Hope in Focus to Host Screening of A Shot in the Dark and Talkback with Blind Athlete Anthony Ferraro

 Hope in Focus, a nonprofit dedicated to finding treatments and cures for blindness caused by rare inherited retinal diseases, will host a fundraising event called A Rare Opportunity on June 4, 2023, at United Theatre in Westerly. Included will be a viewing of the award-winning film A Shot in the Dark, followed by talkback and questions with blind athlete Anthony Ferraro.

“A Rare Opportunity is an event we conceived in 2019.  We wanted to create an event that allowed us to not only raise critically needed funds for our community, but that would also bring awareness to the unique experiences of what it is like to live with rare disease and vision loss.  Anthony’s story does exactly this,” says Hope in Focus Co-Founder Laura Manfre.”  “If you’ve caught any of Anthony’s short form content on social, you’ll know to expect a lively, good humored and entertaining talkback following the movie. Whatever draws you to this event – maybe you’re an athlete, maybe you’re living with or know someone with a rare disease, maybe you’re a supporter of HIF or are just curious and looking for a rare opportunity to experience something new - we hope you will join us!” 

The film tracks Anthony as he tries to win a state wrestling championship in his senior year of high school. 

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” he said. Born blind with a genetic condition called Leber congenital amaurosis, known as LCA, Anthony, now 28, was the only blind wrestler on his New Jersey high school team. 

The event is presented by Franklin’s General Store, Hoyt, Filippetti, & Malaghan LLC, Meira GTx, Melissa Allen Pilates & Movement, Mystic Financial Group, Simply Majestic, and Spark Therapeutics. All proceeds benefit Hope in Focus’ mission to support those living with LCA and other rare inherited retinal diseases. 

Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Movie and talkback with Anthony begins at 2 p.m. VIP reception follows the show and includes drinks, bites, and an opportunity to connect with Anthony.

Tickets - General admission

$50, includes access to movie and talkback ($60 at the door)

Tickets - Friends & Rare Patrons

          Friend of Hope in Focus: $150, includes one ticket with access to movie and talkback, VIP reception, and a $75 charitable contribution

          A Rare Patron: $500, includes two tickets to the movie and talkback, VIP reception, and a $350 charitable contribution

Become a Sponsor: 

Sponsorships include brand recognition on our website, event page, email, social, and during the event. Sign up under ‘tickets’ to join as a sponsor beginning at the $500 level, or contact Courtney Coates for questions or to set up a custom sponsorship: courtney@hopeinfocus.org or 860-266-6062.

About Anthony S. Ferraro

Anthony Ferraro was born blind with a genetic condition called Leber congenital amaurosis. Now 28, he refers to himself as a professional athlete, musician, motivational speaker, and content creator. Flashing back to his high school career, Anthony was the only blind wrestler on his team. With the goal of winning the New Jersey state championship his senior year, his older brother Oliver Ferraro followed him around and collected hundreds of hours of live footage that became A Shot in the Dark.

Anthony married his wife, Kelly Anne, in October 2021. The couple shares their life with the world through their short-form videos. Anthony continues to train for the upcoming Paralympic Games in judo set for 2024 in Paris, with a second goal of attending the Paralympics Games in 2028 in Los Angeles. Please follow Anthony and the Ferraros on your preferred social platform for more updates on the journey. 

Social Media Links:

About Hope In Focus 

Hope in Focus, formerly known as Sofia Sees Hope, was founded in 2014 by Laura Manfre and Charles Priebe, whose daughter Sofia has Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). This rare genetic retinal condition is characterized by blindness or severe vision loss at birth that leads to total blindness.

The mission of Hope in Focus is to transform the lives of those affected by blindness caused by rare inherited retinal disease. The nonprofit organization generates awareness, raises funds for research, and provides outreach, support, and education to those affected by LCA and other rare retinal diseases.