All Buddy Autism Benefit

My dear friend Aimee helped organize a fundraising concert to benefit the Robin and Mani All Budy Camp at The Ante Room. I couldn’t do the cause justice, so I invited her to write a guest post.

Thursday night was one of those magical nights when music meets community.  Six musical acts of high quality of talent and compassion joined to present a benefit concert to raise money to help fund the Robin and Mani All Buddy Camp, a program developed to honor the lives of Robin and Mani Aldridge.

In December 2014, tragedy hit when a beloved autism consultant and teacher and her teenage daughter were brutally murdered in their home.  The rippling impact Robin and Mani Aldridge had on the Charlottesville community ensured their memories would be kept alive for many years to come.  Robin helped countless families in Charlottesville City and Albemarle County find connection and hope with their children with special needs. Her charming laugh and tireless encouragement earned her a place in the heart of too many to count. Her daughter Mani was an avid music and theater participant, at the Music Resource Center and Charlottesville High School.  In an effort to carry on Robin Aldridge’s legacy, the recreation departments of Charlottesville and Albemarle teamed up along with some colleagues of Robin’s to create The Robin and Mani All Buddy Camp. Guided by the expertise of professionals, the All Buddy Camp matches high school student volunteers with preschoolers who have special needs. The camp provides a learning experience filled with art, music, and adventure is a service to the community which operates with no fee or tuition expected from parents and caregivers.

The concert on April 27th attracted both regular lovers of local Charlottesville music, as well as friends and family of Robin and Mani Aldridge. The Ante Room swelled with love and rallying music from Joe Lawlor & Friends, We Are Star Children, Lauren Hoffman, Sally Rose, Brianna Litman, Johnny Tenney, Darrell Rose. Producers Aimee McDavitt and Johnny Tenney (both who have children on the autism spectrum) were pleased to also feature two special musicians: one of Mani’s best friends, Hunter Bruton of Dark Matter and Matt McDavitt, whose son, Asher was one of Robin’s clients. The money raised from the concert will provide extended staff to expand the camp’s enrollment, provide materials, and small trips for campers.

The concert may have ended at midnight, but it’s not too late to get in on the fundraising. Donations to The Robin and Many All Buddy Camp made payable to Charlottesville Parks and Recreation with “Robin and Mani’s All Buddy Camp” in the memo area.

Mail to:

Charlottesville Parks and Rec
Attention Sarah Blech
PO box 911, 22902.

For more information about Robin and Mani All Buddy Camp, please visit the website at www.allbuddycamp.com