Drinking wine for a good cause: how Buda’s Brightside supports its friends

Sahar Chmais 

Buda’s Brightside, an adult day habilitation needs a little financial push from supporters and the community — COVID-19 has made that need more dire. Since the pandemic, Brightside’s attendees, or “friends,” are unable to come back at normal capacity because the facility is not big enough for everyone to be socially distant. In order to make more money, the day-hab puts on fundraisers; their most recent was a wine night. 

“Tonight we’re trying to raise money for the day-hab,” said Christina Trevino, CEO of Buda’s Brightside. “We’ve got a little bit of a bump ahead because of COVID, so we’re doing what we can to keep [the day-hab]alive. A lot of our friends need this once they can come back and we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us, so we’re trying to utilize the community to do the best for these guys.”

Wine night secured the facility $2,265. Bonnie Villacampa, a wine connoisseur, came up with the idea and it soon took off. The event had an elegant and light air about it. 

Christine Bowen making the Spanish dish, Paella, for wine night.

Outside the day-hab, the karaoke machine had jazz music playing, Villacampa set up a wine-tasting table consisting of wines around the world, a chef stood over a party-sized pan cooking the Spanish dish, Paella. And to add a little pizzazz to the night, there was a wine toss game. 

Inside, there was more music playing, merchandise for sale and a silent auction. The items in the silent auction were donated by businesses and day-hab attendee parents.

Those who partook in the event were enjoying the night; many were catching up, enjoying the wines, taking photos, complimenting the chef and bidding on items. 

“I’m here to support Brightside,” said Alex Otto, pediatric dentist at Kids Tooth Team Pediatric Dentistry. “I met with Christina last week and I’m here to support the organization and just everything that she has here for all the friends. And we love wine, so that was a fun bonus.” 

Some attendees had little association with Trevino and still felt it would be beneficial to come out, while some have known her for years and continue to support in any way they can. 

Rose Salinas, part-time volunteer at the organization, comes by to help Trevino but also because she loves working with the friends. 

“They’re all like angels,” said Salinas. “They’re the sweetest most loving people, honestly it’s a privilege to hang out with them. I wish I could be here more.” 

Trevino has set up a community around the day-hab and continues to expand these efforts. She has involved a plethora of community members, but she thanks the Buda community for all the relationships she has developed. 

“Buda is a community that steps up, which is why I am rooted here,” Trevino explained. 

The ultimate goal for Buda’s Brightside is to expand into a bigger facility, but throughout the expanding process, the non-profit organization still needs extra funding to stay open and to keep up with expenses. 

Wine night will not be the last event Trevino hosts. She has more ideas in the works to scrape more money together and achieve her big goal. 

“I want to be able to take all the friends I can,” Trevino told the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch. “The hard part right now is some friends that are on the waiting list are in a wheelchair and have cerebral palsy, and I just don’t have the space. The goal is to be able to offer services to everybody and not have to cut them off because my facility is not able to house them. That’s not what I want. I want to be able to give where I can and help where I can.” 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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