Peter Brady, a.k.a. “Brady Bunch” icon Christopher Knight, returns to the Boston area this week to host the 9thannual Journey Forward Vegas Casino Night.
The star-studded event, which also features an appearance by Bay State boxing legend Micky Ward, is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Canton-based non-profit, Journey Forward. The local organization helps patients suffering with spinal cord injuries through an intense exercise program.
Attendees at Thursday’s extravaganza will get the chance to bowl with the stars, hang out with an Elvis Presley impersonator, as well as partake in casino games with “funny money,” which can be used to enter a raffle for special prizes.
“There’s nothing glitzy and glamorous about it,” Knight says. "It’s just a fun, feel good evening, which goes to treat people. Every dollar helps.”
Journey Forward was spearheaded by Dan Cummings, who in 2000 was told by doctors that he’d never walk again, or even feed himself after breaking his neck at the age of 19. Instead of letting the injury control his life, Cummings decided to take action by heading to the west coast to focus on his recovery at a California rehabilitation center.
“I just really believed that as long as I took it one day at a time and gave it everything I had, there would come a day where I would walk again,” Cummings says.
While it took some time and a lot of hard work, the Massachusetts native accomplished his goal in 2007, walking out of the center with just the aid of his walker. The process inspired Cummings to come back to his home state in order to help locals afflicted with spinal cord injuries.
“Boston’s the capital of the medical field,” Cummings says. “Why the hell did I have to go 3,000 miles away not only to find a place to help me walk again, but to give me my life back?”
Along with the help of his brother Jimmy, a Hollywood producer and writer who introduced Cummings to Knight, Journey Forward has rapidly expanded its reach over the years, and now helps more than 90 clients. The organization also partners with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to provide much needed data for research into spinal cord injuries.
“With the proper tools and treatment, recovering from spinal chord injuries is possible,” Cummings says.
If you go:
May 4, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., Kings, 600 Legacy Place, Dedham, $60. 21+. journey-forward.org/casino-night.