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News Jan 30, 2018 - 1:02:33 AM

Masquerade gala fundraiser seeks to unmask the ability in all people

By Ability Beyond

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The annual gala hosted by nonprofit Ability Beyond raises funds to support programs for people with disabilities and recognizes outstanding volunteers. Pictured at last year’s gala is Jane Davis, President and CEO of Ability Beyond, and celebrity emcee Tom Leopold. Photo courtesy of Ryan Burns. (contributed photo)
Bethel, CT - Save the date! The “Masquerade Gala”, the annual black-tie fundraiser hosted by Ability Beyond, will be held this year on April 28, 2018. 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.

“For over 65 years Ability Beyond has pioneered ways to help people with disabilities to reach their full potential,” said Jane Davis, President and CEO of Ability Beyond. “This year’s theme highlights the need to help everyone discover the amazing abilities within themselves.”

The signature gala is the organization’s largest event, attracting more than 600 guests each year. Last year’s event raised $600,000. The elegant evening will feature both silent and live auctions, raffles, dinner with open bar, awards, dancing and live entertainment. The gala will be held at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, Connecticut from 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm. Individual tickets are $250 and may be purchased online.

David and Penney Parkes of Fairfield, CT will serve as event co-chairs. They are longtime supporters of Ability Beyond and the organization provides services to their son, Eric.

Robert Bedoukian, Board Member and long-time supporter of Ability Beyond, will be presented with the Robert S. Young Humanitarian award. In addition to generous financial gifts, Bob lent the expertise and influence of his company, Bedoukian Research Inc., to Ability Beyond’s social enterprise, Roses for Autism. The creation of ‘Ardent Rose,’ a perfume taking cues from the roses grown at the Roses for Autism Farm in Guilford, was made possible by Bob and his team. Every cent of development and production costs was donated by the company, so that 100% of the perfume sales benefit the organization.

The local business community is invited to show its support through sponsorship of the event. Sponsorships of all levels are available, ranging from the $1,000 Bronze level up to the $25,000 Diamond level, but financial contributions in any amount will be greatly appreciated. Donations are 100% tax deductible. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mary Arconti Gregory at 203.826.3148 or

“We are very appreciative of the companies and individuals who have invested in Ability Beyond throughout the years,” said Davis. “Corporate sponsorships are crucial for the success of this gala and the people we serve.”

Businesses and individuals can also show their support of Ability Beyond by purchasing an ad in the Gala Program Book that will be visible not only to guests attending the event, but to the numerous sponsors and loyal friends who receive a special mailing of the program book after the gala. Advertising rates range from $100 - $1,000. For more information please contact Kelsey Rondeau at 203.826.3183 or

Purchase your tickets and secure a sponsorship online at

Ability Beyond is a 501{c} (3) organization headquartered in Bethel, Conn. and Chappaqua, N.Y. It provides a wide range of services for over 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 far beyond the Danbury community into much of Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, New York. For more information about Ability Beyond go to

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