PARAMUS, N.J. — The Care Plus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the innovative and life-changing programs and services of Care Plus NJ and its subsidiaries, announces it will hold its 22nd Annual Courage Awards Gala virtually on Tuesday, June 9 at 6 p.m., via Facebook Live and GiveSmart. Proceeds raised will benefit individuals served through the programs and services of CarePlus, providing urgent financial assistance during the COVID-19 public health crisis and beyond.

The funds raised through the virtual gala will ease the burden on those coping with chronic mental illness and addiction, conditions which are exacerbated by the social isolation, financial strain and heightened uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Proceeds will go toward access to therapeutic support for children and families, essential medication management for mental illness and addiction, support for rent and utility bills to avoid eviction and homelessness, and grocery and personal care items for those enrolled in CarePlus services.

The virtual gala will recognize and honor the service of the employees of CarePlus, and will celebrate the success of this year’s scholarship recipients. In addition to traditional sponsorship and donation opportunities, fundraising and mobile bidding will include an online auction and 50/50 raffle conducted via GiveSmart, an event fundraising platform through which attendees will also receive live text and email updates from CarePlus. The event will leverage Facebook Live to stream the event videos, links for which will also be sent out to participants via text.

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Each year, The Care Plus Foundation awards scholarships to individuals enrolled in CarePlus services to fund various professional trainings and educational programs from PhD programs to master’s degrees, mindfulness trainings and trade schools, personal growth and professional development opportunities. This year, 72 individuals have been awarded scholarships.

“Our Annual Courage Awards Gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year, typically averaging over three hundred supporters in attendance,” said John Uzzi, Care Plus Foundation Board Chair. “Social distancing measures prevent us from coming together, but fortunately, we have a fantastic team and generous sponsors who made this virtual event possible. We look forward to celebrating the outstanding Healthcare Heroes at CarePlus, which are now more important than ever as we continue to combat COVID-19.”

The second annual Joe Masciandaro Scholarship will also be awarded to one deserving employee to help further their education and go toward earning an advanced degree or certification. Launched last year, the award was named in honor of CarePlus President and CEO Joe Masciandaro and his over 40-year legacy at CarePlus. Every year, this award will recognize an outstanding staff member pursuing educational or professional goals.

For more information on the virtual event, to sponsor, make a donation, or register as a virtual attendee, please visit The Care Plus Foundation’s GiveSmart page or contact The CarePlus Foundation at 201-986-5070 or Foundation@CarePlusNJ.org.