Giving Back to the Community

For over 14 years, one of Tucson’s Local Bands, Top Dead Center, has hosted an annual Christmas food drive to benefit the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank. In 2019, we changed the food drive’s name to the Randy Clamons Salem the Bear Annual Food Drive in honor of the band’s leader, who passed away in June 2019. Randy was the organizer and promoter of the annual food drive, and often he coincided with his birthday, December 28. Helping other people was a large part of who Randy was, and we are honored to continue this tradition in his name.

Below is a timeline of this lasting tradition that we have gathered from Randy’s posts on Facebook. All entries (unless indicated otherwise) are from Randy and linked to his specific post on his Facebook profile page and various groups. We will continue to update this article as we gather more information.

2009 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

December 29, 2009:

Food Drive Update: Final tally was $840 cash and 140 pounds of food! TDC thanks you, I thank you, and Salem thanks you!

2010 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

November 30, 2010: With 4 shows coming up it’s easy to overlook the TDC Annual Food Drive. Last year we collected about $1500 total, every penny going to the Community Food Bank. Now accepting sponsorships: $100 gets your company logo on all posters.

December 10, 2010: New poster for “Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive”. Please help spread the word about this event. Click on ‘Like’ or share on your profile.

Definitely going to be fun. Not mentioned on the flyer is Brothers Gow perform inside at 9:30 to closing. Go for the food drive and stay for their show free. I’ll have a pile of hand-bill size flyers with me Saturday and Sunday. Come by and take a stack.

Oh yeah, and the Tucson Bus Mob will be doing a Vintage VW Car Show in The Hut parking lot.

KXCI is running PSA’s for the event all this week, through Sunday. We should get 50 – 60 on-air announcements from that! Please tell all your friends, and make fun of them if they don’t go support the Food Drive!

December 15, 2010:  · Salem The Bear’s Annual Food Drive Dec 26 from 2 to 9. Please do what you can to help promote this event. Our goal this year: $2000. Let me know if you can hand out flyers or put up posters. I’ll bring them to you.

December 28, 2010  · YOU SAY IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Yes it is. First thing on my list of fun things to do on my birthday is to deliver $1586 and a pile of food to the Food Bank today. I’ll have the final tally later today.

2011 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

November 15, 2011: I was listening to KXCI Community Radio on the way home. They had a fellow talking about the Community Food Bank. They’re feeding 240,000 people a month–up from 80,000 just 4 years ago. They really need our help right now. A $10 donation from you gets more than $90 worth of food. So, all you liberals who think the government isn’t doing enough to help the hungry, pony up. And all you conservatives who think the gov’t provides too much support, here’s your chance to prove your theory that the generous people of American will donate to help the hungry. You don’t even need to leave your house. Just click on this link, then click on “Make a Donation”, or call the phone number. Then post here and let me know. TDC has our Food Drive coming up Jan 1, but they really need help now. No Cash? No problem. Go on down to the Food Bank and volunteer a few hours.

December 26, 2011: (Posted into the Tucson Musicians Facebook group) Jan 1, at the Hut, from 4:20 until late, Top Dead Center’s annual Food Drive. Top Dead Center, Bryan Dean Trio, Wayback Machine, 8 Minutes to Burn an Heather Hardy. Plus a special performance from Cadillac Mountain. Only $5 to get in. Personal checks made out to Community Food Bank also accepted–and it doesn’t even have to be your own check! Minimum recommended check amount, $50. Every penny goes to the food bank.

January 1, 2012: Coming up today at 4:20, the most dis-organized Food Drive I’ve ever put together! There were so many schedule changes this year, I’ve totally lost track of what I told who! I know the Mike and Randy Show starts, followed by either Cadillac Mountain or Bryan Dean Trio, then Wayback Machine, 8 Minutes to Burn and maybe a late-night set from TDC. Only $5 to witness! Every penny goes to the Food Bank!

August 28, 2012: From our Food Drive this year. A fun little jam featuring John on keyboards. He appears like a phantom in this video and plays like an angel. Miss you John Gatty.

2012 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

October 30, 2012: Calling all Deadheads and Hippies. Our annual food drive has begun, and we need your help to reach our goal this year. Right now, we are looking for places to put food donation boxes. A great place is your Doctor’s office. Next time you go see your doctor, ask if we may place a food box in their office. I will deliver the boxes and posters and will pick up the full boxes and deliver to the Food Bank. I asked my chiropractor, Dr. Aaron Halle. He not only put the boxes out, he has pledged to match all donations through his office. It’s easy to do, just ask.

November 16, 2012: This is what our Food Drive should be able to do. Over 1 ton of food donated. My Chiropractor, Dr. Aaron Halle, has already filled 3 boxes. I left a couple at TES, where Christy Kowalewski works. What we’re really after is cash donations, but we will gladly accept your food donations. If the company where you work will put out boxes for us, we’ll list them as a sponsor of the event-no cost to them for some good PR. Dr. Halle is matching all contributions received in his office. That’s a challenge for all of us.

I’ll have a few empty boxes for you to pick up at Mike and Randy’s 420 Show this week, and, hopefully, every week up until Dec. 30. It’s still a little early for our food drive, as the final collection date is not until Dec 28. Some folks want the boxes now, and that’s fine. Others will want to wait until December.

If you have any ideas how to raise more for the Food Bank, let me know or volunteer to help out. There are a lot of hungry people in Tucson we can help feed. Thanks for your support.

November 27, 2012: Going to the Community Food Bank to pick up more boxes for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. We now have 10 boxes placed. Dr. Halle’s patients have already filled 5 of them. I’ll pick up all boxes on Dec 28. Ask at work if you place a box there. We deliver and pick up. We’ll list them a co-sponsors.

November 28, 2012: LeeAnne Savage, this year’s Tammies “Performer of the Year”, is our “headliner” for this year’s Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive, club congress, Dec 30, 5 – 11. Only $5 for 5 bands, or an equivalent food donation. Also, Bryan Dean Trio, best guitarist. Michael P, previous Tammie winner, Chuck Wagon and the Wheelchairs. Quite naturally, Top Dead Center closes out the show.

December 4, 2012: My credit card company was sold to Capital One. Jeez, I’m going to have to find another card. Hey, Budget Insurance, 103 W Grant Rd., has just accepted a couple of food donation boxes and is our newest sponsor for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. You can drop food donations there, and see what they can do with your insurance while you are there.

December 6, 2012: This is cool. I Googled “salem the bear food drive”. The whole first page of results, except for the very last one, was a link to something about this year’s Food Drive and on 9 different web sites! I’m thinking David Slutes has really been working on this. We’re grateful for the support the Hut has given our food drive, but I’m thinking it was a really great idea to move it to club congress this year.

December 20, 2012: (Posted in the Conservative Rockers Facebook group) I do hope some of you are planning on going to Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive, Dec 30 at Club Congress, 5 to 11. Bryan Dean Trio, Michael P., Chuck Wagon, LeeAnne Savage, and Top Dead Center. Department of Agriculture has cut back on their funding, so they really need our support now.

The first in a 3-day series of Food Bank benefits. It’s Randy’s birthday. His request is, instead of gifts, to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Community Food Bank. We’ll be picking up the last of the food donation boxes we have all around town this day. We want to fill our little trailer with as much food as possible. We will also run a 50/50 raffle–half the cash to the winner and the other half for the Food Bank. We had a great time last time at the Irish Pub. Let’s do that again!

  • December 12, 2012: This event is part of our annual Food Drive. There’s no door or cover, but bring your donations anyway! And be sure to bring a little extra cash for the 50/50 raffle.
  • December 24, 2012: December 28 is also Brian and Bernie’s wedding anniversary. They will be out celebrating together, so Brian won’t be playing drums. Ray is leaving for Broomfield, Colorado, Friday morning, so I don’t have him for a drummer either. So, we have a brand new, part-time member coming this Friday, Les Merrihew. Les comes highly recommended by one of our other part-time drummers, Mike Troupe. Please come out and welcome him to the family.
  • December 13, 2012: I figured out today I’ll need about 50 boxes to fill my trailer. Then I realized there’s no way I can load and/or unload that many boxes of food! Oh, well, I’ll deal with it.
  • December 13, 2012: We’re getting tremendous support from the community this year. KXCI Community Radio is a sponsor this year. They are collecting food donations at 220 S 4th Ave, and they are running some great announcements, too.
  • December 14, 2012: I want to welcome The Irish Pub as a co-sponsor of the Food Drive. I’ll get a couple boxes out there this weekend. Friday, Dec 28, is my actual birthday. We’ll be at TDC at Irish Pub–Randy’s Birthday Party that night from 7 to 11 accepting food and cash donations for the Food Bank, and we’ll run a 50/50 raffle, with half going to the winner and half to the Food Bank.
  • December 21, 2012: I just got a call from Robert at Budget Insurance (103 W Grant Rd). He says his boxes are filling up. Let’s make that overflowing. You can stop by their office to drop off your food donations.
  • December 21, 2012: Ok, this one for all the girls (ladies, too) out there. LeeAnne Savage has informed us a group of firefighters from Tucson Fire Station #4 will be coming to the show.
  • December 21, 2012: A big shout out to Karen Roberts at the Catalina Chest Clinic. They’ve only had their boxes a short while and have already filled 6 boxes (as of yesterday). Nice work, Karen!
  • December 21, 2012: This just in from Michael P.:Are we talking bout Salem the Bear’s annual food drive?!?!?! Oh MY we are gonna have some fun!!! My group will be comprised of Guitar, Trombone, Tuba, and mic. percussion. We’re gonna be plain some Oooooool’ time songs from the 20’s and 30’s. Hopefully we can get a couple pictures for ya by Sunday night, as we’re practicing that day. For now we’re calling it Michael P. and the Bumpin’ Runners. But, down the line we’ll be just…. The Bumpin’ Runners….. Looking so forward to this!!! Thanks, Y’All!!!!

December 24, 2012: My little brother found this photo of me and Salem when we were young lads. Thanks, Jim. Merry Christmas. Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive, Sunday at Club Congress.

December 25, 2012: Merry Christmas, from Salem the Bear. Here he is sitting on the pile of food we collected a couple of years back. We can do better than that this year. Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive, Club Congress, Dec 30, 5 to 11.

December 25, 2012: If your cup is full, help fill another’s. Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive, Mike and Randy’s 420 Show — Last one this year!, TDC at Irish Pub–Randy’s Birthday Party. Accepting food and cash donations to the Community Food bank for all three shows.

December 28, 2012: I reported on the Food Drive progress on TDC’s page that we have already surpassed last year’s total. What I did not say, which is the truth, is that Halle Chiropractic itself, between the patients and a matching donation from Aaron, passed last year’s total. He was the inspiration behind placing the rest of our boxes around town. If we take Dr. Halle’s contribution out of the total, I still have the biggest pile of food of the last 4 Food Drives. For those of you who helped, congratulations on a job well done. For those who have yet to help, we’re collecting donations at all three shows this weekend.

December 31, 2012: (Posted in the Community Food Bank of Arizona Facebook Group) We had some fun last night at Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive at Club Congress. We have a lot of boxes of food donations and a pile of cash to count for you. I’ll bring it all in on Wednesday morning. I’m hoping you will still have a matching grant for our contribution. I only wish it could have been more.

December 31, 2012: After 3 consecutive days of Food Drive events, I’m exhausted, my bones ache, my muscles hurt, but it was all worth it. Thank to the 25 to 30 musicians who volunteered their time and performance for the Community Food Bank. Too many to list here!

January 4, 2013: Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive put together $1875 plus 958 pounds of food, our best collection effort yet! I want to thank everyone who helped and donated. And a special thanks to KXCI Community Radio for sponsoring and club congress for hosting the event. Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Halle Chiropractic for being the top contributor and sponsor for our food drive this year. Next year–bigger still.

2013 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

November 27, 2013: Apparently, it’s Jimi’s birthday, so happy birthday to one of my greatest inspirations. AmoSphere Food Drive tonight at Boondocks Lounge. Two non-perishable food items and $2. I think Abby and I will go by for a while at least. We have a big show for y’all this week, Heather Hardy w/ Mike and Randy’s 420 Show and we’re expecting a few guests. Ted Bednar III is back for a tweener set. A new young gun is coming down to sit in on guitar and/or mandolin for a couple of tunes, and Lee Pea says he’s coming down to sing a couple of tunes for us. I might have to drag the big board out for this show. Off to get cracked.

December 10, 2013: I’m headed over to Community Food Bank to pick up some boxes and donation envelopes for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. Ask your boss if you can place a box at work, or ask your doctor/chiropractor/dentist to accept donations. You can get boxes from us this weekend, or PM me and I will deliver. This week it’s Evan Jones and TDC @ 4th Ave Street Fair.

December 17, 2013: You mean to tell me it’s only Tuesday and it’s 4 more days until Heather Hardy, Mike and Randy’s 420 Show on Saturday. Going to see the lung doctor tomorrow and taking along some boxes for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. Ask your doctor to do the same. I’ll deliver the boxes and pick them up myself.

December 22, 2013: We’ve all been duped, what’s the use? You can call this song the United States Blues. Doing a little radio spot to plug next weeks’ Food Drive events. Until then, watching a little football and taking it easy. Y’all have a Pleasant Sunday.

December 26, 2013: Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive hits the big time with this article in the AZ Star. Car show is on Saturday, during Heather Hardy and Randy’s Birthday Party, 3:00 to 5:30 or so. We’ve raised about $350 already. Proceeds from this week’s raffle go to the Food Bank, too. Rest up today, we have a heckuva weekend coming up, all to benefit the Community Food Bank.

December 28, 2013: Birthday’s over in a few minutes. Thanks for the wonderful day. We now have close to $1000 for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. The VW Bus/Car Show was a whopping success, producing half our current total. We should be able to double that total Sunday at club congress.

December 28, 2013: Ok, y’all know it’s my birthday–Facebook told you if you didn’t know already. And, yes, I’m having a party at The Hut Tucson today– Heather Hardy and Randy’s Birthday Party. If you are inclined to give gifts, make your check out to Community Food Bank and bring it to the Hut today or club congress tomorrow for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive. I have more than I need and some folks, especially kids, out there are hungry.

December 30, 2013: 612 pounds of food. $2750 in cash and checks. Nice work everybody. The community food bank thanks you.

2014 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

October 9, 2014: Organizational announcement here. We’re just getting started on our fundraising efforts in support of the Community Food Bank. To get started, we need locations for food donation boxes. We will deliver the empty boxes and pick up the full boxes. We want to start placing empty boxes starting Dec 1. A great place for food drive boxes is at your doctors’ offices. You can help. Get your doctor to agree to accept food donations in their office. Then, when the office calls patients to remind them of their appointments, ask them to tell the patient the doctor is also collecting donations for the Food Bank. This is very convenient for both the doctors and the patients. Last year we collected some 900 pounds of food. The final box pick-up will be on Dec 23. If you are able to talk your doctor into this, let me know and we’ll take it from there. Thanks for your help.

October 28, 2014: We’re gearing up for Salem’s Annual Food Drive. Salem may be gone, but his legacy will live on. Please let us know if you can help.

December 8, 2014: “Just kicking down the cobblestones. Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.” Are you feeling groovy? We’ll be providing the groove. Friday night, TDC at Nimbus. Saturday, Jef Cierniak’s Back – Mike and Randy’s 420 Show and 4th Ave Street Fair. Food Drive in full motion, we’ll accept your donations at either show and every other show this month. I have envelopes for cash/check donations, too. You’ll get a receipt for those donations, which are tax-deductible.

December 21, 2014: Urban Scurry‘s A Celebration of Life and the VW Bus Show benefits Community Food Bank are both complimentary events to our annual food drive. This is the main event. Suggested donation of $5. Personal and business checks accepted, minimum donation by check $50. Your check is your receipt and is a tax credit for the State of Arizona. Donate with a check and you will also get a nice thank you letter and receipt from the Community Food Bank suitable for use with your tax return. You can use your credit card, too. We will have a limited number of donation envelopes on hand that will allow you to use your card.

Top Dead Center officially kicked the drive off on December 1. We’ve been slowly, but steadily accumulating cash from our shows. We have a little over $200 right now. That comes out to a $50 donation from each of us in the band. We’re not just asking you to donate, we’re putting cash in the fund as well.

club congress has graciously agreed to host this event this year. They have helped us grow this thing from a couple of hundred bucks to a few thousand in cash donations. Please put this event on your calendar. It’s been a lot of fun the last couple of years.

If you’re going, please invite your FB friends. Facebook won’t let me invite any more. There are a lot of hungry people out there. Our drive is to put food back on the shelves after the Holiday rush. Thanks in advance for your help.

December 22, 2014: Hey there, kind folks. Randy here, from Top Dead Center. I just wanted to remind you that donations to any Arizona Food Bank qualify for a tax credit on your state income tax returns. This is a great way to help some hungry folks and reduce your tax bill at the same time. If you are in Tucson this Sunday, come by Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive at club congress, from 7:00 to 11:00. Four of Tucson’s best bands for only $5 suggested donation. Ok, three of the best plus us. All proceeds, every last dime, go to the Community Food Bank. There is a matching grant in place as well, that will double what we raise. For every $10 donated, the Food bank is able to purchase about $90 in food. This just happens to be my birthday, as well. Don’t bring gifts for me, bring something for the hungry people in Arizona.Merry Christmas to all.

December 24, 2014: Great advance coverage in the paper today. Great job, Bruce! Four related events this weekend, all to benefit the Community Food Bank. Saturday at The Hut Tucson:

Sunday, Main event at club congress: Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive We are well on the way to reaching our goal. Thanks to a couple generous donations from my co-worker, Lisa White, and my oldest brother, Dean Clamons, we’re already at $450.Remember, there is a matching grant in place at the Food Bank through the end of the year. Your $10 donation turns into $20, and that turns into $180 to $200 in food for the food bank. If you don’t contribute through us, consider making a direct donation.

December 24, 2014: I’ve put this off long enough. I have to go into work for a few hours today, so I’d better get to it. Merry Christmas to all of you who do such a thing. Happy Kwanza, Hannuka, and Festivus for the rest of us. My birthday is Sunday. If you are contemplating a gift, make a cash donation to the Community Food Bank instead. Just come to Club Congress Sunday evening around 7:00 for Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive.

December 28, 2014: Y’all did a bang-up job with the VW Bus Show. I counted 20 buses. Is that about right? This show keeps growing. The $862 you raised will get matched by an anonymous donor. The Food Bank’s purchasing power multiplies that by 9 or 10, ending up at between $15K and $20K. A great time and you helped feed a lot of hungry people. You should be proud of yourselves.

December 28, 2014: Ok, I’m going to have to sign off, running out of time for my nap! It’s my birthday, so I get a wish, right? Here’s my wish: that conservatives and liberals stop talking at each other and start listening to each other. United we stand, divided we fall. The division keeps getting deeper, and we keep falling further. How about y’all stop blaming each other and work together for a solution? I know, I’m dreaming. But it’s my birthday and I’ll dream if I want to. Anyway, help us feed some hungry people tonight in celebration of my birthday, suggested donation is $5. Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive at club congress. 7 to 11.

December 28, 2014: First day of Salem the Bear’s Annual Food Drive done. What a day. Great turn out the whole day. The drum circle, Planet Jam, Tellemah Huka, all combined to make a stack of food too big for me to carry home and a fair amount of cash. I had to get help from Paul Mosher. The VW Bus Show benefits Community Food Bank turned in $862 cash, and another pile of food. Thanks to Bruce Hilpert for a great job again this year. All in all, around $1200 raised today. Add the matching grant makes it $2400. Multiply by 9 for the Community Food Bank‘s purchasing power, that’s $21,600 in food for the Food Bank, and a big pile of food, maybe a couple hundred pounds. All y’all had a big part of this, so congratulations on a good start. Now let’s make a dash for the finish line tomorrow (Sunday) by coming to Club Congress for another fun night of music.

December 29, 2014: 389 Happy Birthdays! Thank you all for that, just in case I missed someone. But I have 1793 FB friends! What happened to the rest of you? Just kidding. Had a great weekend. We counted up $3100 for the Food Drive last night, and we still have more to pick up. Not only made the goal, we went over. Thanks to all of you who helped make this happen this week, Jef Cierniak and Heather Lil’ Mama Hardy with Top Dead Center for Mike and Randy’s 420 Show at The Hut Tucson this Saturday for another electric show. I don’t have an event for it yet. I’ll get to that a bit later.

2015 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2016 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2017 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2018 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2019 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2020 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

2021 SALEM THE BEAR’S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE

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