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BRIDGES Annual Gala, Now Virtual

BRIDGES Annual Gala, Now Virtual

“In My Shoes” to take place Wednesday June 10th at Noon


BRIDGES will celebrate 33 years of providing services to people with disabilities in Rockland County at its annual event titled “In My Shoes” on Wednesday, June 10th.

The event will now be virtual because of the Coronavirus.

“We are excited about bringing this special event to a broader community through the ability to present it virtually. We feel this greater visibility will increase awareness of not only the services we provide, but the talents of several people who may have a disability in one area of their lives but excel in other areas. And after all, isn’t that the same for all of us?” states Carlos Martinez, Executive Director of BRIDGES.


This year’s “In My Shoes” has a sports focus.  Through pre-recorded videos, viewers will see and hear personal stories of how sports have impacted the lives of people with disabilities.  Illustrated through these reflections are tales of triumph, survival, camaraderie and fulfillment. Individuals and corporations who wish to support the event and the agency’s mission can make a donation through the BRIDGES website at or by calling Nanci Goldman, Director of Special Events, at (845) 624-1366, Ext 127.

The Silent Auction will open on May 10 and close on June 10.  Please visit BRIDGES website for up-to-date information and to place your bids through Bidding Owl.

BRIDGES, a cross-disability service and advocacy organization, is dedicated to providing leadership and advocacy for people with disabilities. “In My Shoes” is an annual fundraising event that will focus on dispelling preconceived notions of disability by highlighting personal accounts of people who will share their, stories. The event honors people who have made a significant impact on our community.

The 2020 honorees are Sean Magee, Founder and CEO of Anchor Trading, who will receive the Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office Leadership Award; Marissa Fremont, Executive Director of Rockland County Challenger Little League, who will receive the Empowerment Award; and the Advocacy Award will be presented to Helen Hayes Hospital, Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program.

“There is a quiet prejudice of low expectations against people with any kind of disability,” says Martinez. “There is an unconscious assumption that they are somehow ‘less than’ or unable to do what able-bodied individuals can do. We want to ensure there is equal access to opportunities so people with disabilities can thrive in our communities. “In My Shoes” will celebrate personal journeys and showcase individual experiences,” he added.

Award Recipients (L-R): Marissa Fremont, Sean Mcgee, Representing Helen Hayes Hospital: Peter Gagliardo

Rockland Independent Living Center (RILC) dba BRIDGES, a community-based, peer-driven, cross-disability, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocacy and leadership for people with disabilities, was founded in 1987. BRIDGES is one of 41 Independent Living Centers (ILC) operating in New York State under the auspices of New York State Education Department (NYSED). Each ILC adheres to a national philosophy of Independent Living that seeks to empower individuals with disabilities to make autonomous decisions regarding all aspects of living, and advocates to ensure equal access to opportunities.

BRIDGES is staffed and governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of whom have a disability. As an Independent Living Center, BRIDGES provides essential core services of Independent Living including Peer Counseling, Independent Living Skills Training, Information & Referral, Individual & Systems Advocacy and Transition Supports. BRIDGES offers additional programs and services that focus on each individual’s right to autonomy and encourage active participation in community life according to the desires of each individual.

For more information about services and programs, contact BRIDGES at (845) 624-1366. The office is located at 873 Route 45 in New City, NY.

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