Pearl Jam donates $70,000 to man who saved Eddie Vedder's life
Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder have given thanks in a huge way this holiday season.
All five of the band members joined forces to donate $70,000 to Keith Baxter, a Hawaiian waterman who once saved Vedder’s life after the musician and two friends were involved in a boating accident. After Baxter suffered his own gruesome injury last year, the rockers doubled his GoFundMe campaign, which had raised $70,000 before Pearl Jam wrote a check. The page now shows five donations of $14,000 — four anonymous donors, one from guitarist Stone Gossard.
“Yes, it’s all true,” Baxter’s wife Karen wrote The Inertia in an email. “Pearl Jam (Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Mike, and Matt) matched what was originally raised ($70K) through Gofundme.com.”
More than a decade ago, Baxter saved Vedder and friends when they were out paddling on a canoe and eventually overturned in the ocean. Baxter and his daughter Ashley were out boating and heard voices in the water, she told Maui Now. Baxter told her to listen and look out for anyone in the water. They found Vedder’s party, who was stranded for two hours.
Last year, Baxter was injured in his own boating accident and sustained a serious infection. Karen ran into Kacky Ovrom Chamberlain — whom Baxter saved the same night as Vedder — and explained her father’s situation. Chamberlain took it upon herself to create the GoFundMe page.
“Keith is the true personification of all that is good in Hawaii — Aloha to all, respect for the land, humility, loyalty and service,” Chamberlain wrote on the page. “Please help us get Keith the care he needs and back on the water where he belongs.”
In 2013, Vedder told the story during a concert but didn’t reveal his involvement until the end. “The reason I know this story is, and I know it well: I was one of those three people,” Vedder said before bringing Ashley on stage.
Vedder has been in the giving mood this holiday season. He donated $10,000 to a Maryland family after a Craigslist ad went viral.