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News Nov 18, 2019 - 10:22:44 AM

Nearly 300 Celebrate ARI of Connecticut's Fall Ball

By ARI of Connecticut, Inc.

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Susanne D. Kuligowski, ARI of Connecticut, Inc. President & CEO; Jessie Estrada, ARI Consumer; Jodi Gutierrez, Award Recipient George Comfort & Sons, Inc.; and Gerard Gasparino, ARI of Connecticut, Inc. Manager of Development & Recreation (contributed photo)
Stamford, CT - Nearly 300 people enjoyed an evening of music and entertainment to celebrate and raise essential funds for ARI of Connecticut, Inc. The ARI Fall Ball-Jazz Hands for Independence took place on Friday, October 25th at The Italian Center in Stamford, CT. This celebration brought consumers, staff, board members and the community together to honor Pitney Bowes and George Comfort & Sons, Inc. Marcus Walden, an individual served by ARI, received the Always Reaching for Independence Award. Each has assisted in fulfilling our mission of enriching the lives of people with disabilities and their families by enabling them to achieve their fullest potential at home, at work and in the community. Master of Ceremonies, Jazz Singer and Retired Pitney Bowes Employee, Richard “Cookie” Thomas, joined current board chair, Peter Buck and ARI President and CEO Susanne Kuligowski in recognizing the honorees. Cookie Thomas also provided entertainment for the evening along with his three-piece jazz band. Mayor David Martin was also on hand to thank ARI for the valuable service they provide in the community.

The event raised over $115,000 with proceeds directly funding programs and services that support nearly 150 people with developmental disabilities. The support received is essential for ARI to fill the funding gaps created by underfunded services from the state.

Barbara Aronica Buck, Event Chair; Sheila McCaffrey, Event Committee Member; Polly Morrow, Pitney Bowes; and Susanne D. Kuligowski, ARI President & CEO (contributed photo)
Sponsors for the event included our Fall Ball Sponsors, Friends of ARI and Pitney Bowes; Platinum Sponsor, George Comfort & Sons, Inc.; Silver Sponsors, First County Bank and The Norgren Family, and Bronze Sponsors, The Arestia Family, The Buck Family, Connecticut Pharmacy, Jack and Sharon Feighery, The Lyons Family, Workers Compensation Trust, The Umbrella Club, Lynn Villency Cohen, Gimbels Pon & Sandra Leung, CV Longo Mechanical Services and Webster Bank.

ARI of Connecticut, Inc. will be holding its 14th Annual Walk for Independence in the spring of 2020 and the 25th Annual Lotstein/Martin Golf Tournament and dinner in the Summer of 2020. For more information, please contact Gerard J. Gasparino, Mgr. of Development & Recreation or visit us at

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