A friend to all and a stranger to none.
That may be the best way to describe Haden DeRoberts and who he was as a person. Haden was 24 years young when he died. But given the chance at five extra years as a result of a bone marrow transplant, we were given the gift of getting to know him as the adult he would become. Despite his illness, he never seemed to believe he was going to die. And so, we are going to continue his work so that his spirit in fact, never does.
Haden used every minute of his extra time on the planet to push goodness out to the world. Either through curating DIY music festivals in his own back yard, gathering and connecting friends from all corners of his universe, or urging anyone around him to swab a cheek and get on the bone marrow registry, he never gave up believing that if you think outside the box, you can reinvent the world in whatever way you want.
ABOUT THE HADEN DEROBERTS FOUNDATION
Our Purpose: The mission of the Haden DeRoberts Foundation is to continue the work that Haden found important and life-changing, thereby extending his influence in the world by embracing his love of music and perpetuating his belief in its healing power. To that end, our focus (while entertaining smaller grant requests as well) will be: Providing scholarships and grants for students pursuing careers in music and event management to launch musical events which support cancer-related foundations such as Love Hope Strength.
The Haden DeRoberts Foundation is named for the memory of Haden DeRoberts, a student at Ohio University, who was majoring in specialized studies with an emphasis in independent music event and festival production and nonprofit management. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2011 and passed away in 2016.
In 2010, Haden created Folkfest, a grassroots music festival showcasing performances by local artists, which grew into a festival at Ohio University. The festival continues today as a fundraising event for the Haden DeRoberts Foundation and is now known as “The Rumpus.”
Despite his diagnosis and long battle with cancer, which included two bone marrow transplants, Haden continued to pursue both his studies and his lifelong passion for music, attending numerous shows, traveling to festivals, and working as a volunteer for Love Hope Strength Foundation, a nonprofit that travels the country swabbing cheeks "one concert at a time" to expand the donor list of the National Bone Marrow Registry. Thousands of people have been tested as potential donors due to Haden’s efforts. And many matches have resulted, leading to many extended lives.
Haden was planning to fulfill another goal by attending South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas as part of his college coursework, when he became too ill to travel.
Today, the Haden DeRoberts Foundation is dedicated to enabling students who, like Haden, are pursuing careers in music event and festival production by providing scholarships and grants to attend major music trade shows and events, and to create their own social impact-based musical events which include organizations like Love Hope Strength.
Your support of the Haden DeRoberts Foundation will go directly to building an endowment which will ensure that his life's work will continue. The goal is to grow the endowment to $150,000, enabling the Haden DeRoberts Foundation to fulfill these objectives and to ensure that Haden’s belief in the healing power of music will live on in perpetuity.