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Help Celebrate SARAH's Stars

Published 05/01/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 05/02/2013 10:05 PM

By Pam Johnson
Guiford Courier

As honorary co-chairs, Kiki and Ted Kennedy, Jr., will help celebrate SARAH's "stars" during the 2013 SARAH Gala on Thursday, May 9 at WoodWinds of Branford.

In keeping with this year's Celebrating SARAH's Stars theme, the gala will include the world premiere of a very special video, starring some very special people, said SARAH Foundation Executive Director Denise Rose.

"We're really excited about premiering the video. It shows you the people that we support and it really shows the range of people we support. Ted Kennedy, Jr., is going to introduce it," said Rose.

The professional video was crafted by photographer Steve DePino of Guilford, while the "driving force" behind the creation of the video is SARAH Foundation Board Vice President Connor Dolan, said Rose. The three SARAH participants who star in the video, together with several who have cameo roles, will be at the May 9 Gala, which has grown to become one of the shoreline's premiere events.

"It's grown every year. We reach out to our sponsors, vendors, employees and the community and we get incredible support," said Rose. "It's an opportunity for us to show the public, our supporters, and our donors who we are."

Last year, more than 300 people attended the SARAH Gala. Returning this year to host the evening, as she did in 2012, will be TV News Chanel 8 medical reporter Jocelyn Maminta. Co-chairs of this year's gala are Pam Wilson and Amy Jensen.

The elegant affair supports and celebrates programs of the SARAH family of organizations, including SARAH, Inc., SARAH Seneca, SARAH Tuxis residential and community resource services, and SARAH Foundation.

Non-profit SARAH provides programs and services for Connecticut residents with intellectual and other disabilities. Participants range in age from birth through adulthood. For example, SARAH, Inc.'s birth to three early intervention programs currently services more than 200 infants and children and their families while its Adult Enrichment Services provides work and life skills training to approximately 275 adults. Nearly 125 SARAH-supported workers are employed in retail, manufacturing, and service industries across southern Connecticut while facility-based SARAH in Action offers blended services to more than 150 adults.

This year's SARAH Gala kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers, an open bar, and the night's Silent Auction. Dinner follows at 7 p.m., followed by popular live auction with auctioneer Tom Gagliardi, Jr.

But the true focus of the evening is the opportunity it provides for supporters, donors and, of course, the people, and families who participate in SARAH, to come together, said Rose.

"It's a great time for everyone to connect," said Rose.

Purchase SARAH Gala tickets ($100 each) online at www.sarahfoundation.org. The 2013 SARAH Gala is Thursday, May 9 at WoodWinds of Branford, 29 School Ground Road, starting at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers, open bar, and silent auction followed by a 7 p.m. dinner followed by live auction. Live auction items can be viewed at www.sarahfoundation.org.

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