NAPLES — STARability Foundation is thrilled to announce Drs. Rafat and Zoreen Ansari as presenting sponsor for the 6th Annual STAR Gala on Feb. 3, 2024. Following a sold-out event with over 600 guests in 2023 that raised $2.9 million to support STARbility’s life-changing programs, the event will return to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
“We strive to be actively involved in local activities and social events while having a positive impact on the needs of our community and STARability is an incredible organization that can help us achieve this personal mission,” said Dr. Rafat Ansari. “As parents of a daughter with autism, we are extremely proud to support this meaningful event on behalf of STARability to continue growing their services and programs to help families like ours flourish.”
Both respected physicians originally from Pakistan, Dr. Rafat Ansari is an oncologist and hematologist while Dr. Zoreen Ansari is a retired family physician. The couple is well-known locally and internationally for their generous philanthropic endeavors, many of which are centered around organizations supporting individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities in honor of their daughter Sonya, who is a thriving STARability participant. Their generosity has funded significant worldwide projects such as the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion as part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs.
“Sonya’s living a meaningful life right now because we were fortunate to be in a position to help her and provide access to amazing opportunities through STARability,” Zoreen says. “Once we saw Sonya thrive and her accomplishments, that inspired us to advocate to improve the well-being of all adults and kids with disabilities and give value to their lives, too.”
Themed “The Adventure Begins,” guests will enjoy an Italian travel-inspired evening of cocktails, dinner, live entertainment and exciting live and silent auctions, celebrating the journey and stories of STARability’s STAR participants, their families and friends.
The STAR Gala serves as STARability’s largest benefit event of the year, supporting innovative programs that transform the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Proceeds will help support hundreds of individuals and their families throughout the community.
Co-chairs Laura Georgelos and Dena Rae Hancock will be joined by host committee members for the event, including Carrie and John Cooney, Amy and John Quinn, Valerie and Jeff Gargiulo, Rick and Libby Germain and Vicki Tracy.
Limited individual tickets are available for $750, and a variety of sponsorship and exclusive underwriting opportunities are available.
For more information about STARability’s 2024 STAR Gala, visit STARability.org/gala.
Current event sponsors and underwriters include AlliKristé, Architectural Land Design, AssuredPartners and Jeffrey & Maureen Maconaghy Foundation, BCB Homes, Bentley Naples, Build Magazine Naples, Calusa Bay Design, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, Ficarra Design Associates/Equinox Builders, Finding Sanctuary by Lisa Kahn Designs, FineMark National Bank & Trust, the Georgelos family, Germain Lexus of Naples, Germain Toyota of Naples, Judy and Ken Gilman, Tina and Ralph Goldin, Gordon Pass Property Management, Griffin & Forbis Realtors, Gulf Coast International Properties, Inspired Closets SWFL, the Kantor Family, Knauf-Koenig Group, Kurtz Homes Naples, London Bay Homes/Romanza Interior Design, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Neurology Office of Joseph Kandel MD & Associates, New Style Cabinetry, Newbury North Associates, Old Republic Title, OMNI Systems, OPI – Outside Productions, Frank Ponterio, Premier Electric, Premiere Systems, STOCK Development, Stofft Cooney Architects, Structure Medical, The Naples Trust Company, The Williams Group, United Health Group, Waterside Builders and Waterside Shops.
For four decades, STARability Foundation has been shining a light on abilities, not disabilities. Formed by a small community of caring parents, STARability has become one of Southwest Florida’s leading nonprofits. Today, the organization is opening a world of possibilities for hundreds of individuals ages 14 and older by offering a variety of inclusive programs focused on vocational training, continuing education, teamwork, social engagement and community involvement. STARability’s compassionate team supports people with disabilities by providing life-transforming opportunities that emphasize teamwork and a connection to the community while strengthening awareness and respect for individual abilities. To learn more about the services and program offerings available, please visit STARability.org.