Community Connections

Ability Beyond to hold annual MASQUERADE GALA with awesome auction items!


There’s still time to support the largest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit organization Ability Beyond. The Masquerade Gala is set for Saturday April 28th from 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, Connecticut. This year’s theme highlights “Unmasking the Abilities in All People,” and the work Ability Beyond does to help each individual they serve to discover the amazing abilities within themselves.


The annual gala attracts close to 600 guests each year and a limited number of tickets are still available. The money raised will allow Ability Beyond to continue to provide critical programs and support for people with disabilities in Connecticut and New York.


Celebrity Christine O’Leary will lend her talents to the event as emcee and co-auctioneer. She is an award-winning stand-up comedian, comedy teacher and performer with her Team Green Light Comedy collective. She has shared the stage with top comedians, including Gilbert Gottfried, Joy Behar, Susie Essman, Chevy Chase, Sinbad, Tracy Morgan and Janeane Garofalo. O’Leary’s motivation is to make a difference and make you laugh until you cry!


Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi will serve as the co-auctioneer with O’Leary. In 1999 Marconi won his first election as First Selectman.  Since then he has been reelected for five terms, the last being a four-year term.


The black-tie event will feature both silent and live auctions, raffles, dinner and awards and dancing. A few of the incredible auction items include:


  • A week-long excursion for 4 to Los Cabos, Mexico! Two lucky couples will stay in a private and luxurious 2-bedroom villa located at the renowned Auberge Resort, which is famous for its award-winning spa, indoor steam caves, waterfalls, outdoor pools and sunning gardens.
  • Weekend Broadway Getaway with tickets to Hamilton and Phantom of the Opera with a 5-star hotel suite near Times Square
  • An original song written personally for the lucky bidder by an up-and-coming musician who works with Grammy wining artists such Bruno Mars, Adam Levine, and many others
  • Tickets to see Bon Jovi at Mohegan Sun with hotel accommodations and dinner at Bobby Flay’s Bar American
  • A sailing excursion exploring Mystic and Fishers Island Sound on a 34’ Aphrodite sailboat for up to 5 guests, including lunch at Ford’s Lobster in Noank
  • An original painting by Peter W. Hart and other artwork
  • A Rhode Island Getaway in a private, 2-bedroom vacation home
  • Dinner for 6 at the famous Harvard Club in New York City
  • Exciting golf packages at Wingedfoot Golf Club, Ridgewood Country Club, Redding Country Club, and more!


Online pre-bidding on silent auction items opens on Monday, April 23rd. Bidders do not need to attend to win. To view and bid on items, please visit


David and Penney Parkes of Fairfield, CT will serve as event co-chairs, and Meghann Smith of Norwalk, CT is the gala committee chair.  Robert Bedoukian, Board Member and long-time supporter of Ability Beyond, will be presented with the Robert S. Young Humanitarian award.

To RSVP, guests can call (203) 826-3008 or email The Amber Room is located at 1 Stacey Rd. in Danbury.

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