On October 21st, Special Olympics Rhode Island will host our annual semi-formal fundraiser, Benefest 2017 “Under the Stars.” It will be held at the Gurney’s Hotel (formerly the Hyatt) in Newport. We are very excited to share the evening with you, our supporters.  With your help every year, we are able to support so many wonderful athletes who participate in over 1600 different events throughout the seasons.

This year, our evening begins with guests enjoying hors d’oeuvres, complimentary wine, and seasonal beers, while perusing the numerous items available for the night’s live and silent auctions.  Thanks to some very generous donors, we’ve assembled an incredible selection of items for you to bid on.

We will then sit down to a lavish dinner, followed by dancing to the live music of “Brass Force”.  This incredible evening will also give you the chance to mingle with friends and many of our Special Olympics RI athletes, who are the true “Stars” of the evening!

I cannot overemphasize how important this evening is to Special Olympics Rhode Island. As our programs continue to grow, as we add new athletic options, and as we place an emphasis on Healthy Athletes and Young Athletes, we need the support of families, friends, and local businesses to meet our financial goals.

In 2017, we expanded the following services and activities:

  • State Summer Games
  • Our Healthy Athletes Program
  • Our Young Athletes Program (ages 2 – 8)
  • Hosting 19 sports year round
  • Our Unified Champions School Program (formerly Project Unify)
  • Hosting Winter and Area Games in addition to hosting Summer Games

And while these expansions have benefited so many athletes, families, and our entire Rhode Island community, they have also challenged us financially. Your support and your attendance at our Benefest 2017 “Under the Stars” event will help us meet those challenges.

I am proud to say that we provide our athletes and their families opportunities to excel on and off the athletic fields and now I come to you to ask for your support.  Please consider joining us on October 21st at Gurney’s Hotel as we raise money to support our great athletes!  I ask that you contact Tracy Garabedian at (401) 349-4900 or tracy@specialolympicsri.org for ticket information.

I thank you in advance for your consideration and hope that you can join us for a fun-filled evening that celebrates the Special Olympics movement.

Dennis DeJesus, CEO