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Loudoun-based BENEFIT hopes to make a difference with music

Local residents Ara Bagdasarian, CEO of Omnilert, and Amy Bobchek, sales director at Comcast Spotlight, have announced the launch of “BENEFIT,” a new Loudoun coalition of musicians and community leaders.

An acronym for Bands Empowering Nonprofits with Engagement and Fundraising Improving Tomorrow, BENEFIT’s mission is to raise funds and awareness for social service nonprofits in Loudoun with the unifying power of music.

“No one can deny music’s unique ability to bring people together,” said Bagdasarian and Bobchek, who are also musicians.

The launch of BENEFIT, announced Monday, follows last year’s Loudoun Live, a day-long music festival Bagdasarian and Bobchek put together with Loudoun Regional Council of United Way. That event won Volunteer Project of The Year from Loudoun Cares last month.

Bagdasarian and Bobchek knew they didn’t want this to be just a one-off thing. Though they couldn’t continue to call it Loudoun Live – that was a play on the “Live United” tagline of the United Way – Bagdasarian came up with the BENEFIT acronym, and they updated their mission.

“BENEFIT gives us sufficient flexibility to add in other events and initiatives that raise awareness to nonprofits and the need landscape,” they told the Times-Mirror.

As for acting on their mission in the Loudoun community, Bagdasarian and Bobchek spoke fondly of both the local music community and the work of local nonprofits.

“This community of musicians live and breathe storytelling, and they are aware of who’s struggling around them and are often very engaged citizens themselves. They therefore make the perfect local ambassadors for social service causes. And the social service community in Loudoun is tightly knit, collaborative and supportive of each other. With a county population unaware of the need around them, seemingly oblivious to their neighbors’ struggles, it’s going to take nothing less than magic to help them see it and take action.”

And that “magic” is going to start with another day of music.

The coalition is currently planning its first event for late this summer, an all-day music festival called BENEFIT Loudoun. As Bagdasarian and Bobchek told the Times-Mirror, “This year’s festival will be bigger and better than last year. All of our sponsors and volunteers have re-committed from Loudoun Live and many of the artists have, too. We will be nailing down the final details in the next few weeks and will announce the official date and venue in June.”

You can follow BENEFIT Loudoun on its Facebook page, or at http://www.BENEFIT.live.

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