Hundreds gather for gala in memory of Toll Gate athlete

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The family of a local high school athlete who tragically died in November is hosted a memorial gala and silent auction in her memory Friday night.

Gianna Cirella, 16, died on Nov. 1 after battling sepsis following a diagnosis of pneumonia. She was a junior at Toll Gate High School and a goalie on the varsity girls soccer team.

“She taught us that we’re all on the same team, and we need to take care of each other,” Gianna’s mother Tara Cirella said.

Hundreds of people attended the gala at Crowne Plaza in Warwick to honor Gianna Cirella’s memory. Eyewitness News Reporter Kim Kalunian and Rhode Show host Will Gilbert hosted the event which included a night of dinner and dancing.

A memorial fund has been established in Gianna Cirella’s name to not only provide assistance for sepsis research, but also to help children and their families who have been affected by sepsis and providing scholarship money for local soccer players.

Tara Cirella said she is working on creating a committee at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to work on sepsis awareness.

“It means Gianna made a difference,” Tara Cirella said. “I’m going to carry that on.”

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