$600,000 Raised For Critical Programs

“An Evening in the Garden” gala hosted by Ability Beyond was an amazing success thanks to the generosity of supporters and sponsors. The annual black-tie event was held on April 29 at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, attracting close to 500 guests and raising $600,000.


Entertainment was provided by celebrity comedian Tom Leopold who graciously served as the emcee and host, and everyone enjoyed dancing to the music of Nik and the Nice Guys.


Gregory Smith was presented with the Robert S. Young Humanitarian award for his volunteer contributions to Ability Beyond.

“Jim and Laura Kennedy did an outstanding job as the co-chairs of this incredible evening,” said Jane Davis, President, and CEO of Ability Beyond. “We are also very fortunate to have the support of PepsiCo, Maplewood Senior Living, and Colonial Automobile. With their help we were able to raise funds for critical programs and services and effectively support 3,000 individuals with disabilities in our community.”


PepsiCo has been a partner of Ability Beyond for the past 4 years. Pepsi donates $25,000 annually and has been a diamond sponsor of the Ability Beyond gala since 2013.  Not only does Pepsi donate funds to Ability Beyond, they enlist a team of volunteers to contribute their time as well. Ability Beyond is one of 20 community organizations that benefits from the caring acts by Pepsi employees.


Every summer, Pepsi volunteer teams help create a better environment for the individuals who live in Ability Beyond group homes. By having a freshly painted house and a well-maintained garden and lawn, residents feel like they are truly at home.


All proceeds from the event will be used by the nonprofit to continue providing job training and placement, supported living, and recreational and educational opportunities to clients in Connecticut and New York. 

 Ability Beyond is a 501{c} (3) organization headquartered in Bethel, Conn. and Chappaqua, N.Y. It provides a wide range of services for over 3,000 people with a disability that inhibits their activities of daily living — including numerous residential alternatives, employment training, career counseling, job placement services, cognitive and life skills instruction, clinical and therapeutic support, and volunteer and recreational activities. Today, its services extend far beyond the Danbury community into much of Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, New York. For more information about Ability Beyond go to




PHOTO: Jane Davis, President and CEO of Ability Beyond, and celebrity Tom Leopold who entertained attendees as the emcee and auctioneer at “An Evening in the Garden” fundraiser on April 29 in Danbury. Photo courtesy of Ryan Burns.

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