The fundraising initiative was started by the multi-platinum-selling act after it became involved in a gala charity event two years ago for The Herbie Fund, which enables disadvantaged children from around the globe to receive one-time surgical treatment at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The doctors work pro bono.
“The cool thing about it is we get this number of how much we’ve raised and they say, ‘Okay, we can go out and find four kids to help with this amount of money.’ So we get these reports of four kids that were directly picked up and brought to Toronto and helped,” says Neil Sanderson, drummer for Three Days Grace.
Sanderson met Liisa Palokoski, president of Operation Herbie, in 2007. She asked if Three Days Grace could contribute an item to the auction and they sent in a guitar. “We were on tour with Nickelback and Seether,” recounts Sanderson, “so I got some guitars from them, and it was super successful so she contacted me and said, ‘Would you be interested in doing that on an ongoing basis?’ So we started Herbie Rocks. It’s a separate annual auction and I just go out and collect everything that I possibly can from other bands.”
Last year, through Palokowski’s partner, 5-time NFL Super Bowl champion Marv Fleming in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Sanderson was able to add non-music goods to his eBay auction.
“He shipped a bunch of stuff to me, and it included a framed Michael Jordan signed jersey, a Tiger Woods signed flag from the Masters, a David Beckham signed jersey. It was wicked. It turned out to be great,” says Sanderson, who also got a year lease on a Hummer from Roy Foss Motors to auction off.
The next Herbie Rocks is tentatively slated for March, 2009. He’s not sure if it will be a physical fundraising event or online.
“We’re still trying to refine the best way to go about it because online auctions are kind of weird because sometimes they are set up for bargains and not for fundraising,” he says.
To date, The Herbie Fund has helped more than 600 children from 88 countries receive medical and surgical assistance that would otherwise not be available to them. The Fund can typically help 30 children a year.
For more information on The Herbie Fund, go to www.herbiefund.combalerínky