September 21, 2021

VIP Community Services to host annual benefit gala on October 6

THE BRONX, N.Y. – To aid in their mission of providing critical social services to residents of the Bronx, VIP Community Services will host their annual gala at Marina Del Rey on October 6, 2021.

This year’s theme, Celebrating the Community in Healthy Ways, speaks to VIP’s commitment to providing integrated and comprehensive medical, behavioral health, and social services to vulnerable and at-risk Bronx residents for the past 47 years. It also highlights VIP’s response to the multiple challenges of the past year amid the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

The burden of the pandemic in New York City has fallen disproportionately on the Bronx, which has suffered the most deaths. It is also the least vaccinated borough, with just half of its residents having received the Coronavirus vaccine.

“While the Bronx has been especially hard-hit by the pandemic, VIP Community Services has answered the call by stepping up and stepping in,” says Debbian Fletcher-Blake, CEO of VIP Community Services. “VIP is proud to continue serving the community during this critical time, never closing its doors these past 18 months despite the many challenges.”

Among its many services, VIP provides COVID-19 vaccines at its facilities, as well as in the community through its mobile vaccine clinics and directly to home-bound seniors. It has administered over 7,000 vaccines to date. VIP also pivoted early on to telehealth services to provide safe alternatives to care to its clients.

The fundraiser will help support those efforts, as well as the nearly 25,000 clients and family members who receive comprehensive medical, behavioral health, housing, and other social services from VIP each year. In addition, the gala will help support the expansion of shelter services and a much-needed dental clinic.

The 2021 gala will honor Bronx native Dr. Susan Beane, Vice President and Executive Medical Director of Healthfirst, as well as the Hispanic Federation, a national membership organization of, by and for the Latino community. VIP will also award Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., with the VIP Community Builder Award and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, with the VIP Political Impact Award.

After a virtual celebration last year, this year the event will be held in person from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the appropriate Coronavirus protocols and precautions in place. In accordance with City and venue regulations, proof of vaccination will be required for those attending the gala in person. For people who cannot physically attend, the gala will be streamed online at

Sponsorships are still available, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, with journal advertisements being offered from $500 for a half page to $1,000 for a full page. Individual event tickets can be purchased for $350.

For more information on the gala and to purchase tickets, please visit

“At VIP, we are committed to improving the health of adults and children through the integration of primary and behavioral health services and collaborating with our community partners to break down health care silos,” says Fletcher-Blake. “In doing so, we will eliminate disparities in care.”



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