$1,000 CAKE

Custom cake, served immediately to your table

Skip the dessert station and show your support for rare disease when you win this philanthropic prize for your table. Hope in Focus volunteer Beth Borysewicz has been a key force in all of our fundraising events, conferences, and advocacy work since 2013. Tonight, she is donating the cake for which she paid $50 and is counting on one of our lucky philanthropic guests to make it a $1,000 cake. 

Value: $50
Bragging rights: Priceless
Donor: Beth Borysewicz, Hope in Focus Board Vice-chair


7 nights for 2 guests

Make yourself at home in the lower level of a private home directly on Palmer’s Cove, just three miles from downtown. Kayak in the cove, walk to the nearby beach, hike through Haley Farm State Park, or head to downtown Mystic for dining and shopping. Whether you want to play or rest, this is a perfect spot. 

Package includes:

  • A private living space with 1 bedroom, living room, dining area, private bath, partial kitchen (refrigerator, microware, toaster oven, coffee machine), Wi-Fi, flat- screen TV and DVD player. Linens and kitchen utensils provided 
  • Cool shoreline breeze; A/C also available 
  • Outdoor pool (open June 27- Sept. 9), patio furniture, hammock, and a gas grill round out this vacation experience
  • Massage and facial at Le Spa in Mystic, valued at $280 

Details: Adults only. No pets. Available June 25 to Sept. 5, 2024, based on availability. Off season may be available if desired, including for Dinner in the Dark 2024. Additional time/extension may be available at standard rates. For more Information, see VRBO listing #576636.

 Value: $1,780
Donor: Patricia Brigham
Le Spa, Mystic


7 nights for up to 6 guests in New Hampshire’s White Mountains 

Start your next getaway at this cozy, streamside condo in the heart of the White Mountains. This escape is central to four-season adventures in New Hampshire, including the nearby mountain resorts of Waterville Valley, Loon Mountain, Tenney Mountain, and Cannon Mountain. Perfect for a quiet getaway, family fun, skiing, golfing, hiking, and many other activities for up to 6 guests. 

Package also includes 4 complimentary passes to Waterville Estates community center (additional passes can be purchased), where you can enjoy two heated outdoor pools, musical entertainment on the weekends, an outdoor restaurant and bar area, basketball, pickleball, and tennis courts, a pond for fishing and kayaking, picnic grounds, fitness center, and a playground.

Package includes: 

  • Cozy New Hampshire condo with 2 bedrooms, each with 1 Queen bed, and 1 loft with 2 twin beds
  • 2 full bathrooms
  • Fully equipped with gas fireplace, washer/dryer, cable, high-speed internet, and 3 TVs. 
  • Waterville Estates Community Center includes access to 2 indoor/outdoor pools, hot tub, basketball, pickleball and tennis courts, fitness center, pond, and trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. 

Details: No pets. Available holidays; no restriction on the week. Must be booked in advance with the homeowner. Expires Dec. 15, 2025. 

 Value: $1,500
Donor: Amy & Ken DiRico


7 nights for 2 guests

Stay in beautiful Milan, Italy, in the home of local residents Betty & Chris Manfre, parents of Hope in Focus Co-founder Laura Manfre. 

In Milan, the capital of fashion, design, and world-class architecture, you will be within walking distance (or a short train or tram ride) to the renowned La Scala theater, the stunning cathedral (il duomo di Milano) and la Galleria, the medieval Sforza castle, and extraordinary shopping and dining. 

A beautiful city to visit for a week, Milan is conveniently located in northern Italy, a few hours by train or car to Venice, Verona, Lake Como, the Alps, and more. In just three-to-four hours on the high-speed train, you can easily reach Florence and Rome. 

Package includes: 

  • 7 Nights and 8 days in Milan
  • 1 bedroom, Queen bed; access to a private bathroom with tub and shower
  • Use of homeowner’s kitchen, living room and TV room
  • Daily continental breakfast with morning cappuccino or espresso, and two home-cooked dinners. 
  • Travel recommendations from locals are included. Advice from Nonno Chris is unavoidable. 

Details: All dates subject to availability of the homeowner and must be booked three months in advance. Best availability during months of February through June, and November, with possible availability during remaining months. Expires Dec. 15, 2025. 

Value: Priceless
Donor: Betty & Chris Manfre


To add color & light to your home

With this prize, we’re asking you to trust Hope in Focus and bid on a beautiful piece of work that will bring color, light, and bragging rights to the winner. 

Our generous donor’s work can be found in all corners of the world. Their studio is a design house, artist’s workshop, and factory in the tradition of those found in Europe. The artist selected this particular work of art especially for Dinner in the Dark, blending the best of European and American artistry in a one-of-a-kind piece. We think it will look stunning on your mantel or special bookcase. 

Most artists ask us to promote their work in exchange for their donation, so a special big thank you to our donor for their generosity and willingness to allow us to keep this beautiful piece of work “in the dark!” 

Details: The winner may take this gift home with them from the event, or the artist will ship it to the winner, free of charge. 

Value: $2,400
Donor: Bid and find out!

a bottle of white in, 2 bottles of red, and a bottle in the box.


A collection of 4 fine wines

As Mike Mondello, Hope in Focus patron and former board director, is known to say, “We might not own a castle, but we can eat and drink like kings!” And now, thanks to our generous donor, you can, too.   

This specially curated prize includes:

  • 1978 Barolo Bricco Bussia, Vigan Colonnello Aldo Caterno –  King Carlo Alberto di Savoia and nobility across Europe adopted the Barolo as the “King of wines.” Thomas Jefferson also enjoyed a good Barolo and wrote about it in his journal. – Valued at $700  
  • 1998 Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan – Once enjoyed by King Charles II of France, this wine from one of the oldest estates in Bordeaux is now owned by the royal family of Luxembourg. Rumor has it, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were also known to have enjoyed a glass or two. – Valued at $800
  • 2017 Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes – A Bordeaux blend known as the “nectar of the Gods.” – Valued at $279 
  • 2013 Tokaji Aszú – Since 1413, the historical Hungarian vineyard, now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has produced this wine that Louis XIV hailed as “The wine of kings, and the king of wines.” – Valued at $50

Value: $1,600
Donor: Mystic Financial Group


Private mixology event for up to 8

You’ll learn it’s about so much more than Aperol when you enjoy an entire hour dedicated to exploring the Spritz – and the Negroni! These bright, trendy cocktails have a long history in Italy. You’ll be learning from world-famous Dale DeGroff, two-time James Beard Award winner and Master Mixologist, also known as King Cocktail, and you’ll also be mixing with a new bitter aperitivo produced by Dale and his partner Ted Broaux. Dale is a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from Food & Beverage Magazine and the Founding President of the Museum of the American Cocktail. He is credited with reinventing the bartending profession, setting off a cocktail revival that continues to flourish. 

Mixology party dates are available between Dec. 2, 2023, and June 1, 2024, and must be mutually agreed upon and confirmed in advance. Dale will travel just about anywhere, but the winner is responsible for Dale’s travel and lodging expenses if the venue is outside of a 50-mile radius of the Mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut, or Westerly, Rhode Island. Winner is also responsible for purchasing liquor and providing food for guests. 

This prize also includes an autographed copy of Dale’s book, and a bottle of his newly released DeGroff Aperitivo, not yet available in Connecticut. 

Value: $3,000
Donor: Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail


7 nights for 10 guests

This beautiful, updated home situated three blocks from the beach and one block from the Isle of Palms Marina is perfect for beachcombers, golfers, and families. When you want to enjoy the Carolina sunshine, you can relax on the screened porch, sunbathe on the master balcony, or have a cookout with the gas grill along the newly installed back patio.

Package includes:

  • 4 bedrooms: 2 King beds; 1 Queen; 1 Pyramid bedroom (twin over full); 1 bunk bed 
  • 3 full bathrooms
  • Private first-floor den can accommodate 2 additional guests (for a total of 12) with a sleeper sofa
  • Laundry room, hot/cold outdoor shower, and more

Details: Reservations applicable for seven consecutive nights between Dec. 2, 2023, and April 26, 2024, and Sept. 2, 2024, and Jan. 25, 2025. Black-out dates include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays.

Value: $2,100 to $4,500 based on week
Minimum bid: $1,500
Donor: Carrie and Colin Kelley


7 nights for up to 12 guests

Enjoy this storybook setting with friends or family in the 10,000-square-foot luxury Birchwood Estate in Adare, Ireland. This home offers all of the modern luxuries and is a five-minute walk to the picturesque Village of Adare. Widely renowned as one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland, Adare is rich in history dating back to 1200 AD, featuring thatched cottages, an enchanting castle, lovely walks, and endless restaurants and pubs. 

After spending time exploring the area’s majestic and historic landmarks, come back and relax in your very own tranquil and peaceful swimming pool. The multitude of activities nearby include fishing, live music, festivals, historical tours, museums, shopping, castle tours, and more. Within just a few hours of the estate, enjoy some of Ireland’s most notable destinations and extraordinary landmarks such as St. Mary’s Cathedral, Glenstal Abbey, and King John’s Castle.  

The estate is nestled on the grounds of the 5-star world-famous Adare Manor, host to the 2027 Ryder Cup where golfers out on the green can enjoy views of the Irish countryside, Atlantic waters, and scenic castles.

Package includes:

  • 8 days and 7 nights for up to 12 guests in Birchwood Estate in Adare, Ireland for up to 12 guests 
  • 6 bedroom suites in 10,000 square-foot-space
  • Private indoor swimming pool, spacious gourmet kitchen, private in-home bar, game room, billiard’s table, small in-home gym, and free wi-fi
  • Local property concierge, cleaning service, and dedicated personal travel liaison and itinerary assistance
  • 5-minute walk to the Village of Adare and the world-famous Adare Manor golf course. Learn more on AdareVillage.com

Details: All stays are Saturday to Saturday and must be redeemed by December 2024.View full photo gallery and details on the website: https://luxuryei.com/ireland-birchwood-estate/#

Value: $24,000
Minimum bid: $12,500


7 nights for 4 guests

Situated atop an ancient Tuscan hill is the Etruscan town of Manciano, offering  breathtaking panoramic views. This package includes 7 nights of accommodations for four people in Manciano, Italy, 1-1/2 hours north of Rome on the southern edge of Tuscany. You may choose from among six different villas. 

Details: There is no expiration date on this gift, and the winner may postpone travel until any year in the future. No blackout dates. You only need to reserve for a week that is free at the villa of your choice. 

Value: $4,550
Minimum bid: $3,000

Skip to content