LEESBURG, Va. (Feb. 8, 2021) – A little creativity, the power of music and the commitment to help others is making a difference for seven Loudoun County nonprofit organizations.
Bands Empowering Nonprofits with Engagement and Fundraising Improving Tomorrow (BENEFIT) is a coalition of musicians and community leaders uniting people with music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofits serving children.
Since its establishment in 2017, BENEFIT has hosted several live music events and festivals in order to assist Loudoun County nonprofits that serve children. The organization wanted to create something that would still allow them to continue to support these nonprofit organizations even though they were not able to hold live music events this past year.
“We had to change our thinking this past year due to the pandemic,” said Amy Bobchek, co-founder of BENEFIT. “Two items were of the highest concern for us: helping these nonprofit organizations and safety. What could we do to continue our mission, and in carrying out our mission, what could we do to ensure the safety of our community? We could create an online holiday music special just like the holiday specials we watched on television, and viewers could tune in from the comfort of their homes.”
Presented December 19, 2020, the “Hope for the Holidays” online music special was a success, raising over $20,000. The grant funding was available to seven nonprofit organizations that serve children in Loudoun County. BENEFIT funding recipients include:
INMED Partnerships for Children, $3,600; Women Giving Back, $3,600; Loudoun Cares, $3,000; Loudoun Literacy Council, $3,000; Project Horse Empowerment Center, $3,000; Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice/Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS), $2,000; and the Ryan Bartel Foundation, $2,000.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the response to our Hope for the Holidays music special,” said Ara Bagdasarian, co-founder of BENEFIT. “Our community came together to not only help support our mission, but to also help these nonprofits organizations and the work they do here in Loudoun County. We thank the musicians, our sponsors, the production team, everyone involved with the music special, and everyone who tuned in and made a contribution. The music special and grant funding would not have been possible without you.”
Holiday music special to raise funds for nonprofits serving children in Loudoun
Get ready for the holidays and relax in the comfort of your home while helping support nonprofits that serve children in Loudoun County.
BENEFIT’s “Hope for the Holidays” online holiday music special will be broadcast Saturday, Dec. 19. The pre-recorded event will be available for viewing on BENEFIT’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BENEFITLoudoun/) and YouTube Live from 7– 8:30 p.m.
Established in 2017, Bands Empowering Nonprofits with Engagement and Fundraising Improving Tomorrow (BENEFIT) is a coalition of musicians and community leaders uniting people with music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofits serving children.
BENEFIT has hosted several music festivals and events in the years since it was established in order to assist Loudoun County nonprofits that serve children. In 2019, BENEFIT debuted the successful “Crossroads Music Festival” featuring 21 artists and bands performing original music in seven Downtown Leesburg venues. While the organization was not able to hold its live music events this year, it is still dedicated to its mission to help nonprofit organizations. In order to adhere to safety and social distancing recommendations related to COVID-19, the 2020 Hope for the Holidays event will be pre-recorded and presented as an online holiday music special.
The format of BENEFIT’s 2020 Hope for the Holidays music special will be reminiscent of classic television specials.
Set against the backdrop of Morven Park, the pre-recorded 2020 Hope for the Holidays music special will showcase performances by several Loudoun County musicians including:
“We truly appreciate Morven Park hosting us to film this holiday music special so that we are able to bring Hope for the Holidays into the homes of our local and global community,” said Ara Bagdasarian, co-founder of BENEFIT. “When faced with the challenges of organizing an event during the pandemic, we had to think outside of the box to safely support nonprofit organizations and provide them with the assistance they need.”
Funds raised through the 2020 Hope for the Holidays online music special will be awarded to seven nonprofit organizations in Loudoun County. The nonprofit organizations include:
Businesses interested in sponsoring the 2020 Hope for the Holidays online music special can contact BENEFIT at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Sponsor page on BENEFIT’s website at BENEFIT.live.
“The mission of BENEFIT is to help raise funds and awareness for nonprofits that serve children in Loudoun County, and needs are greater this year,” said Amy Bobchek, co-founder of BENEFIT. “We hope that everyone will tune in from the comfort of their homes Dec. 19, enjoy an evening of great music, and help us raise funds for these nonprofit organizations and the children they serve.”
“We are excited to have BENEFIT produce this holiday special in Leesburg,” said Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk. “We can all use some hope for the holidays and this online holiday music special is a great way to help support our community and these nonprofit organizations. When you give, you receive so much more in return. Let’s all give some hope this holiday season.”
For more information about BENEFIT’s 2020 Hope for the Holidays online music special, visit BENEFIT.live.
LEESBURG, Va. (June 16, 2020) – Seven Loudoun County nonprofits have been selected as recipients of 2020 BENEFIT grant funding.
BENEFIT, a coalition of Loudoun County musicians and community leaders, stands for Bands Empowering Nonprofits with Engagement and Fundraising Improving Tomorrow. The mission of BENEFIT is to use the unifying power of music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofits that serve children in need in Loudoun County.
A total of $10,000 was available to Loudoun nonprofits for grant funding. The money for the grants was raised during BENEFIT’s 2019 Crossroads Music Festival and Hope for the Holidays events.
BENEFIT 2020 grant recipients include:
INMED Partnerships for Children, $1,750; Women Giving Back, $1,750; Project Horse Empowerment Center, $1,500; Loudoun Literacy Council, $1,500; Loudoun Cares, $1,500; Ryan Bartel Foundation, $1,000; and Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice/Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter (LAWS), $1,000.
“We are so thankful to have nonprofit organizations such as these working to help the children in our community of Loudoun County,” Amy Bobchek, co-founder of BENEFIT, said.
“We thank the musicians, the sponsors and venues, and the community members who participated in our events. These grants would not be possible without them,” Ara Bagdasarian, co-founder of BENEFIT, added. “We are excited to be able to provide these funds to support the missions and the work of these Loudoun County nonprofits.”
BENEFIT’s 2020 Crossroads Music Festival is planned for September 19. More information about the format of the event will be available closer to the event date.
Grant application process opens March 16
LEESBURG, Va. (March 11, 2020) – BENEFIT, a coalition of Loudoun County musicians and community leaders, is accepting grant applications beginning Monday, March 16. All nonprofits serving Loudoun children in need are encouraged to apply. Applications are due no later than Friday, April 10, 2020.
BENEFIT stands for Bands Empowering Nonprofits with Engagement and Fundraising Improving Tomorrow. The mission of BENEFIT is to use the unifying power of music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofits that serve children in need in Loudoun County.
A total of $10,000 is available to Loudoun nonprofits for grant funding. Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $1,000 – $2,500. The money for the grants was raised during BENEFIT’s 2019 Crossroads Music Festival and its Hope for the Holidays events.
“We are excited to be able to offer this grant funding,” Ara Bagdasarian, co-founder of BENEFIT, said. “We are extremely thankful to all the musicians who donated their talents, community members who attended our events, the sponsors and the venues. Without them, we would not have been able to raise the funds to provide this grant funding to our Loudoun nonprofits.”
To qualify, applicants must:
Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of BENEFIT volunteers. The panel will review the applications and videos to select grant recipients and to also decide on the amount of funding that will be awarded.
Grant recipients will be contacted in May 2020. After the grant recipients have been announced, their application videos will then be shared by BENEFIT throughout the year on its social media platforms in order to raise awareness and support for the nonprofit’s mission, as well as the greater mission of BENEFIT.
“Being able to support Loudoun County nonprofits that serve children in need is the heart of our organization,” Amy Bobchek, co-founder of BENEFIT, said. “We know nonprofits have limited resources, and it’s wonderful that we can help them support their missions.”
Live music event and alternative giving fair to benefit nonprofit organizations serving Loudoun children in need
LEESBURG, Va. (Nov. 4, 2019) – Are you ready for the food, fun and joy of the holiday season? Loudoun County community members can jump-start their holiday spirit at BENEFIT’s inaugural Hope for the Holidays event — an alternative giving fair with live music performances.
Following its Crossroads Music Festival which took place in September 2019 and raised $15,000, BENEFIT’s Hope for the Holidays will take place Saturday, November 23, from 3-7pm at ChefScape in The Village of Leesburg shopping area. Attendees will be able to enjoy live music, complimentary food samples and hot cider, as well as event-day specials at participating ChefScape vendors. Music performances for BENEFIT’s Hope for the Holidays event include Ella Levri, Nothing Defined, and Moonlight Ride.
BENEFIT, established in 2017, is a coalition of musicians and community leaders with a mission to use the unifying power of music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations that serve children in need. BENEFIT is a component program of the Paxton Trust, a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
With the festivities of the event, attendees are encouraged to get in the spirit of the season and give back to their community through the Hope for the Holidays alternative giving fair. Eleven nonprofit organizations that serve Loudoun County children in need will be present at the event. Attendees can make donations to the organizations in honor of a family member, friend or loved one to give a gift of hope for the holidays.
“Loudoun residents can plan a fun evening with their families at the Hope for the Holidays event,” Amy Bobchek, co-founder of BENEFIT, said. “They can enjoy delicious food samples and hot cider, listen to great music, and give a gift to support their community this holiday season. Instead of searching for what you think is the perfect gift for someone who already has a packed closet, make a gift in that person’s name to a nonprofit organization that can help others in need.”
Event attendees will be able to visit each nonprofit organization’s table and select a donation level card to give a gift to a loved one in their honor. At the donation checkout, attendees will receive a Hope for the Holidays card in which to place their donation card and write a note to their gift recipient.
Live music showcase to benefit nonprofit organizations serving Loudoun children in need
LEESBURG, Va. (Aug. 5, 2019) – Eighteen musicians and bands will be performing original music for BENEFIT’s third annual music festival. The newly named Crossroads Music Festival will be held at six different venues in downtown Leesburg from 4 – 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.
BENEFIT, established in 2017, is a coalition of musicians and community leaders with a mission to use the unifying power of music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations that serve children in need. Though this is the third year of BENEFIT’s annual music festival, this is the first time it is being hosted in downtown Leesburg, the heart of the county.
“Loudoun County has so many remarkable musical artists,” Ara Bagdasarian, BENEFIT co-founder and guitarist for Frayed Knots, said. “The musicians participating are generously donating their performances to help us raise funds for local children’s services charities. We hope to provide attendees with a unique evening of live music that is also helping their community.”
Music lovers who attend the Crossroads Music Festival will be able to choose from six venues to customize their own evening of music. Music styles include rock, pop, alternative, Americana, acoustic, electronic, blues and funk. Bands will perform a 60-minute showcase set at their designated venue. Confirmed artists include:
Tickets will be sold online beginning Aug. 5 and at a registration table downtown on Sept. 21. Tickets purchased online in advance will be $15 and those bought on-site will be $25. Tickets are not required for entry at any venue participating in Crossroads Music Festival. However, proceeds from each ticket sale benefits nonprofit organizations that serve children in need in Loudoun County.
With ticket purchase, attendees will receive a wristband at check-in. Wristbands provide attendees:
BENEFIT was able to grant $5,000 to five local nonprofits as a result of the inaugural concert in 2017. Money raised at this year's festival will be combined with proceeds from the 2018 event and distributed in spring 2020 to Loudoun County nonprofits through a grant application process.
“Crossroads Music Festival is a great way for everyone to get out, listen to some fantastic music, and give back to their community all at the same time,” Amy Bobchek, BENEFIT co-founder and lead singer of Big Bad Juju, said. “My band, Big Bad Juju, has performed at events for BENEFIT since the organization was founded, and we are excited to be participating again this year. Having six different venues is going to add so much more to the experience for music lovers. We thank 14 Loudoun, Delirium Café, King’s Tavern and Wine Bar, Leesburg Junction, MacDowell Brew Kitchen and SideBar for hosting the performances.”
Ticket, artist and venue information can be found at the Crossroads Music Festival website CrossroadsMusicFest.org. Businesses seeking to sponsor the event may also find sponsorship information on the site.
Call for musicians to be showcased at multiple venues in downtown Leesburg
BENEFIT proudly announces that its 2019 Music Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, in downtown Leesburg beginning at 4 p.m. The newly named Crossroads Music Festival will feature original music performances from regional musicians and bands.
BENEFIT, established in 2017, is a coalition of musicians and community leaders with a mission to use the unifying power of music to raise funds and awareness for Loudoun County nonprofit organizations that serve children in need.
The Crossroads Music Festival will take place at multiple venues in downtown Leesburg.
“We decided to make changes to the format of the music festival this year,” said BENEFIT Co-founder Ara Bagdasarian. “Crossroads is a platform to showcase some of the incredible original artists in our community for fans who love music. It will also provide a more customized and intimate experience for music fans who, for a small admission, can experience an afternoon of music in downtown Leesburg while raising money for children’s services.”
The Crossroads Music Festival hopes to feature the region’s top original artists who would like to generously donate their performance to raise funds for local children’s services charities.
“We are placing a call for bands, singer-songwriters, and other musicians who are interested in performing at our Sept. 21 event,” said BENEFIT Co-founder Amy Bobchek. “As musicians, this is a great opportunity to give to the community through our music.”
Musicians interested in joining BENEFIT and offering their talents at the Sept. 21 event are encouraged to register online at BENEFIT.Live. A final lineup of performers will be announced in late summer.
Past BENEFIT performers include Todd Wright, Tommy Gann, Juliana MacDowell, Drumfish, The Voodoo Blues, Schreiner, Big Bad Juju, and Frayed Knots.
“I’ve been attending BENEFIT’s music festival since its first year at The Village at Leesburg, and I have been thoroughly moved by this committed group of volunteers,” said Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk. “As the County’s Arts & Cultural District, the Town is proud to be a part of the effort, and I encourage the community to come out in September to enjoy the music and give a little something back for your neighbors.”
Five bands confirmed to perform with returning celebrity emcee Cerphe Colwell
Leesburg, Va. (August 7, 2018) BENEFIT, Loudoun’s coalition of musicians and community leaders, has announced its 2018 concert to benefit Loudoun’s charities on September 22 from 2 pm to 8 pm. Legendary Washington DC dee-jay, author, and host of Music Planet Radio Cerphe Colwell will emcee the event. Five local bands have been confirmed to perform. The musicians were selected for their style, sound, and performance quality, and they have each agreed to donate their performance to raise funds and awareness for participating charities. Some will also donate an additional performance in the coming year for a charity fundraiser in Loudoun.
Each of the following bands, whose styles include rock, acoustic, Motown, blues, and funk will perform a 60-minute set on the main stage at the concert. Confirmed bands include:
As a result of the inaugural concert in 2017, BENEFIT granted $5,000 to five local nonprofits.
“BENEFIT sets the stage for the community to gather and discover how they can help in an open festive environment,” added BENEFIT Co-Founder and guitarist for Frayed Knots Ara Bagdasarian.
Leesburg, Va. (Mar. 13, 2018) BENEFIT, Loudoun’s unique coalition of local musicians and community leaders, kicks off its second year by announcing the availability of five grants each valued at $1,000. The money, raised during last fall’s concert, is available to Loudoun nonprofits through a competitive and creative application process. Applications are due Thursday, April 12, 2018.
To qualify, applicants must be a 501 (c) 3 organization that provides services to Loudoun County residents. In addition to completing an online form, applicants must also submit a 30-second video that captures the essence of their mission and how they are making an impact in Loudoun. Grantees will be selected by a panel of BENEFIT volunteers, based on the content of the video, as well as the reach and impact of the nonprofit’s mission. The videos will then be shared by BENEFIT throughout the year on its social media platforms, to raise awareness and support for the nonprofit’s mission, and the greater mission of BENEFIT.
“The availability of these grants is a giant step forward for BENEFIT, toward the completion of one full cycle of our mission, which begins with our annual fundraising concert in September and ends with the awarding of grants to local nonprofits in May” says BENEFIT co-founder Ara Bagdasarian.
BENEFIT’s other co-founder Amy Bobchek adds, “This is just the beginning. We foresee BENEFIT playing an enduring, impactful role in Loudoun’s reconciliation of its shortfall in charitable giving. We know Loudouners have the compassion, and we know they have means. They just need the awareness and a little push.”
Grant applications and further instructions for submitting videos at www.benefit.live.
Festival to Raise Funds for Loudoun Nonprofits
Headliners include drumfish and Todd Wright
Leesburg, Va. (Sept. 11, 2017) BENEFIT, Loudoun’s new coalition of local musicians and community leaders, proudly announces long-time Washington D.C. deejay, Cerphe Colwell, will emcee the organization’s 2017 music festival, BENEFIT Loudoun, on September 16, 2017. The all-day music festival (3 pm – 8 pm) will be at the Village at Leesburg and is free and open to the public, all ages.
Cerphe (pronounced “Surf”) Colwell began his career more than 25 years ago on WHFS 102.3 radio, one of the first freeform stations in the United States. Cerphe helped promote the early careers of Bruce Springsteen, Lowell George, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, and many other rock luminaries. Cerphe’s radio resume includes WAVA, DC101, WJFK, and current station Music Planet Radio. His memoir, Cerphe’s Up,(available on Amazon) details his life as a rock radio insider in rich detail, and includes previously unpublished photographs. His story includes promotion and friendship with a young unknown Bruce Springsteen, as well as his years at WHFS 102.3 as it blossomed in the freeform format.
In addition to northern Virginia rock band drumfish and Loudoun-based singer/songwriter Todd Wright, featured bands at the festival include Loudoun-based Big Bad JuJu, Frayed Knots, Juliana MacDowell and Half King Studio’s Emerging Artists.
Though tickets are free, concert goers will be able to purchase “BENEFIT Bucks” on site at a rate of $1.50 per Buck. BENEFIT Bucks can be used concert day in participating shops and restaurants at the Village at Leesburg, or as donations to nonprofits on site. For every $1.50 spent, BENEFIT will put 50 cents into a component fund operated by the Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.
Participating restaurants and retailers currently include: Atomic Trampoline, Bean Bar, BodyBrite, Charming Charlie, Eggspectations, Rocket Fizz, Salon Montage, Smokehouse Live and Woodhouse Day Spa.
Sponsors include Village at Leesburg, Omnilert, Toth Financial, INMED, Staywell Home Care, Wegmans, Van Metre, Alimond Studio, Loudoun Now, and Music Planet Radio.
More information, including VIP Tent Tickets, available at www.benefit.live.