Ability Beyond’s gala raises $700,000 for people with disabilities

Ability Beyond’s Masquerade Gala black-tie event was held on April 28 at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, attracting close to 500 guests and raising $700,000.

Celebrity comedian Christine O’Leary entertained guests as the emcee and co-host of the live auction along with Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi. A few of the auction items included vacations, artwork and tickets to performances of Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera and Bon Jovi.

Robert Bedoukian was presented with the Robert S. Young Humanitarian award for his volunteer contributions to Ability Beyond and Roses for Autism.

“David and Penney Parkes did an outstanding job as the co-chairs of this incredible evening,” said Jane Davis, president and CEO of Ability Beyond. “We are also very fortunate to have the support of sponsors Bedoukian Research, Inc., Colonial Automobile Group, Maplewood Senior Living, Pepsico, Town Fair Tire and other generous business partners.  With their help we were able to raise funds for critical programs and services and effectively support 3,000 individuals with disabilities in our community.”

All proceeds from the event will be used by the nonprofit to continue providing job training and placement, supported living, and recreational and educational opportunities to clients in Connecticut and New York.  

Ability Beyond is a 501{c} (3) organization headquartered in Bethel, CT and Chappaqua, NY. It provides a wide range of services for more than 3,000 people with a disability that inhibits their activities of daily living — including numerous residential alternatives, employment training, career counseling, job placement services, cognitive and life skills instruction, clinical and therapeutic support, and volunteer and recreational activities. Today, its services extend throughout Connecticut and New York’s lower Hudson Valley. For more information about Ability Beyond go to www.abilitybeyond.org.

Eric Parkes joined his parents, Penney and David Parkes of Fairfield, at Ability Beyond’s Masquerade Gala fundraiser on April 28 in Danbury. The Parkes served as the co-chairs of the event. —Photo courtesy of Ability Beyond

Eric Parkes joined his parents, Penney and David Parkes of Fairfield, at Ability Beyond’s Masquerade Gala fundraiser on April 28 in Danbury. The Parkes served as the co-chairs of the event. —Photo courtesy of Ability Beyond

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