Annual Gala

Each spring, Richard Marriott and the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities host a gala in Washington D.C., to celebrate Bridges successes, honor achievement and generate additional resources to do even more in the future. The event is an opportunity for business and community leaders to gather for a fun and inspiring evening while helping challenged youth to a better life.


The 2014 Bridges Gala, co-chaired by Richard Marriott, Tom Baltimore of RLJ Lodging Trust and Neal Wilson of EJF Capital, will take place on Wednesday, June 11 at the spectacular new Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, DC. Featured will be keynoter Bonnie St. John, dubbed by NBC one of the “five most inspiring women in America.” Bonnie’s been overcoming challenges her entire life and her accomplishments speak for themselves: Olympic medalist, Rhodes Scholar, White House advisor, best-selling author, leadership consultant. You’re invited to view her brief video message below.

The attached fact sheet offers more detail about the event, and you may use our response form to register. We hope you’ll consider joining us for what is always an exciting evening in support of an important cause. Should you have any questions, please contact Eileen Moran at (202) 719-8053 or via email at


June 5 was a record-breaking night as co-chairs Richard Marriott of Host Hotels and Resorts, and Bernard Tyson of Kaiser Permanente welcomed 900 guests to the 2013 Bridges Gala, and announced that $1,360,000 had been raised to transform the lives of challenged youth. TJX Companies were recognized as Employer of the Year, Tony Dungy moved the audience with his heartfelt and personal remarks, and Maria Gomez, Youth Achievement honoree, capped the evening with her story of obstacles overcome and vocational success. From start to finish a wonderful gathering, reminding all in attendance of what Bridges does and why it's so important.


On June 15, 2012, almost 1,000 people came together to celebrate the program and raise $1,150,000 to change lives in the future. In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, guests were treated to a range of perspectives from political analyst and author, Chris Matthews, and former head of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. ARAMARK was recognized as the Employer of the Year and Jeremiah Watson was honored with the Youth Achievement award.

Past Headliners

Past headliners have included:

  • President George H.W. Bush
  • General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired)
  • NFL Legend Terry Bradshaw
  • First Lady Rosalyn Carter
  • Actor James Earl Jones
  • Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young
  • Former Washington Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs
  • Orioles' Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin
  • Super Bowl Champion Tony Dungy