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BENNINGTON — A benefit concert at Little City Cider Co. — starring Manchester resident Lila Jones, 5 — sold out and raised $10,000 and counting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"The event was incredible," reflected Lila's mother, Kasey Greene. "I mean, I didn't expect for 250 people to come through."

Lila, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2, stunned the crowd of adults and children when she joined The Prescription and the Side Effect Horns on stage to sing lead vocals on "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, with lyrics such as "This is my fight song. Take back my life song. Prove I'm all right song ... And I don't really care if nobody else believes. 'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me." The song builds, with an especially powerful final chorus.

"It truly came from her," Greene said. "It was not a performance. It was her. It was her fight song. It was Lila's fight song."

Lila wore a sparkly purple dress and sparkly purple sneakers, purple being the color representing cystic fibrosis awareness. Lining the stage and decorating the rest of the venue were purple tissue paper flowers.

Her mother explains that cystic fibrosis used to be called "65 roses" to make it easier for children to say (Lila calls that time the "olden days"). Her family has nicknamed the local cause to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation "Knockout CF." Flyers with a QR card for donations displayed the hashtag #FIGHTLIKELILA.

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The evening was a lively one, with the musicians playing well-known covers such as "I'm a Believer," the "Ghostbusters" theme, "We Are Family" (which is true of some members of the band), along with some newer hits such as "Uptown Funk" and "Born this Way." Later in the evening, Lila rejoined her bandmates as a backup vocalist for several more tunes, including the popular "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," during which some of the band members did a jig.

On the dance floor, adults and children danced and played and ran around, though the number of children decreased as the evening went on. Adults enjoyed the brews and other bar offerings of Little City Cider Co., owned by Greene's brother Greg Videtto. Though Greene now lives in Manchester, she grew up in Bennington.

Sales of Videtto's salted cucumber cider that night and in the month of May — Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month — are going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. That night also saw funds raised with a cotton candy machine — a favorite of the younger crowd — and T-shirts.

And by the end of the night, the musicians presented Lila with a customized bass drumhead that reads "Lila & The Prescription and the Side Effect Horns," which the band members signed — deeming her a permanent member of the band.

"She has a confidence that is instilled in her because she truly has a gift," her mom said, reflecting on the event. "She has a spirit inside of her that is — It's intoxicating."


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