tumbleweed family and friends, i’m sure you’ve noticed that we’ve taken quite a long hiatus from publishing and sending out zines (that is if you even still remember who we are). it’s because our best friend, haley butcher, was gravely ill. unfortunately, she passed away on november 7th after a long battle with myelodysplasia, an extremely rare blood disorder. haley was only seventeen. if you’ve still got a copy of the second issue (sight) kicking around, or buried somewhere beneath a pile of dust bunnies under your bed, look to the middle; haley was the centerfold beauty covered in googly eyes. i took those pictures of her in my bedroom after we came back from the most teenaged night of our youth: we went and danced to shitty bands behind a vintage store and then ate in n out fries on the way home while we giggled about how drunk we were. haley was my bandmate, my bestfriend, and the most incredible person i have ever met in my entire life. every time i write about her i’m afraid that what i’m saying sounds too hackneyed or like glossed over hallmark bullshit. bottom line: haley is the most inspirational, life changing person i will ever have the pleasure of knowing. i look back on every appointment, hospital stay, and blood transfusion with nothing but gratitude and love. she was a badass who feared nothing, not even the prospect of having to undergo chemo and a bone marrow transplant for a second time. the only way i knew how to repay haley for all the things she taught and showed me was to bring her idols and inspiration to her bedside during her last days: warpaint and the growlers, who both played hospital bedside acoustic sets for her. in the wake of her death i felt completely lost without the guiding voice of my best friend there to comfort me through the surreal nightmare that was her death. but on one of the many rides home from ucla, it occurred to me that a benefit show would be the best way to honor her. so, on the second of december we hosted a benefit show where pangea, tijuana panthers, trmrs, the growlers, and warpaint played. we raised over $11,000 for haley’s family and charity. the day following the benefit show, haley’s memorial took place in huntington beach in a massive church that was filled to capacity. our close friend jair played guitar while i sang a cover of warpaint’s “baby”. jenny lee lindberg sat on the stage with us while we performed. the only thing i wanted to do was tell haley how incredulously strange our lives had become. after seeing what we were all capable of doing in haley’s name, we decided that the only natural thing to do was to start a nonprofit organization to continue the work we began with the benefit show. so, we did. the haley butcher organization was born on december nineteenth in my bedroom. we’re going to host similar music and art related events to raise money for other charities such as make-a-wish as well as medical research projects relevant to haley’s illness. we also plan on providing community outreach services such as grief counseling and art and music therapy. if you live in southern california, get fucking excited for the multitude of events that are going to be happening in the very near future. if you don’t, wait a couple of years because i can almost guarantee that a tour bus with haley’s face plastered on the side will be coming to a city near you. we’re working with vice, burger records, volcom, vestal, and a bunch of other amazing, generous corporations. but right now money is very, very tight as it is with many beginning nonprofits. if you’d be willing to make a contribution, write a check made payable to the haley butcher organization and mail it to 420 orange ave apt 6, long beach ca 90802. cash donations will also be accepted! include your email address with your donation so that we can add you to our mailing list database. if you want to wait until our website is up and running to make an electronic donation, that’s totally fine. look for us on facebook (the haley butcher organization) so that we can keep you updated. if you can’t make any kind of money donation, that’s completely fine. just spread haley’s story and talk about the organization with everyone you know. if you live in the area and would like to volunteer, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org because i’m sure we could find a place for you with us.
hopefully tumbleweed will eventually be resurrected. until then, let’s all celebrate the short but wonderful life of our bestfriend the best way we know how, with music, art, charity, and copious amounts of burritos.