What is Benefest 2017 “Under the Stars”?

On October 21st, Special Olympics Rhode Island will host our annual semi-formal fundraiser, Benefest 2017 “Under the Stars”, to be held at the Gurney’s Hotel (formerly the Hyatt) in Newport. The evening begins with guests enjoying hors d’oeuvres along with complimentary wine and seasonal beers, while perusing the numerous items available for the night’s live and silent auctions.  We will then sit down to a lavish dinner, consisting of food stations and appetizers, before dancing to the 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!

Why Does Special Olympics RI Host Benefest?

As our program continues 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 and friends of our athletes to meet our financial goals.  In 2017, we faced the following financial challenges:

  • The cost of State Summer  Games –  $145,000
  • Expansion of our Healthy Athletes Program
  • Expansion of our Young Athletes Program (ages 2 – 8)
  • Hosting 19 sports year round
  • Expansion of our Unified Champions School Program (formerly Project Unify)
  • Hosting Winter and Area Games in addition to hosting Summer Games

How Can You Support Benefest?

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 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
Special Olympics Rhode Island