Rob Thomas' Sidewalk Angels Foundation Spreads Its Wings

Rob Thomas Marisol 2010 P
Associated Press

The nonprofit founded by Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas and his wife, Marisol, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

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Sidewalk Angels Foundation rings in its 10th anniversary with a new twist. Returning to Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino Music Box for a third consecutive year of benefit shows (Jan. 17-19), the nonprofit organization -- founded by Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas and his wife, Marisol -- also will bring its cause to the West Coast.

Thomas is set to perform at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., on March 30. All four dates fit into a larger Rob Thomas solo tour that will kick off at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., on April 2 and end at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Ontario, Canada, on May 11.

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The Atlantic City dates have sold out. “The first year was supposed to be a one-off,” says Marisol. “But the Borgata offered us the yearly spot. It’s wonderful: My husband gets to do what he loves to do, and we get to raise a great amount of money and awareness for our foundation.”

The upcoming intimate, acoustic shows will feature Thomas performing a range of hits from his Matchbox Twenty and solo runs as well as covers. He describes the shows as “singer-songwriter-storyteller events; a shared moment with a small group of people. I’m also getting ready to start back in the solo world, so it’s good to get back to some of these songs.”

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Money raised will benefit New York-based Sidewalk Angels, an umbrella organization that provides funds and resources for grassroots causes ranging from no-kill animal shelters/animal rescue centers and childhood health and wellness organizations to the fight against homelessness. Marisol has been involved in animal rescue since the age of 10. Rob connected with her lifelong passion, having witnessed the effects of animal neglect growing up in rural Florida.

One beneficiary of the pair’s work is the Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, New York. “Mari and I have been able to help Pets Alive grow to three locations including Puerto Rico, which we helped build,” Rob adds. “It’s the first no-kill shelter in Puerto Rico with its own medical facility. They’re really changing the culture of what it means to own an animal and the responsibility of making it a part of your life.”