Bridgewell to honor difference makers at Imagine the Possibilities Gala

Bridgewell, a nonprofit social and human services organization serving northeastern Massachusetts, today announced that the Rubin family of Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture will be the Excellence in Service honoree at the 2024 Imagine the Possibilities Gala, for their commitment to nonprofit organizations that support positive outcomes for children and families.

“It is such an honor to recognize the unsung difference makers who have made such a lasting impact on our organization and throughout communities across eastern Massachusetts,” said Bridgewell President and CEO Christopher Tuttle. “We greatly appreciate the Rubin family’s philanthropic support over the years, as well as the hard work of their company’s team members, who have provided service that has gone above and beyond in helping us furnish our residential programs.”

Bridgewell will also present Assistant Training Director Gary LaPierre with the Visionary Leadership Award for his contributions to the organization and its employees during his tenure.  LaPierre has worked at Bridgewell, which recently celebrated its 65th anniversary, for 43 years and is retiring this spring.

“The impact that Gary LaPierre has made on our employees and our organization is truly exceptional,” Tuttle said. “Almost every one of our 1,400 employees at Bridgewell has been impacted by his passion for training, born out of an in-depth understanding of the support needs of the people we serve.”

Tuttle announced that the agency’s supervisory skills training, developed and enhanced by LaPierre over many years, will be renamed the LaPierre Leadership Academy. This training is focused on developing managers’ leadership skills and broadening their knowledge of the organization as they grow professionally.

The annual Imagine the Possibilities Gala is an opportunity to celebrate all that Bridgewell and the people it serves has achieved over the past year, to recognize and thank its partners and supporters, and to raise financial support for its behavioral health, day habilitation, employment, housing, and addiction recovery programs.

The Excellence in Service Award recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding support of Bridgewell, a community or a social cause. It is intended to honor those who are making a positive difference in their communities and inspiring others to do the same.

Bernie & Phyl’s mission includes supporting local nonprofits throughout eastern Massachusetts. Established in 1983, the company has been serving the New England region by providing quality home furnishings for more than 40 years.

“The Rubin family and Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture humbly and graciously accept the 2024 Excellence in Service honor from Bridgewell. We have been in business for over 40 years and could not have done it without tremendous support from our community,” said Jake Rubin, who works in merchandising and community outreach for Bernie & Phyl’s. “Our way of saying thank you is to continue supporting our community through positive initiatives, and inspiring others to do the same.”

The Visionary Leadership Award recognizes excellence to Bridgewell, a community or a social cause. LaPierre is being honored for extraordinary service to Bridgewell over many years in a variety of roles. During his tenure, he made a positive impact on the individuals served by the organization while in direct care roles, and also in training roles, effectively imparting his own experience and passion for serving and supporting individuals to direct care staff and supervisors within the organization.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to make a positive impact in people’s lives during my 43 years at Bridgewell,” said LaPierre.

Bridgewell’s Imagine the Possibilities Gala and fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 5, 2024, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Sponsorship information and tickets are available

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 7,000 people and their families.  For more information visit

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