More than 260 guests enjoyed Under the Tuscan Stars, a fundraising gala and auction to benefit Star Inc., Lighting the Way, Nov. 9, at Woodway Country Club in Darien.

Among the attendees were U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4; and state Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-143. The event raised more than $310,000 for programs helping people in Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Wilton and Weston.

The chairmen of the gala committee were Rob and Meghan Cioffi, of New Canaan, Mary Ferrara and John Masanotti, of Darien and Joseph and Nella Viesta, of Stamford.

Katie Banzhaf, Star's executive director, who celebrated her 30th anniversary at the organization, said, "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our local communities in addressing the needs and improving the lives of people with disabilities. For our event to have grown to this level of success is a testament to our volunteers, families, sponsors and staff whose dedication to our mission is impassioned and unwavering."

Guests listened to personal testimonials about the impact of Star's work in the community from Rosemary Lovello, of Greenwich; Caroline Cioffi and Susan Weber, of New Canaan; Caroline Hoffman, Claudette Nash and Denise Sapione, of Norwalk; and Andrew Stefanou, of Andrew Stefanou Salon and Spa of Darien.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to support Star's programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

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