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Bridgewell, a nonprofit that provides social and human services that empower people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives, will celebrate its 60th anniversary by honoring Mark Kennard, former executive director of Project COPE, at its 10th annual Imagine the Possibilities Gala, March 16, 2018. Project COPE, an organization that provided community-based prevention, education, and, and treatment services for individuals with substance use disorder, merged with Bridgewell in January 2014.

“Mark’s dedicated service is evident through the thousands of people he has helped,” said Kelly J. Martin, president and CEO of Bridgewell. “For more than 35 years, Mark has been a driving force in creating and providing the highest level of recovery services and prevention programs for substance use disorders in Massachusetts. We are extremely proud to honor him at this year’s gala.”

Kennard, who retired from Bridgewell in December 2017, will receive the Visionary Leadership Award for his role as an advocate for substance use disorder programs in the wake of the opioid crisis. Kennard served as the executive director of Project COPE for more than 35 years, where he oversaw the growth and expansion of specialized behavioral health programs, residential treatment and recovery housing, and young adult diversion programming for individuals with substance use disorders.

The Excellence in Service award at the Gala will celebrate and honor Bridgewell’s 60 years of service to Massachusetts and strengthening its communities.

Bridgewell’s Gala will be held Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Back Bay, Boston, and will be emceed by award-winning WCVB reporter Karen Anderson, who reported last year on a young mother’s recovery from a substance use disorder through the help of Bridgewell. The evening includes a cocktail reception, plated dinner, live and silent auctions as well as an opportunity to support Bridgewell’s mission. Bridgewell will also premiere its “60 Years, 60 Stories” series that will bring Bridgewell and the people it serves to life in celebration of this milestone year. For more information, visit

Last year, Bridgewell was able to raise more than $300,000 in support of its mission and this year is expected to raise even more. Through its Galas, Bridgewell has raised just over $2 million in generous donations to help deliver support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, recovery services, education and employment training.

WCVB-TV is the media sponsor for Bridgewell’s 60th Anniversary. Advocate sponsors for the Gala are Citizens Bank, Fire Pump Testing Company and VoDaVi Technologies. Wellness sponsors for the Gala are AA Maintenance Solutions, Caruso and McGovern Construction, Davco Security Systems, Inc., Fisher & George Electrical Company, Lancelot Janitorial & Paper Products, MacDonald & Vaccaro Insurance Agency, Inc., Philadelphia Insurance Companies and Risk Strategies Company.