On Thursday March 13, 2013 The Buddy Program presented a show featuring ten time grammy award winning artist Chaka Khan at the Belly Up. It was a star studded evening to benefit the buddy programs efforts. For 40 years, the Buddy Program has been pairing qualified mentors with youth of the Roaring Fork Valley. The roots of the Buddy Program come from a local mental health counseling director who recognized that many of his young clients could benefit from an extra caring person in their lives. In response to increased demand for services, the Buddy Program extended one-on-one mentoring through El Jebel in 1994 and through Carbondale in 2010. Over the years, additional benefits for participating youth have been implemented. Examples include paying for therapeutic counseling, scholarships for extra-curricular activities and continuing education, and connecting youth and their families with other agencies as necessary. The Buddy Program added Experiential Group Mentoring programs in 2010 and Lemonade Day in 2012, from Aspen through Glenwood Springs.
Photographed by Michele Cardamone