Published: May 2, 2023
Categories: Press Release
Annual Gala honored former Essex County DA Jonathan Blodgett and was hosted by WCVB’s Katie Thompson
PEABODY, Mass., May 2, 2023 – Bridgewell, a nonprofit social and human services organization which provides social and human services to more than 6,300 people across Massachusetts hosted its 2023 Imagine the Possibilities Gala at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on Friday, April 28. The Gala helped the organization raise $320,000, surpassing its goal of $300,000.
Bridgewell hosts its Imagine the Possibilities Gala annually to highlight all that Bridgewell and those it serves have achieved over the past year, to recognize and thank its partners and supporters, and to raise financial support in furtherance of its mission. The proceeds raised support Bridgewell’s behavioral health, day habilitation, employment, housing, and addiction recovery programs.
The Gala was hosted by WCVB NewsCenter 5 reporter Katie Thompson, a long-time supporter of Bridgewell who has served as the Gala’s emcee in past years.
“Inspired by the values of caring and respect, Bridgewell’s team of dedicated staff work each day to empower people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed, and productive lives,” Katie Thompson said in her opening remarks. “Bridgewell connects people with possibilities, supporting them in achieving and enjoying their highest quality of life and personal growth.”
“Everyone in this room is an important part of Bridgewell’s team of everyday heroes,” said Bridgewell President and CEO Chris Tuttle. “Without you and countless other supporters of our vital mission, the people we serve would not be able to accomplish all they do.”
During the event, Bridgewell honored former Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett with the organization’s 2023 Visionary Leadership Award. The Visionary Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding individual for excellence to a community, social cause, or to Bridgewell. Blodgett was honored for the innovative and progressive approaches he spearheaded to fight crime in Essex County over his 20 years as DA, especially the Drug Diversion Program he created and expanded during his tenure.
“Tonight, Bridgewell is thrilled to honor Jonathan Blodgett with its Visionary Leadership Award, for his progressive leadership in confronting the challenge of addiction and recovery in the region during his tenure as District Attorney,” Katie Thompson said. “Bridgewell has truly appreciated its partnership with DA Blodgett and his team over the past 15 years, and we are committed to continuing this important work with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office for years to come.”
“For more than 15 years, you’ve partnered with Bridgewell to address substance use and recovery challenges,” Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey said in a prerecorded video shared at the Gala. “I know the work you have done and the lives that you have touched, and I appreciate your service… You are somebody who cares so much about community and others and you have made and will continue to make a huge impact.”
The event also featured several other speakers, including Bridgewell COO Elaine White, Bridgewell Board Chair Kerry Ann Hayon, and Lina Abdalla, who shared her personal story about her engagement with Bridgewell. Abdalla serves as Bridgewell’s Clinical Director of Recovery Services and was once a beneficiary of its treatment. Since 2014, Abdalla has been in long-term recovery from substance abuse, and she was supported by Bridgewell’s treatment and transitional housing services.
Bridgewell’s Gala was supported by sponsors from dozens of area organizations. The three largest supporters, whose generosity earned them Bridgewell’s “Advocate Sponsors” designation were Citizens, Lancelot Janitorial & Paper Products, and one donor who wished to remain anonymous. Many other organizations served as “Wellness Sponsors,” including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, DAVCO Systems, Fisher & George Electrical Co., MacDonald & Vaccaro Insurance Agency Inc, AA Maintenance Solutions, OneDigital Health & Benefits, Savens Home Care Services, and SharkNinja.
Learn more about the programs and services offered by Bridgewell here.
Bridgewell is a nonprofit social and human services organization dedicated to strengthening communities. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Bridgewell empowers people with disabilities, and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed, and productive lives. Bridgewell delivers support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, recovery services, education, and employment training. Bridgewell’s staff of more than 1,400 professionals serves approximately 6,300 people and their families. The Commission accredits Bridgewell on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is fully licensed by the state. For more information, visit bridgewell.org.
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