Michael McDonald Races VEGA IRONMAN World Championships, Raises $394,000 for MusiCares

October 15, 2019

Grammy Foundation Non-Profit Chair Emeritus Crosses Finish Line on 20th Anniversary of Sobriety

BROOKLYN, NY – Michael McDonald, co-founder of ATO-records and Big Deal Music, founder of Mick Management, and Chair Emeritus of MusiCares; crossed the finish line on Saturday at the 2019 VEGA IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 12:42:22. McDonald raised over $394,000 for MusiCares and the IRONMAN Foundation. The campaign was capped off with a $75,000 contribution from Leon Bridges.

Established in 1989 by the Recording Academy, MusiCares is a non-profit health and human service organization that supports members of the music industry in times of financial, medical, and personal hardship. To date, the organization has distributed more than $60 million to over 150,000 music people in need. McDonald credits MusiCares for saving his life 20 years ago when he went through their addiction recovery programming.

“When I was a tour manager and prior to getting sober, I spent many lonely mornings in hotel rooms, full of regret, and too hungover to do anything besides watch TV,” said McDonald. “I vividly remember watching the broadcast of the IRONMAN World Championships and crying as people struggled to cross the finish line. Somewhere deep inside, a seed was planted that finally came to bloom.”

2019 marks McDonald’s 50th birthday, the 20th anniversary of his sobriety, and the 30th anniversary of MusiCares’ inception. On his road to IRONMAN, McDonald biked over 3,000, ran 800+, and swam 69 miles.

“Crossing the finish line in Kona was one of the greatest honors of my life. I am overflowing with gratitude towards all my donors and the IRONMAN Foundation for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.” said McDonald.

McDonald partnered as a member of TEAM IMF, the IRONMAN Foundation’s fundraising team. The funds raised through McDonald not only benefit MusiCares, bust also provide support to the IRONMAN Foundation and its efforts to create positive, tangible change in race communities through grant funding and volunteerism. In 2019, the IRONMAN Foundation distributed over $120,000 in charitable giveback to the Kailua-Kona region through support of non-profit initiatives and organizations, including the Halau Ka’eaikahelelani (a school of Hawaiian culture), P.A.T.H. Hawai’i, the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation, and more.

McDonald’s efforts were also sponsored by VEGA, ROKA, Brooks Running, Cervélo Cycles, Kinetic, Concentric Analgesics, Live Nation, Mick Management, and Music That Moves.

About Mick Management

Founded in 2001 by Michael McDonald, a co-founder of ATO Records, Mick Management is a boutique management firm based in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Their roster includes Brett Dennen, Caamp, Carly Rae Jepsen, David Gray, Deer Tick, Hamilton Leithauser, Jon Batiste, John-Robert, Lennon Stella, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers, Mahalia, Maisy Stella, Mandy Moore, Mosa Wild, MUNA, Niles City Sound, Of Monsters and Men, Phillip Phillips, Ray LaMontagne, Real Estate, Sharon Van Etten, The Walkmen and WALK THE MOON.  For more information, visit

About Musicares

A friend and ally of the music community, MusiCares was established by the Recording Academy to safeguard the health and well-being of all music people. A four-star charity and safety net in times of need, MusiCares offers confidential preventative, recovery, and emergency programs to address financial, medical, and personal health issues. Through the generosity of our donors and volunteer professionals, our dedicated team works across the country to ensure the music community has the resources and support it needs. For more information, visit, “like” MusiCares on Facebook, and follow @MusiCares on Twitter and Instagram.

About The Ironman Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 8,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including TEAM IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town™, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit