Jam 4 Jimi’s Friends” is an annual fundraiser that benefits local children with special needs. It helps to provide assistance with the payment of any medical bills, multiple disciplines of therapy, wheelchair ramps and local summer camps for these kids.
The event is taking place now at Orange Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road in Orange CT from noon to close. Admission is $20, and includes free food and a great line-up of popular bands that donate their time and talent to the charity.
Kristin Wright started the event in 2006 when she needed help getting her son, Jimi into a clinic that was not covered by her insurance. Jimi, 9, has Aspergers Syndrome (AS) which causes him difficulty in communication and social interactions.
Then a bartender at Martini’s Café, Wright knew many local musicians and asked if any would play for free if she hosted a fund-raiser – everyone agreed, and Jam for Jimi was born.
“As a mom, you do whatever you can for your child,” Wright said. “The first year was huge, and everyone told me that I had to do it again. It helped us so much that I thought – we could do it again and give the money to other kids and causes.
Each year, Jim Hassenmayer, owner of the Orange Ale House, hosts the event providing the venue and food. The bartenders donate 100% of their tips – usually was well over $1,000 each year.
The back room is dedicated to children of all ages who are treated to face painting and karaoke.
“I have a great staff,” Hassenmayer said. “We like to help out in the community and this is a really good cause.”
Wright said that after the second year the event enabled the charity to pay for a ramp at the home of a child with muscular dystrophy; provide another child with hearing aids and provided several scholarships for children to attend Camp Happiness – a camp specifically for children with special needs.
In addition to helping the children, Wright said Jam 4 Jimi also donates money to other worthy causes, such as the Breast Cancer walk.
“We just like to keep the spirit of giving going,” she said. "I’ll keep doing this as long as people keep coming.”
"We have a children’s room featuring Karaoke with Jim, arts & crafts, food and special surprise guest appearances. We feature many local bands such as Highfield, which agreed to reunite for the event, Total Hacks, The Navels, Liplok, Elwood’s, Streets, Samurai Cab Company, Tune Squad, Sellouts, The Signature Band, and Fake Foo Fighters," Wright said. "There will be raffles, give-a-ways, drink specials and Great Times!"
"This event proved to be very successful for the last 5 years and we are hoping your generosity will add to the amount of assistance that we can provide to these inspirational children," Wright said. "We would be grateful for any contribution that your organization is willing to donate to this great cause, i.e., cash donations, raffle prizes, gifts or any unique services/idea that you may be able to offer."
Donations can be made by contacting Kristin Wright at (203) 283-3939.
Their Tax ID number is 35-2369682
Check out our website at www.jam4jimi.org
You can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org