and join us: a mother, daughter & aunt team of Susan, Carol and Melissa, as well as Corey, Chelsea, Cary and Lyndsey, who are a combination of friends, sisters and fiances that all drove into from Rochester! Our team did great, helping us sign up lots of new supporters and raising lots of money for our well building projects, working all night to talk to Brad fans about the importance of clean water.

Water = Hope volunteers

We got a lot of support from the crowd from the minute the doors opened until the very last fans left the venue; Nick and Francis, pictured below, kept talking to us long after security ushered everyone out and loaded up on Water = Hope materials to help spread the word among their friends in Buffalo.

End of night support for Water = Hope

An overnight bus trip brought us into Philly in the morning. On a personal note, I’ll admit to some bias: I love doing shows in Philadelphia, I’ve always gotten a lot of support for the campaigns I’ve worked from the fans there, and everyone seems to be in a perpetually good mood! Our show Saturday night lived up to my expectations, giving us the biggest night we have had yet on the tour.

Our night in Philly was a direct result of an AMAZING volunteer crew that we can’t thank enough: Bill and Brianna are high school students and friends who worked so hard all night that it felt like we barely saw them, LeeAnn is a huge Brad Paisley fan and supporter of water initiatives like this, and was a huge help at our busy booth, Neil and Yang are cousins; Neil is an exchange student from China and Yang took a train up from Washington DC just to join us and help out!

Philly volunteer crew

Then we had ‘the girls’: Angelina and Danielle are old friends who frequently volunteer together, and Sara, Angelique, Samantha and Rebecca are all friends and in high school. Both groups of ladies took to the parking lots to talk to the tailgating crowd before the doors opened, and they took on our ‘friendly challenge’ of which volunteer could sign up the most volunteers with a passion. Early on, it looked like Angelina and Danielle would take home the Water = Hope hoodie prize (together, the two of them signed up well over 300 new supporters!) but the sister team of Sara and Angelique edged them out; they signed up 200 new supporters EACH, a record for the tour! The crowd in Philly was full of love for Water = Hope; fans are really excited about our well building project, loving the idea of country fans working together to bring water to a community that needs it. We had our biggest night yet both in new Water = Hope supporters and in the money we were able to raise for the wells, and we also signed up lots of new Philly volunteers to join our incredible team of campaigners!

Water = Hope supporters

The tour is taking a break for a few weeks - we’ll be back at work in Chicago in the middle of July. In the meantime, there are all sorts of ways to support Water = Hope: text H2O to 25383 to give $10, and you can sign up and a part of one our amazing volunteer teams by visiting our volunteer page. You can also check out more photos from the tour (and tag yourself if you are in them!) on our Facebook page.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Detroit and Pittburgh with Water = Hope

Water = Hope paid a visit to Detroit and Pittsburgh this past weekend as part of our ongoing work on the Brad Paisley summer H2O tour!

We were greeted by enthusiastic fans and volunteers in Detroit, which made for a great night! We talked to lots of people, including several who were interested in volunteering and becoming involved with the campaign on a local level and on their campuses, something we always like to hear.


Our volunteers consisted of two ‘teams’ of people: Stephanie and Nicole, sisters on their summer break (from college and high school) and our team of enthusiastic high school girls: Erica, Emmy, Betsy and Marissa.


Our crew did a great job, talking to lots of people and getting them excited about bringing clean water to people around the world. We were a bit limited in what we could do in Detroit due to the way the venue was set up, but our volunteer crew were true troopers, making the most of it and getting a record number of fans to take part in our text message fundraising campaign.


We loaded up our stuff and got on the tour bus bound for Pittsburgh the next day. Saturday morning we were greeted by the tour crew worried about thunderstorms that never actually materialized (we seemed to be blessed by the weather fairies this tour, knock on wood!) so we set up somewhat concerned, but forged ahead. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any volunteers joining us that night (Pittsburgh - we need some people, sign up and join!) but we made the most of it, signing up lots of new supporters and raising money to bring a needing community a well. Fans are really excited about this idea, really responding to the notion of the Paisley & country music fan base being able to create clean water for those that need it through the combined small actions of many over the course of the tour. While walking the lawn before the show, I talked to lots and lots of people who were really excited about what Water = Hope is doing, so we are eager to get community efforts moving in Pittsburgh as well!

Signing up for Water = Hope on the lawn @BradPaisley Pittsburgh

After loading out once Brad was finished Saturday night, we were surprised to find Josh Thompson and some of his band setting up for an impromptu midnight bluegrass session next to our bus! Josh is a big supporter of Water = Hope, not only taking part in our PSA but always ‘re-tweeting’ our Twitter posts and helping to spread the word on Facebook, and he’s a great musician and all around nice guy. It was a great way to end a wonderful weekend!

We’ll be back out again this weekend before we take a break while the tour goes to Europe. We will be in Darien Center (Buffalo and Rochester regions of NY) and Philly on Friday and Saturday - as always, we’d love to have you sign up and volunteer!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Water = Hope in Toledo, Indy and Cinci

Lokahi was back out on the road with Brad Paisley and the Water = Hope campaign this past weekend, making stops in Toledo, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

Toledo proved to be a small but mighty show; though at one of the smaller venues on the tour, fans came out in force to support Water = Hope! We signed up hundreds of new supporters while also collecting donations for our very popular Water = Hope tee-shirts (you can soon buy them online as well - watch for updates!). We also got nice mentions in the local press and were even featured on a local country radio station as well.

Young supporters

young fans signing the Water = Hope banner

We headed out on the tour buses Friday night bound for Indianapolis and our Saturday show. Cloudy skies hung around all day in Indy, threatening to open up, but we set up our booth and moved forward with fingers crossed. We were joined by a great volunteer crew; Lea, Justin, Matt, Kayla and Chelsea all work together and came to the show together. It was one of their first volunteer experiences, and they did great, signing up lots of people AND getting a chance to meet and talk to Josh Thompson, one of the artists performing on the tour.

Indy Water = Hope volunteer crew

indy volunteer crew

Cincinnati turned out to be the best night we’ve had on the tour yet. Our amazing volunteer crew helped us sign up close to 800 new supporters for Water = Hope! Aaron, Andrea and Kaitlyn are all high school students, Michael and Ashlynn are college students, Karen and her husband David are local Cincinnati residents, and Gayenell brought her entire family to volunteer!

Cinci Water = Hope volunteer crew!

cinci voluneer crew

The team did an incredible job, even engaging in some friendly competition (for a prized Water = Hope hoodie!) to see who could sign up the most supporters; we were very amused of their ‘tracking method’ which involved marking off completed sheets on their arms! Ashlynn proved to be the final winner of the night, signing up an amazing 160 new Water = Hope supporters, though Michael was a close second with 135. All of our volunteers worked incredibly hard to make our evening in Cincinnati a huge success.

Talking to the fans each night is always inspiring; the Paisley and country music community is eager to lend their voice and to invest in clean water initiatives. One of our favorite groups of people were the ladies of the “Waters of Dillsboro Retirment Home”; they all work together at the retirement community outside of Cincinnati and were super excited about the Water = Hope campaign, insisting several times that we promise to email them about volunteer opportunities they can do as a group!

The ladies of the Waters of Dillsboro Retirement Home showing their support for Water = Hope!

the ladies of the “Waters of Dillsboro Retirment Home”

This week we’ll be in Detroit and Pittsburgh and are looking forward to talking to fans there. We already have some great volunteers signed up for those shows that we can’t wait to meet, but we do still have room for more volunteers to join us, visit our volunteer page to learn more:

You can also check out more photos on our Facebook page!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Water = Hope goes to Kansas City and St. Louis

Our work with Hope Through Healing Hands and Water = Hope continued last week, as we were back out on the road with Brad Paisley, making stops in Kansas City and St. Louis.

As always, we were joined by some amazing volunteers along the way. Jacqueline and Troy are a couple that live in Kansas City who are active volunteers in their community. They helped us have a great night, talking to fans about the campaign and getting many of their fellow KC residents involved! Our Kansas City set up was pretty fun; the ‘water world’ where our booth is situated each show was on a closed street outside of the Sprint Center in downtown KC, and we also had a table set up inside the arena as well. Kansas City also featured the debut of our PSA, which was exciting to see!

Kansas City volunteers

In St. Louis, we were joined by Mira, Kelley, Holly and Jeremy. They all know each other from high school, and it was the first time most of them had volunteered with a campaign like Water = Hope. They did an incredible job, working non-stop in what was by far the hottest day to hit St. Louis in a long time! Our St. Louis volunteer crew helped us have our best day yet on the tour, signing up hundreds of new supporters for Water = Hope and getting lots of fans to text to donate.

St. Louis volunteer crew!

As always, we were able to talk to lots and lots of fans about clean water issues as well. We were particularly impressed by how many young people in St. Louis told us about studying these issues in college, high school, or even middle school, and who in turn were eager to join the campaign. We are excited to start working with our new base of supporters in Missouri in the months to come!


The tour continues into more of the midwest this week as well; we’ll be in Toledo, Indianapolis and Cincinnati this week. Next week will see stops in Detroit and Pittsburgh; to join us, just visit


You can check out more photos from the tour (and tag yourself if you are in one of them!) on our Facebook page: