New Paltz man goes from road manager for The Band to organ donor advocate

DAILY FREEMAN NEWS | Patricia Doxsey

KINGSTON >> For Leon “Butch” Dener, the rock ‘n’ roll days of traveling the country and world as road manager for The Band and Levon Helm are but a fond memory.

But that doesn’t mean he’s left the road beyond.

These days, the 66-year-old New Paltz resident can be found making the community circuit, attending local health fairs, showing up at community day events, and, every April, attending the Ulster County Legislature’s monthly meeting.

His new gig: Spreading the world about the importance of becoming an organ donor.

And Dener knows first-hand the difference organ donations can make — in 2005, he was given a new lease on life when he received a liver transplant.

A product of the 1960s, and all that came along with it, Dener spent much of the 1960s and 1970s immersed in the rock scene and all that entails.

In 1987, a chance encounter with Levon Helm outside a venue where he was playing changed the trajectory of Dener’s life. Continue reading
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