The Village at Leesburg gets a jump on the Christmas season with a tree-lighting celebration on Saturday afternoon. At the same time, area musicians will be working to build support for community nonprofits during an alternative giving fair at nearby ChefScape.

            Fresh off its successful Crossroads Music Festival in downtown Leesburg in September, BENEFIT is hosting the Hope for the Holidays event from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 23. Attendees will enjoy live music, food samples and hot cider, as well as specials at participating ChefScape vendors. 

            Eleven nonprofits that serve Loudoun County children in need will have representatives on site. Attendees may make donations to the organizations in honor of family members, friends or loved ones to give a gift of hope for the holidays. Each gift recipient receives a special Hope card to give them a heads up about the donation. And because it’s a BENEFIT production, the event will also be festive and fun, featuring live music with headliners Ella Levri and Nothing Defined.

            BENEFIT, established in 2017, is a coalition of musicians and community leaders with a mission to use the power of music to raise funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations that serve children in need. It is a component program of the Paxton Trust, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. 

            “Rather than buying another $25 necktie for a person with everything, you can donate $25 to The Arc of Loudoun which provides a week of life-enriching activities for our 40 preschool children at Open Door Learning Center,” Co-founder Ara Bagdasarian said. “This is a meaningful way to give hope to those in our community in need through the charities that provide support. This event truly captures the essence of the holiday season.”