The Anna Bonanza Roundup | Motorco Music Hall | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
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The Anna Bonanza Roundup 

When: Sat., Jan. 6, 8:30 p.m. 2018
Price: $15

Last Memorial Day, Durham theater fixture Caitlin Wells faced some shocking news: her younger sister, Anna, had passed away unexpectedly at age twenty-six. Wells and her sister, who had Down syndrome, were remarkably close, and they lived full, fun lives together. Wells remembers Anna as someone who was "wildly social, ridiculously positive, stupid outgoing, and participated actively in the world."

As a child, Caitlin dreamed of having a little sister, and her wishes were fulfilled with the birth of Anna, named after an imaginary friend of Caitlin's. Caitlin and Anna were typical sisters—loving, fighting, watching bad movies. There wasn't anything Anna couldn't do, according to Wells. Anna loved to cook and play softball, and recently had her jersey number retired from Miracle League of the Triangle. She picked up her "Anna Bonanza" nickname on the softball diamond.

Touched by the number of attendees at Anna's funeral, Wells wanted to honor her sister's legacy with a benefit bash, offering a night of support and inclusion for folks with disabilities. It all comes to fruition this weekend with the joyful Anna Bonanza Roundup.

Anna loved singing and dancing, so Wells recruited her friend Skylar Gudasz to provide some music, as well as Blue Cactus and members of Blanko Basnet and Canine Heart Sounds. Members of the comedy troupe Mettlesome will serve as emcees, offering plenty of laughs between the tunes. Proceeds from ticket and drink sales all go to ATLASFit, a Duke-run health and wellness organization for adults with developmental disabilities, which Anna sometimes attended.

"Anna was so lucky to have access to a terrifically inclusive, supportive community, while many folks with disabilities live in isolation," says Wells. "We're hoping to change that poco a poco." ATLASFit serves to help adults with differing health needs become independent and resilient, with classes on coping skills, leadership, and more.

Though Wells still misses her sister deeply, this party in Anna's memory promises good cheer for all.

"Forus, the most important piece of the evening is that a bunch of folks from differing backgrounds come together to enjoy throwing down and sharing space," Wells says. —Kat Harding

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