Bradley Hospital cancels gala, launches virtual fundraising campaign

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Bravo Bradley 2020 gala, which had already been rescheduled for August due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been canceled altogether, the hospital announced Thursday.

The event is Bradley Hospital’s largest annual fundraiser. This year’s was originally scheduled for June 5 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston and was expected to host more than 400 guests.

“Although this is an unfortunate announcement to have to make, nothing is more important than doing our part to ensure community safety and following the guidelines in place,” Bradley Hospital President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Henry T. Sachs III said in a statement. “These are times unlike any we’ve experienced before, and I could not be more proud of the work of our staff during this unprecedented crisis or more grateful for our community’s support.”

The hospital said last year’s gala generated more than $770,000, which supported its areas of greatest need and helped advance mental health care, education and research.

The 2020 gala would’ve included a special fundraising opportunity for Bradley’s Healing Arts Program, which provides creative and therapeutic activities for patients including storytelling, dance, yoga, and music therapy.

The program, which moved online during the early stages of the pandemic, relies on philanthropy and is facing a budget shortfall, according to the hospital.

“Children have felt increasingly isolated and anxious during all of this, and it has been nothing short of inspirational to see our expressive therapists and community artists take their commitment to our patients even higher,” program manager Melissa Weaver said. “Garages have turned into stages and dining rooms into dance studios. This is a program that’s incredibly important to our hospital’s continuum of care, and one that depends entirely on the generosity of donors.”

To ensure the program can continue, Bradley Hospital has launched a virtual fundraiser in lieu of the gala.

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