The Hootie & the Blowfish Homegrown Concert Series comes to Houston July 28 with a performance by the band and the Spin Doctors at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. But music isn't the only thing the band is bringing to Houston. In conjunction with the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, the band's nationwide Homegrown Concert Series is spearheading an effort to collect school supplies for economically disadvantaged schools in each community it visits. In Houston, fans are asked to bring a school supply item with them to the concert that will benefit one of two local elementary schools in need of assistance.

The Homegrown Concert Series was established as an annual musical event in South Carolina aimed at providing children there with the basic tools they needed to learn. Hootie & the Blowfish asked their fans to bring a school supply item with them to the concert as a way to provide necessary school supplies to schools in need. All school supplies donated the night of the concert were delivered to schools in the community. The response was overwhelming, and to date, Hootie and their loyal fans have helped donate seven busloads of supplies to schools in need of help.

The two Houston-area schools designated to receive school supplies donated at the July 28 concert are Johnson Elementary School in Aldine ISD and Runyan Elementary School in Conroe ISD. Johnson Elementary is a Title 1 school located in Houston (north Harris County) with 89 percent economically disadvantaged students. Runyan Elementary, located in Conroe (north Montgomery County), also is a Title 1 school with 89 percent economically disadvantaged students. Both school districts will have a school bus at the July 28 concert that Hootie & the Blowfish hope fans will help fill.

School supplies needed the most include:
• No. 2 lead pencils, packaged
• Spiral notebooks, wide-rule
• Crayola Crayons, 24-count
• Pocket folders with brads
• Notebook paper, wide-rule, 200-count
• Plastic school boxes
• Glue sticks, Elmer's
• School glue, Elmer's
• Washable markers, 6-8 count

The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, established in 2000, is a private non-profit organization that benefits children of South Carolina through education and supporting school music programs nationwide.

Throughout their career, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim Sonefeld have stayed true to their roots and worked hard to give something back to the community that has always supported them.

“The Foundation enables us to be proactive for the charities we are passionate about. The Foundation becomes a viable resource that enables us to help people at anytime,” says Mark Bryan, guitarist for Hootie & the Blowfish.

Since the establishment of the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, members of the band have been able to invest proceeds from their fund-raisers to such causes as “VH-1’s Save the Music,” where five South Carolina public schools’ music programs were restored.

Hootie & the Blowfish's mainstream pop variation of blues-rock brought the band to the top of the charts in 1995. Cracked Rear View, the group's first album, was released in the fall of 1994 and the single "Hold My Hand" worked its way into the Top Ten by the beginning of 1995. Its success propelled the album to number one, as well as helped launch a second hit, "Let Her Cry," which was quickly followed by "Only Wanna Be With You." Cracked Rear View had become a massive success by the fall of 1995, going platinum several times over and winning multiple awards, including two Grammy’s for Best New Artist and Song of the Year by duo or group for "Let Her Cry."

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