The Tommy Brull Foundation raised more than $40,000 for 14 organizations that help people with physical, mental and emotional challenges at its 11th annual fundraiser.
Hundreds of residents gathered in a large, heated tent outside St. Mark’s United Methodist Church for the event, which ran from 5 to 8 p.m. last Saturday.
“We felt an overwhelming amount of support this year, from people who wanted to help out in the planning stages to people who came to the event,” said Martin Brull.
The Rockville Centre-based organization celebrated a decade of fundraising for individuals with special needs and organizations dedicated to helping them. It has achieved this mission since 2008 when Brull founded the nonprofit in memory of his brother, Tommy, who died in an accident in 1999.
This year, the Brull Foundation donated a total of $43,000 to the Tommy Brull Lady Bug Ball; Bear Bonner; Julia Leogrande; Ethan & the Bean; the Tommy Brull Surf Program; the Exceptional Artists Foundation; Mary Quinn’s Mark Foundation; Achilles Kids; Ace Adaptive Tennis; Challenger Baseball; Hoops for All; South Side High School’s Centre Stage program; Connor & Friends; and the M.O.V.E. Program.
The Brull Foundation also awarded Jason Gross, 35, of Levittown, with the Brull Courage and Resilience Award for his hard work and perseverance facing the daily challenges of cerebral palsy.
“We give this award to increase [the recipient’s] confidence and pride and to educate the community by showing them that [people with physical, mental and emotional challenges] are achieving things that they don’t realize they can,” Brull said.
Brull thanked community members who contributed to the evening’s success, including EAT Gastropub in Oceanside, who donated by catering for the event. “We’re proud of what we accomplished,” Brull said. “It’s not possible without everyone’s support.”