When tragedy strikes, it is sometimes difficult to know how one can help. As bystanders to the tsunami that devastated several parts of southeast Asia on December 26, many people found themselves searching for ways to offer aid and support to those in need.
On Saturday, January 8, Mission Tsunami, a newly formed group dedicated to providing funding and resources directly to tsunami victims, gave the area citizens an outlet for their generosity.
Group founders David and Kumud VanDerveer worked in conjunction with Lafayette Hotel owner Whit Ledford to coordinate Mission Tsunami's first benefit event. For one afternoon, the lobby of the historic Lafayette Inn and Restaurant in downtown Stanardsville was transformed into a bustling fundraising venue, equipped with food and beverages, live music, and a silent auction.
At the end of the month, David VanDerveer– a professional comedian– says he will travel (at his own expense) to India to deliver the funds raised at Saturday's event, as well as visit several villages to aid in the construction of new homes and buildings.
Meet the Press– David VanDerveer, one of the founders of the newly-formed 'Mission Tsunami,' gives Dateline 29 News the scoop on Saturday's events.
The Lafayette Hotel in Stanardsville was the location of the first 'Mission Tsunami' benefit event, held to raise money for India's tsunami survivors.
Chris, Levi, Gideon, and Scot French of Charlottesville came lend their support for a good cause.
Little Sophie Lanctot, age 3, donated the contents of her piggy bank to the victims of the Tsunami to help rebuild homes.
The Rye Grass Rollers sound their sweet melodies.
Ed Miller, aka 'Dr. Magic, Jr.' does the 'twist'.
Sandra Fodil peruses one of the items up for grabs in the silent aution.
A little goes a long way– Gretchen Ledford, Kumud Vanderveer, and Sarika Khanna lend a hand in collecting donations from event-goers.