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The WaterWheel Foundation

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Title: The WaterWheel Foundation  
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Subject: Phish, The Phish Book, Run Like an Antelope (book), The Phishing Manual, It (2004 film)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The WaterWheel Foundation

The WaterWheel Foundation was created by Phish in 1997 to oversee their charitable activities. Initially, the Foundation included The Touring Division, The Giving Program, and the Lake Champlain Initiative.

The Lake Champlain Initiative continues to donate proceeds from the sale of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream to support the environmental well-being of Lake Champlain and its watershed.


  • Lake Champlain Initiative 1
  • Touring Division 2
  • Local giving 3
  • References 4

Lake Champlain Initiative

Lake Champlain, a sizeable lake on the Vermont/New York border, is currently plagued by several major problems: an overabundance of phosphorus from sewage, agricultural/urban run-off, toxic waste, and invasions of non-native species. Over half of the lake is considered to be too polluted to be of full use, and yet sees over $1 billion in tourism each year.

Fellow Vermonters Ben & Jerry's approached the band in 1995 regarding a flavor called Phish Food; Phish decided that they would donate all royalties to help Lake Champlain. WaterWheel has given away over $1 million to 29 organizations working on issues affecting Lake Champlain covering a wide variety of issues: land conservation, environmental advocacy, activism, education, and so forth.

Touring Division

The primary mission of WaterWheel's Touring Division is dedicated to raising funds for one selected non-profit in each community to which Phish toured. The proceeds from the sale of WaterWheel merchandise is donated directly to the organization table of the charity at that particular show. WaterWheel has donated over $400,000 to more than 189 organizations.

During the band's hiatus (10/00 - 12/02), the Touring Division continued to tour with Vermont Youth Orchestra, Women's Rape Crisis Center, Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, and Vermont Public Television.


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