I was just chatting with ChiTom about this and his concern and generosity encouraged me to post this thread. Here in San Antonio we have a guy named Ron Wilkins. Ron is a jazz legend, a fantastic teacher, a nurturer of young [and not-so-young] talent, and a really sweet and loving guy. He's also a middle-aged African American man and, like many others who fit this demographic, prone to high blood pressure. Over Thanksgiving, Ron developed food poisoning and went to the emergency room for some treatment. While there, it was discovered that his bloodpressure was in the stratosphere. By the time they got it under control, he'd lost most of his kidney function. The good news is that it IS under control and, after cutting back his schedule significantly, he's back to performing. The bad news is that, like about half the working people in this area, Ron doesn't have health insurance to cover the medication he'll be on for the rest of his life. Many of us here in the SA music community have rallied around Ron, as have the congregations of several churches where he has performed over the years. The Tim and Bob Show have designated all our tips for our January gigs to Ron. Our first two gigs have netted more than $200, and we're hoping for more tonight. Additionally, we are the only non-Jazz act performing at a January 27th fundraiser. Here's the lineup for that do: Featured performers for this all-day event include The Jazz Protagonists, Ken Slavin, Small World, Joan Carroll, The Standing Few, Jade Esteban Estrada, Ben King, The Tim and Bob Show, Los Rokmantix, D.C. Bloom, The Hard Bop Project, Morgan King, John Magaldi Quartert, Bett Butler, Danielle King and SkudR Jones, the Regency Jazz Band, and the Ron Wilkins 4-TET. I'd never ask you guys for anything, but at our first two gigs, complete strangers were dropping 20 dollar bills in our tip jar just to help out somebody they never heard of. As old as I am, I'm continually amazed at the basic generosity of people. So, if you want to help out, here's some info: You can send a check payable to Ron Wilkins [please mark "for deposit only" on the back] and mail it to Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, PO Box 2097, Universal City, TX 78148. If you're curious about Ron, here's his website: http://pages.prodigy.net/rnrwilkbeek/ You can also find out about what we're doing by clicking on the link in my signature line and checking out "upcoming gigs" and, after the fundraiser, our blog. Thanks for listening, guys.