Concert will benefit special-needs kids

The Buddy System and Kappa Sigma Fraternity of Davidson College and nonprofit organization Angels in Need are working together to make new pals Sunday with a special afternoon of family and friendship.

The Buddy Benefit, a concert featuring some of Davidson Colleges best a capella groups, will be held today at Davidson College. Donations will be accepted.

The concert, featuring student groups The Delilahs, The Generals and Androgyny, seeks to give back to the community by raising awareness and understanding of special needs in the Lake Norman community. Donations raised at the concert go towards helping special-needs children and their families.

The funds raised from the concert will go to families via the Angels in Need organization in the form of Buddy Scholarships. The scholarships assist special-needs children attend camps and programs.

Angels in Need is a local, nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve children with special needs and their families, locally and abroad.

The Buddy System, a Davidson College group that works to get student volunteers for events such as the Buddy Benefit, began in 2009. The student volunteers also partner with special needs children at the Buddy Club, an activity sponsored by the Buddy System and Angels in Need that meets at 11 a.m. Saturdays at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Jeni Cooper, director of Angels in Need, said there is a huge need in the community for programs that work with special-needs children.

She said the Buddy Club matches college students with special-needs children, and often, lasting relationships develop between the two. The Buddy Club is a good fit for all kids with different types of needs, she said.

Davidson College students are welcome to volunteer to help with the Buddy Club, Cooper said.

Angels in Need assists the Buddy Club by securing the location where the Buddy Club meets and providing family input forms to help learn about each child, she said.

Cooper said one of the positive things about the Buddy Club is that parents can hang out in another room while their children get to play. The parents can share resources and gain a sense of community.

Children who attend The Buddy Club range in age from elementary school age to high school. The group is very flexible, Cooper said, and is willing to work with families if there is a need.

Cooper said the Buddy Benefit is sure to be an uplifting and inspiring event. Through this event Davidson College is trying to get kids focused on serving the community. It is more than just a concert, she said.

Three people will speak at the event, each giving a perspective on relationships with persons with special needs. Scott Cheney will give a parent perspective, Katherine Kennedy a sibling perspective and Griffin Drum will offer the peer perspective.

"It is all about celebrating our children and our community," Cooper said.