Community NewsMusic

Banding Together: Live Music Fundraiser Supports Center for Alexandria’s Children, Raises $140K

Colby’s in the Car featuring Andy Poliakoff (L) and Steve Dawson (Photo by Jim Craige Photography)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-On Saturday evening (Feb. 3), the Center for Alexandria’s Children (CAC) held a fundraiser, Banding Together, to end child abuse. Aptly named, it featured live music from local bands: Indigo Thursday; Guilty Ghost, with Bryan Porter; and Colby’s in the Car. The latter featured two members of Virginia Coalition – Stave Dawson and Andy Poliakoff.

The event took place at the Durant Center and raised $140,000 to help CAC’s programs that serve more than 1,000 children and families each year. The organization is the “primary resource for the investigation, prevention, and treatment of child abuse,” according to a press release.

The 300 guests in attendance witnessed an award ceremony for three special people who supported children as part of their work in the city.

Mac Slover, Melissa Riddy, Jonathon Orlando, Awardee Margaret Orlando, Dominique Lewis, William Chesley, and Laura Durham
(Photo:Jim Craige Photography)

Margaret Orlando, recently retired from the Department of Recreation Parks and Cultural Activities was honored. Percy White, who served as the Gang Prevention Coordinator, was recognized posthumously. Ellen Kennedy Folts, CEO of the Bruhn Morris Family Foundation, was presented wth the Champion for Children Award for her work in Alexandria’s early childhood space.

Terry Wright and Mike Mackey accepting Percy White’s Outstanding Dedication to Alexandria’s Children award. (Photo by Jim Craige Photography)

Board Chair Melissa Riddy and Executive Director Giselle Pelaez both expressed their gratitude to the many in attendance.

“We are currently seeing an unprecedented increase in pleas for services from victims, coupled with deep funding cuts for victim service providers,” said Pelaez,”making private fundraising and revenue from special events even more important to ensure high quality services for the most vulnerable in our community; as well as to fund our prevention efforts.”

2079: Indigo Thursday w/Adam Orlando of Rock of Ages Music (Photo by Jim Craige Photography)

Everyone there watched an informational video narrated by the voices of those who have been assisted by the CAC. The Center says it will be up on their website for public viewing soon.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter and Guilty Ghost (Photo: Jim Craige Photography)

The night’s “Headliner” sponsors were Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Leonsis Family, and the Bruhn Morris Family Foundation. Support also came from Inova Health System, Tristan Wright, and Dawson & Associates.

[SEE ALSO: Vote Now for the 2024 Heart of Del Ray Award]

Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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