FAIRFIELD — Celebrating not only its mission, but its connection to the Fairfield community at large, Operation Hope held its 16th annual gala fundraiser Thursday evening at the newly renovated Penfield Pavilion.

“We feel so lucky to be one of the first big events here,” said Carla Miklos, executive director, pleased to have around 170 attendees for a dinner, silent auction and celebration of several community leaders.

“Being part of this community is so important to us,” she said.