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Darien 'Havana Nights' Raises $130K For Person-To-Person

The Opus for Person-to-Person "Havana Nights" fundraiser brought in more than $130,000 for Person-to-Person programs.
The Opus for Person-to-Person "Havana Nights" fundraiser brought in more than $130,000 for Person-to-Person programs. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. — It may have been a misty, overcast spring evening, but for one night, 300 guests were transported to Cuba with décor, food, drinks, and music for Opus for Person-to- Person’s “Havana Nights” themed-fundraiser at the Tokeneke Club in Darien.

The sold-out event raised more than $130,000 that will go directly to Person-to- Person’s programs benefitting children: Baby Basics which provides baby layettes to help new mothers in need at Stamford and Norwalk hospitals; Camp scholarships that provide children the opportunity to expand their horizons while parents work in the summer months; scholarships to deserving young students attending college; and, of course, the Holiday Toy Store which ensures that all children can experience the joys of the holiday season.

A vintage car parked in front of the Tokeneke Club set the tone of the event as guests arrived. Breathtaking palms, and flower arrangements styled by Hessney & Co. made it feel like an authentic night in the tropics. Guests embraced the theme fully with colorful dresses and fedoras at every turn. The cocktail hour featured authentic Cuban music by the Quimbombo Trio, and many guests enjoyed hand-rolled cigars by Connecticut Cigar Company sponsored by William Raveis. CK Swett led the heated live auction while guests dined on a Cuban-themed surf and turf dinner.

“I loved seeing the expressions of our guests as they arrived and took in the authentic Cuban scene our committee created," said OPUS Board Liason Lisa Bishai. “More than anything though, it was gratifying to know that the tireless work of the dedicated, talented women of OPUS would improve the lives of the children in our community. It was an enjoyable night for guests, but the children we helped is what this event is all about.”

A speech from Person-to- Person beneficiary Carmen Nieves brought people to tears and preceded a very successful paddle raise for P2P’s programs. Finally, guests danced the night away to The Sultans band, back for the second year in a row. At night’s end, guests lingered, not yet ready to leave their tropical escape, but as they left, they were delighted by the gorgeous, colorfully-packaged takeaway treats generously provided by Kirby and Company.

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