November 2022 e-newsletter

November 2022

Our Fall Auction for Bennett’s Village is LIVE!

The season of giving is upon us! Lighten the load of shopping for holiday gifts and enjoy knowing that your dollars are making a difference by buying from the Bennett’s Village Fall Auction.

Thanks to our wonderful donors and local partners, we have a wide array of items, including handmade fashion items, spectacular art pieces, gift certificates and baskets, and toys for little ones. There is something for everyone on your shopping list—or even something you may want to keep for yourself.

This auction will be online  November 1-13. Proceeds will go toward Phase One of Bennett’s Village, an accessible treehouse at Pen Park. To view the auction, click on

Community fundraising raises over $3,000 for Bennett’s Village

Over the last few months, several community groups have raised funds for Bennett’s Village. Here WEE Grow Again, St. Mark Preschool, and the CHS Tennis Team all held events that benefited Bennett’s Village. And fourth-graders from Bennett’s elementary school, Johnson Elementary, held a bake sale that raised $900. We are so grateful to third-party groups who host fundraisers and spread the word about our efforts to build Phase One. Want to learn more about how your group can raise money? Just email

Cure SMA Virginia holds Walk-n-Roll fundraiser at Pen Park

Did you know that Bennett’s Village was named after the fundraising team that Bennett’s family started after his spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) diagnosis? The Cure SMA Virginia group gathered in Pen Park on October 22 to raise money to help fund treatments for SMA, and Bennett’s Village was there to share our dream of making Pen Park a more accessible place for all to play.

[Image caption: A blue tent covering a table filled with Bennett’s Village banner and information about the project. On the right are two posters of plans for Bennett’s Village. One is a concept design of the space and the other is a functional diagram. A blond-haired man with a KN-95 mask is walking behind the posters.]

Bennett’s Village welcomes new Board of Directors and Advisory Committee members

We are so delighted to have incoming board member Samantha Strong and incoming Advisory Committee member Jim Herndon join the Bennett’s Village team. 

Samantha is eager to get down to work: “Since moving to Charlottesville in 2014, I have loved becoming more a part of this community with my family. I work with the UVA Physicians Group as the DEI Program Coordinator, and I can’t wait to bring my passion in work and life to the cause of Bennett’s Village. As a local foster family, we know the need for all children and adults to have a space to be themselves and find their joy!” 

Jim has spent his career working to make Charlottesville a more accessible place, first as the ADA Coordinator for the City of Charlottesville and currently as a Senior Peer Advocate for the Independence Resource Center. We’d also like to thank Geri Greenspan for her years of service as she rotates off the Advisory Committee.