On Thursday, November 12, 2020, hundreds of friends and supporters of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation gathered from the comfort and safety of their homes to tune in to JAF’s 13th Annual Gala – a virtual Sofa Soiree!
Joe and Jen Andruzzi, joined by emcee Maria Stephanos of WCVB, hosted the event from Gillette Stadium, virtually welcoming special celebrity guests Drew Bledsoe, Patrick Chung, Nate and Lexi Solder, Jared and Ashley Haibon, and Dave Russo to our VIP Celebrity Lounge and topping off the evening with a great musical performance finale by the Drop Kick Murphys!
At the heart of every JAF gala are the patients we serve. This year, we heard from The Weinstein Family – JAF recipients who so movingly shared their personal story of how even the most prepared families are never ready for a cancer diagnosis, much less the financial burdens it brings.
New this year was our Game Changer Award, recognizing organizations and individuals whose work positively impacted JAF during this pandemic. Our honorees were: Bob’s Discount Furniture, Ashley Haseotes of One Mission, Joe DeStefano of ROI Communications, The Zawaski Family (Laura, Daryl, & Rachel) of MasksbyLauraZ, and the late Carl LaGreca of DiCicco, Gulman, & Company.
The pandemic was no match for the resilience and generosity of our community and, even virtually, you could feel the energy and hope coming through the video messages sent in by friends around the country and in the live chat room. So amazing!
By the end of the night, we had raised over $540,000 – meaning the gala has raised more than $9 million over its 13-year history! This also means JAF will be able to provide financial assistance to more than 800 cancer patients and their family members. Our hearts are full and we thank everyone for their generosity!