September 2022 e-newsletter

September 2022

Friends of Bennett’s Village,

We’ve reached 40% of our fundraising goal for Phase One!

Our big news is that we have raised over $200,000 of the $500,000 for Phase One to build our accessible Treehouse. Challenge Access is hard at work, designing and creating the construction documents needed for us to submit the project for approval, and Bennett’s Village is hard at work raising money so that when the plans are ready and the permits approved, we can start construction. How can you help? See below for news about our upcoming fall auction as well as ways that others have helped raise money and awareness for Bennett’s Village.

Kara, a woman with brown hair and glasses, is holding a copy of the book, Louie's Together Playground, and a check from The Able Fables for Bennett's Village.

The Able Fables raises $3,750 for Bennett’s Village

The Able Fables believes that every community should have a place for all to play, and they give a portion of their profits each month to help make that happen. In May and June, Bennett’s Village was their featured playground, and they raised over $3,700 for our Treehouse. Third-party fundraisers are an important part of our fundraising strategy. If you would like to learn more about how you can hold a fundraising event for Bennett’s Village, just reach out to

Fall auction for Bennett’s Village

We are holding an online auction in November to help raise funds for Bennett’s Village. You can help by donating goods or services and by bidding, bidding, bidding in November—just in time for the holidays!

Bennett’s Village welcomes new board member and new board chair

We’ve had a few changes in the leadership at Bennett’s Village. Julie Basic has completed her term as Board Chair and will remain on the Board as our Design and Construction Liaison. Yuki Weaver was elected this month as the new Bennett’s Village Board Chair. Lisa Torres rotated off the Board but will stay involved as an Advisory Committee Member, and Dr. Emily Hillaker was elected as a new Board Member. 

Yuki has spent the last 15 years in Charlottesville’s nonprofit community and is currently with The Arc of the Piedmont as a recruiter.  She freelances as a grant prospect researcher to help an assortment of organizations find the right grants. She loves to volunteer and support area nonprofits any way she can, so you’ll see her registering for runs and walks, attending galas, and buying merch. As a member of the Bennett’s Village Board for almost four years, she is excited to take the next step and help lead the Board as its Chair. Says Yuki: “I’d like to give a huge thanks to Julie Basic for her years as the Chair for the Bennett’s Village Board! She saw us through many ups and downs as we got the organization off the ground, worked with the City of Charlottesville to install the communication board at Pen Park, and began fundraising for Phase One of the project, the Treehouse. We are so excited to bring this accessible, inclusive playspace to life! We will continue to seek individual donors, corporate sponsorships, and grants for the rest of the funds. As we start to take on bigger projects, we are working on Board growth. To that end, I am pleased to introduce Emily Hillaker as our newest Board member. You may remember her name from the installation of the communication board. She wrote and submitted our application to the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AOCPMR), from which we received funding for both the board and the laminated handheld copies for the community.”

Help us welcome Emily and Yuki in their new roles!

California Triathlon 

The Bennett’s Village Board is grateful to have been one of the beneficiaries of the California Triathlon event in Charlottesville earlier this month. We not only got to cheer on fellow Board member Julie Basic, but we also raised some money and made some great community connections that will help us build a place where all can play!

Board members Kara McClurken (left) and Yuki Weaver (right) networking with community members at the California Triathalon Event on September 4th.

Board members Kara McClurken (left) and Yuki Weaver (right) networking with community members at the California Triathlon event on September 4.