Events, News

STARability’s 2023 STAR Gala Raises $2.8 Million

STARability Foundation’s 5th Annual STAR Gala: Night on the Red Carpet raised $2.8 million to support innovative, life-changing programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Collier County. Over 600 guests at the sold-out event enjoyed a dazzling evening at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.

STAR participants took the stage for a special dance performance and were featured as guest speakers to share their inspiring stories.

Adam V., a participant in the Trailblazer Academy, shared his personal story with the audience. “I started doing the Trailblazer program four years ago,” said Adam. “STARability has changed my life. I help out the community. I have new skills. I enjoy meeting new people. I love coming to Trailblazer four days a week. I’m becoming more independent every day.”

The evening also raised $900,000 through a luxurious live auction featuring exclusive experiential packages, such as a VIP tour of Ferrari in Modena, Italy, a shopping spree at Ferragamo in Waterside Shops, and top destination travel including a Bahamas yacht trip, an Off the Hook Hideaway staycation on Keewaydin Island and a Cabos getaway in Mexico.

“The outpouring of support from our community, sponsors, volunteers and committee members at this year’s STAR Gala was truly moving and vital to our mission,” said STARability CEO Karen Govern. “Because of their generosity, we will be able to continue growing our transformative programs to help STARs and their families throughout our community, paving a path for inclusion, understanding and opportunities.”

The 2023 STAR Gala, co-chaired by Allison Rainey, was supported by Adam & Sally DeFrancesco/OMNI Systems, BCB Homes, Calusa Bay Design & Knauf-Koenig Group, Chuck & Allison Rainey, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, Ficarra Design Associates, Financial Investors Insurance Corporation, Gordon Pass Property Management, Inspired Closets Southwest Florida, Jeff & Maureen Maconaghy, Kurtz Homes Naples, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Newbury North Associates, Stofft Cooney Architects, Structure Medical, The Ronto Group, The Williams Group, Tina & Ralph Goldin, Waterside Builders, Waterside Shops and more than 30 additional event sponsors and underwriters.