Drums & Dragons Goes Virtual for 2020!

Be The Change That Our Community Needs to Paddle Forward!


63 supporters

$15,000 goal

Team Member

St. Gerard House


by 3 supporters

$5,000 goal

St. Gerard House was founded to serve all people touched by autism. We use evidence-based therapy as the backbone for all of our programs and are committed to providing the highest quality care possible. We have programs for all ages and offer training and support for families as well. Our Mission is to help individuals with autism and their families experience more joy and achieve meaningful life outcomes. Our families often describe a sense of loneliness and despair in their journey. Dave McFarland, Parent and Board Chair shares that sense of "being alone, desperate turned into belonging and a sense of community. We felt like we won the lottery" when their daughter enrolled in the St. Gerard House Grotto program. 

If you or a loved one, are raising a child with autism or related disabilities please know that you are not alone. 


CDC estimate for 2020 on autism prevalence increases by nearly 10 percent, to 1 in 54 children in the U.S. In North Carolina, 1 in 39 children are affected. St. Gerard House is one of only three centers in our state that provides comprehensive support to these families. Autism rates rise 10-18% annually, and as the need grows, so does the call for our service.  

"He really didn't fit in anywhere. No one knew how to handle his behaviors... St. Gerard House gave us the peace of mind to know that not only was [our son] going to be able to learn, we were also going to be able to be comfortable with where he was and know he was going to be accepted no matter what." - Andy and Kate Guzy, Parents 


St. Gerard House delivers its mission through four primary programs including: 

The Grotto Therapeutic Center - a full-day, year round educational and therapeutic service.
Feed The Need - a prevocational training program for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum. Participants learn a variety of skills from general work skills, culinary skills to in-depth gardening and farming techniques.
Connect - an after-school social group developed for children and adolescents. This group is for all special needs children and includes a 45 minute parent forum weekly.
Family Group Night - typically a monthly in-person family meal and group time for parents to gather resources while children play. At this time the program is running twice monthly as a virtual group.

WNC Bridge Foundation partnered with St. Gerard House to found the Launching Learners program, now titled Discovery Group. The program offers Grotto students who have moved beyond one on one therapy but are not yet ready for mainstream education the opportunity to learn in small group settings with a focus on academics. The program and its beginnings would not have been possible without the support of the WNC Bridge Foundation. We hope to further expand this program further in early 2021. 


St. Gerard House


3 supporters

MountainCare, Inc


27 supporters

WNC Bridge Foundation


9 supporters

Irene Wortham Center, Inc.


9 supporters



5 supporters

Blue Ridge Health


2 supporters

Community Table


1 supporter


Created By

WNC Bridge Foundation

EIN: 56-2110357



This year, due to the ongoing pandemic we've had to temporarily hang-up our paddles and move to a virtual format. Our goal is to keep the virtual event health-driven and engaging while upholding the camaraderie-based, team-building nature of the event in our fundraising efforts.



https://www.32auctions.com/Drums & Dragons 2020

Virtual Drums & Dragons Month-Long Calendar of Events

Week 1 (9/21-9/27)

Congratulations to Bob Jackson, Elizabeth Williams, Nathan Johnson & Deb Curley-Dempsey ('cuz we simply couldn't pick only 3) for being chosen as the winners of Week # 1's Challenge "Stay Healthy, Stay Active."

Bob has run in three virtual Marathons since the pandemic began...and he runs to and from work each day!!! Deb has been chasing her toddler, has him helping tend her garden, and is ultimately spending as much time as possible out in the natural world to remain healthy & grounded. Elizabeth has Bodie and Molly to keep her outdoors...in rain or shine. And Nathan just biked up to Point Lookout! Way to stay healthy and active, friends!


Theme: Stay Healthy, Stay Active

Challenge: Show us what you've been doing to stay active and healthy throughout the pandemic. We want to see your photos, videos, or even a sentence or two on your methods. Meditation, gardening, cycling, running, boating, walking...even housekeeping and child-rearing count! ;-)

Email: [email protected] by no later than 9/26/20 and we will select the top 3 choices to share on next week's page. Winners will be entered into a prize drawing.

Penny Sanburn of Dynamic Dragon Boat Co. demonstrates all things Dragon Boat Racing in a video she recorded EXCLUSIVELY FOR our 2020 Virtual Drums & Dragons Event! She will demonstrate paddling techniques that can be used for all types of boats, including kayaks, canoes, and of course...dragon boats! She also shares insight on how best to cope during the pandemic, information on the sport and the incredible work these important fundraisers are doing around the country, and much more! There's also a surprise guest who shows up around minute 19...but you have to watch it to catch it! Enjoy!

Week 2  (9/28-10/4)

Congratulations to Kris Bryant for winning last week's "Pay it Forward" wellness challenge! 

"COVID has closed Physical Therapy access for many seniors. They also don't get outside much. So, I took this dear lady along when I went to see my horse and made sure she got some good fun exercise to replace her physical therapy." - Kris



Theme: Pay it Forward

Challenge: Do something positive for a person or place in your community. Offer to cook a meal for a single parent. Share items from your garden with your neighbors, walk an injured or ill friend's dog, pick up trash on the roadside, at a park, or at your favorite hiking spot.

Email your photos, videos, or thoughts to [email protected] by no later than 10/3/20 and we will select the top 3 choices to share on next week's page. Winners will be entered into a prize drawing.

Week 3 (10/5-10/11)


Theme: Nature Is the Best Medicine

Challenge: Spend time outdoors with your family & friends. Pitch a tent. Kayak, canoe, or just go for a swim. Hike somewhere new. Take time to stop and smell the flowers. Then share with us your methods for winding down during this difficult time.

Congratulations to our Week #3 Winners: Troop  603 from Hendersonville who hiked 15+ miles  in Pisgah National Forest, exemplifying that "Nature is the Best Medicine!"


Theme: Be the Change Our Community Needs to Paddle Forward!

Ultimate Fundraising Push!!!  

Congratulations to our 2020 Top Fundraising Nonprofit Team: MountainCare!

2020 Best Dressed Drummer: Nathan Johnson of Irene's Argonauts!


Best Dragon Costume or Prop: MountainCare


The organizations that participate in Drums & Dragons and the services they provide are as unique as the event itself.  

Funds raised during this year's Drums & Dragons will allow Blue Ridge Health to greatly improve medical treatment options for low-income families, help The Community Table prevent families in Jackson County from going to bed hungry, and allow developmentally challenged adults to thrive with the help of caring Staff of the Irene Wortham Center. Your generosity will also help St. Gerard House improve their capacity to serve children with autism, allow caregivers respite while their family members attend MountainCare's Adult Day services, and provide low-cost temporary housing at the Rathbun House, the only Hospitality House in the region, for non-Buncombe area residents whose families are undergoing medical treatment in nearby hospitals.

 We can't do any of this without your help! Please give what you can and share the tremendous needs of these nonprofits with others. We wholeheartedly thank you all for your support!


A very warm thanks to this year's Platinum Dragon Sponsor, Vannoy Construction!

Campaign Ended


63 supporters

$15,000 goal

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