It was easy for Michele P. Brannigan, the highly popular senior major gifts and campaign manager at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, to be overwhelmed.
Brannigan, who was on hand at David Levesque’s Brewed Awakenings at 1395 Atwood Ave. in Johnston for a special check presentation, found herself in the middle of a few masked, leather vest-clad men.
“Before we begin Michele,” Gene Benedetti said to the always-smiling Hasbro executive, “we have a special gift for you and we’d like you to try it on to make sure it fits!”
Suddenly, almost every person inside the original Brewed Awakenings cast their eyes on Benedetti, who was standing beside friend Cal Calabro.
As they adjusted their masks, the two men held a bag that contained a custom-made, embroidered vest they presented to Brannigan as a “token of our appreciation for the extra effort” she has made during the past four years while working alongside the fun-loving, highly respected Goodfellas Motorcycle Club to raise money to help children who are battling cancer at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“Does this make Michele a Goodfella?” someone mused as Benedetti and Calabro said simultaneously: “Michele is an official Goodfella … our Grand Gal to be sure.”
Instead, Brannigan wanted it known that “this day belongs to the wonderful members of the Goodfellas Motorcycle Club and what they have done in four short years is nothing less than miraculous.”
Suddenly, Brannigan needed to pause from the moment’s joy and jubilation, adjusting her vest and adding: “Members of the Goodfellas Motorcycle Club are incredibly special people. They put their hearts and souls into the annual bike run and the entire community has become inspired by their dedication to help our patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. During this year of unprecedented challenges, Cal and the Goodfellas knocked it out of the park for our kids and we are enormously grateful for kindness and generosity.”
The recent fourth annual Goodfellas Motorcycle Run – which was cut short due to the COVID-19 crisis – attracted some super special sponsors and 220 motorcycles on Sept. 12. The event wound up raising $14,000, which was bolstered by an additional $568 from a raffle for a custom Harley Davidson Cornhole Board donated by the owner of 508 Bags & Boards.
“That’s incredible,” Levesque, who said he was honored to again host the annual check presentation ceremony, offered. “Please, think about this; prior to this year the three runs raised $18,000 for Hasbro and now they’ve donated $32,568 over four years to help children who have been stricken with cancer.”
Meanwhile, Calabro said “we’ve been blessed to have had support from a number of motorcycle clubs and members, our wives and girlfriends for their work behind the scenes and helping make sure we had a first-class post-run party … it’s a huge total team effort from our Goodfellas family!”
Calabro, who didn’t ride in this year’s run but took each and every registration then counted every motorcycle during the Johnston Police-protected sendoff from Stephanie Harris’ Strings Bar & Grille on George Waterman Road, then emphasized: “We owe a great deal of thanks from our generous major sponsors who have without question pushed our profit over the top, and for that we send a huge thank you and shout-out to Ocean State Carpet of Warwick, Coventry Donuts/The Henderson Family, R.A. DeCesare Builders, Rosciti Construction of Johnston and AGI Construction of Smithfield. All of this wouldn’t be possible with their help and generosity.