Benefit concert in Springfield supports young people with physical disabilities

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For the 22nd consecutive year the “Brianna Fund” in Springfield raised money to help young people overcome their physical disabilities.

Each year the Brianna Fund also honors the memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a benefit gospel concert.

Springfield’s Martin Luther King Family Services director, Ronn Johnson, began these concerts two decades ago to benefit his daughter Brianna, to help with her physical disability.

On Saturday night, Omer DeJesus, of Springfield became the fiftieth young person to receive assistance from the Brianna Fund.

He chose to receive a service dog.

“When I saw people with service dogs at Walmarts or people in the Holyoke Mall, it made an impression on me for a service dog,” Omar told 22News.

“That is a wonderful offering to give to him, this is the moment to the next level,” Johnson said. “We always give so much honor to the community, because they give what we needed to Brianna twenty two years ago.”

Community activist Mabel Sharif was honored during the gospel concert with the Brianna Fund Angel Award for her years of outstanding community service.

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