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One of the most rewarding and gratifying characteristics of the Bay Area music scene is the interconnected willingness to share, hurt, and heal together.

Local musician Eric DiBerardino is no exception to that sincere solidarity and he's teamed up with his bandmates in The Loyal Scam and several of his friends to tackle multiple sclerosis with JAMS at Doc's Lab in San Francisco tomorrow night, Thursday, May 11.

Joining The Loyal Scam on the bill is a slew of other Bay Area regulars and favorites:  Trevor Garrod and Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green, Jeff Miller, Glenn Hartman, Steve Adams of ALO, Todd Stoops of Electric Beethoven​, Scott Rager, Sean Leahy, Cochrane McMillan, and Clay Welch are all combining to form the Team Amerikans.

The all-star group borrows its name from DiBerardino's girlfriend, Erika Munsch. JAMS is one of several successful campaigns spearheaded by Munsch, a former employee of the New York City chapter of the National MS Society, under the Team AmErika moniker.

"Team AmErika is my Walk MS team I started after I was diagnosed with MS at 24 years old," said Munsch. "We’ve been a top fundraising team since we started and I request that the funds we raise go the research piece of the pie."

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The Team AmErika logo hasn’t changed since 2004. "It’s just too good to change" said Munsch. "When brainstorming walk team names we landed on using my name without making it obvious — like Erika’s angels — and that’s how we got to Team AmErika. Since it’s a walking event we wanted to incorporate that somehow so we made the 'K' a little walker dude."

According to Munsch, Team AmErika raises between $9,000 and $13,000 each year. About 60% of that is raised directly by Munsch's personal efforts. In order to maintain Team AmErika's status within the MS Society as a top tier fundraiser, they had to get creative and branch beyond e-mail and social media solicitations.

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"I started hosting fundraising events," she said. "Something different each year, like teaming up with my buddies Badfish or a pub crawl. Outside of bar fundraisers I wanted to incorporate my love for music and feed my habit of live concerts, hence the birth of JAMS — a benefit concert of local bands to raise money and awareness for MS."

A shining example of the camaraderie among the scene is the fact that when contacted, DiBerardino deflected his involvement to highlight the incredible effort Munsch has put forward.

"I tried to put together a few members of local bands for a loose set," said DiBerardino. "I basically hit up some friends. The reactions was overwhelmingly positive, and the majority of people I asked were willing to donate their time and talent."

Meanwhile, Munsch maintains that without Eric, this specific event wouldn't have been possible.

"I told him I wanted to do this benefit concert and just like that, we have a venue, talent, and raffle prizes!" she gushed. "He receives most of the credit, but I am also biased."

One indisputable factor that both could wholeheartedly agree made a huge difference, though, was that Doc's Lab was the perfect venue for the event. Glenn Hartman, proprietor of the club also has close ties to MS: his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Crabtree-Hartman, MD, is on the board of the National MS Society. Doc's Lab is generously donating 100% of the ticket proceeds to Team AmErika as well.

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In addition to donated talent, time, and proceeds, several friends and relatives have donated various items for a raffle to be held during the event. Some of the prizes include: a pair of tickets to a show at the Independent, a pair of tickets to a show at the Ivy Room, yoga hikes or beach yoga for 2 people through NPK Yoga, two passes to SFMOMA, and much more.

For those interested in contributing to the event, but unable to attend, feel free to visit Team AmErika's team page online.

JAMS: Join Against Multiple Screlosis with The Loyal Scam and The Team Amerikans
Doc's Lab
May 11, 2017
7pm, $40

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