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Latest News

June 2020 update

small Bennett's Village logo, children playing

Dear Friends of Bennett’s Village, Bennett’s Birthday fundraiser Thank you, thank you! Thanks to all of you, we raised $5,311.72 from the Bennett’s Birthday fundraiser. What an amazing success! Although his birthday can be a difficult reminder of how much we miss him, you all turned it into a celebration of Bennett’s dream of having a place in Charlottesville…

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Why Bennett’s Village?

picture of Bennett enjoying the glider at Park365

We asked two fans of Bennett’s Village to write about why they think it is important to build a place where ALL can play. Here are their responses: Molly Carter (Bottle Tree Consulting): When I look back on my childhood, it’s funny, thinking about the things I felt like I was “supposed to enjoy” simply because my able-bodied peers…

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Let’s talk about bathrooms

How often have you or someone you cared about struggled to use a bathroom due its small size, heavy door, or lack of accessible features?  Maybe it is because you were trying to use the bathroom and you had a young one in your arms (or the stroller wouldn’t fit in the stall).  Maybe you broke a foot and…

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Diagnosis Day

picture of Bennett and his family about to hike at Chris Greene Lake

May 23rd.  Since 2013 I have struggled with this day on the calendar.  Diagnosis Day.  It was the day everything changed.  Every SMA family (or any other family that receives a serious medical diagnosis) remembers the moment that forever changed the trajectory of their family’s life. I spent the first half of 2013 scared.  Bennett wasn’t meeting some physical…

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May 2020 update

Dear Friends of Bennett’s Village, I hope this update finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. It has been a few months since you’ve heard from us. This is in part because of how our world has been affected by the COVID-19– which has been challenging and sometimes overwhelming – and partly because there has been so…

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Help us celebrate Bennett’s 8th birthday!

May 12th is Bennett’s birthday. He should have turned 8 this year. For his 5th birthday, he asked his mom if he could have his birthday party at the ARC Park (now known as PLAY365) in Richmond. Not knowing it was the last birthday she would get to celebrate with Bennett, she told him it was too far away…

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Paint a rock for Bennett’s birthday

Bennett loved rocks—all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. He loved polished beautiful stones from the rock store. He loved fossils. He loved sparkly gems. But he also loved the ordinary rock, found in a mud puddle. He spent many a recess asking kids and adults to pick up rocks he spied on the ground. He stopped us on the…

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Calling all artists!

Drawing of Greer Elementary School

Bennett’s Village is looking for artists, young and not-so-young, to send us drawings, paintings, photographs of your favorite place to play. All of us have places we love to explore, learn, relax, and reconnect. And we may be missing them right now. So why not share your favorite place with the rest of us so that we can see…

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Big Feelings

photo of yellow daisies and a note that says remembering Bennett with love

It’s been a surreal few weeks. There are all kinds of big feelings going on right now for adults and kids alike. Many of us are having to learn new ways of interacting with each other and the world. Some of us are feeling the effects of being cooped up…we miss our friends and our routines. Some of us…

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Disco hide-and-seek parties

Bennett and his sister Ananda loved to play together. On the playground, in the car, and in the living room. With his friends, with her friends, with their pet guinea pigs. They didn’t let Bennett’s mobility challenges get in the way of fun. One year (for Christmas or a birthday) Ananda bought a colored disco ball for her brother….

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