SARTELL -- A local organization that helps central Minnesotans who are facing grief is hosting a fundraiser this month.

What Would Bri Do is putting on a Gala to-Go in place of their usual Evening of Hope Gala. Tami Kruzel founded the organization with her husband Randy in 2014 after the death of their 18-year-old daughter BriAnna from unknown causes.

After years of searching for resources and support, she says they were able to visit a grief retreat center in Wisconsin in 2018. Now, Kruzel says they are raising money to start a lodge of their own here.

We found that being with others who understood the loss and the grief kind of helped the healing process. I think that while you're grieving you feel like your family and friends don't get it, and you don't want them to get it because if they got it they would have lost a child also, so that tends to get lonely. When we were at Faith's Lodge it was nice to finally be able to laugh and cry and not feel judged for doing so.

All of the money from the gala will go to the construction fund for Bri’s Lodge. Kruzel says they have a five-year plan for building the permanent location but are looking to secure a temporary location in the meantime to start programming for various types of loss including child, spousal, sibling, and suicide.

The organization had set a fundraising goal of $60,000 for the gala, but Kruzel says she’s not sure how it will turn out with the pandemic.

This year’s gala includes a week-long online silent auction as well as themed dinner packages including the New Yorker, Memphis barbeque, Chicago, Italiano, and the Out of Towner. Kruzel says there is something for everyone.

The boxes contain a complete meal kit except for the main item which is going to be a gift card. For instance, the New Yorker box will have a gift card for Manea's Meats, it will contain a recipe along with the ingredients for the recipe to go with it, and then all the tableware and beer or wine.

The packages run $100 each and a kids add-on pack is available for an extra $10. The deadline for placing an order is Saturday night.

Boxes will be available for pick up and the silent auction items can be previewed at The Waters Church in Sartell from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on April 16th.

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