The Connecticut Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation along with honorary chairman and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, honored "Hartford's Finest" at a special toast to outstanding professionals that took place at the Marquee on June 26.
Fifteen professionals were recognized for their success in business and for leadership in their community, particularly in the areas of charitable support and positively impacting lives. Of the 15 honored, five were Pratt & Whitney employees – Senior Financial Analyst Dionna Barnett, Global Supply Chain Communications Manager Julie Cabrera, F135 Maintenance Manager Beth Matonak, Senior Manufacturing Systems Engineer Elizabeth McCoskrie, and Deputy Program Manager of F135 Sustainment Emily Swiatek.
"I really appreciate how Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was combining recognition for your contributions to the community with fundraising and networking opportunities," said McCoskrie of the event.
Collectively, with honoree fundraising, dinner ticket sales, silent auction and bid-for-a-cure proceeds, the event raised nearly $50,000, noted the foundation's Christine Urciuoli.
"This would have been impossible if not for the amazing generosity of so many people and companies," said Urciuoli.
Pratt & Whitney was among three thanked as an "Our Finest" Silver Sponsor.
In addition to the evening's auctions, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, an a capella group called the Sweetest Key entertained guests in the Atrium. The ballroom featured a buffet-style dinner followed by a dessert challenge – via ballot – with desserts from three local pastry shops.
The highlight of the evening, however, was a fashion show, emceed by Fox 61 reporters Jim Altman and Louisa Moller, featuring the event's honorees.
With the men wearing clothes from Daswani and the women wearing fashions from Kimberly Boutique, the novice models hit the runway like pros – or close to it.
"I'm glad I wasn't aware of the fashion show when I accepted the nomination, because I might have hesitated," said McCoskrie. "The event fell well outside of my comfort zone, but having familiar faces in the crowd cheering on my awkward turns and incredible clothing helped me enjoy the show overall."
When asked if she would do it again, McCoskrie said, "I don't suspect that I have a strong future in runway modeling, but I would be willing to try again to support the right cause."
For information on how to be a part of the 2015 Hartford's Finest event, contact Christine Urciuoli at [email protected]. For more information about the Connecticut chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit http://www.cff.org/chapters/connecticut/.