Staff writer, Riverfront Recapture
Just days before the Big Mo' makes history as the first-ever event at the new Connecticut Convention Center, Riverfront Recapture announced the annual fundraiser reached another historic milestone as funds raised through this event topped $225,000.
"The success of this initial event and the keen interest it has generated sends a powerful message to all of us that the state of Connecticut's investment in Hartford's revitalization is just what we needed to bring a renewed economic vitality to this region - and that will benefit Connecticut residents for generations to come," said Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who is an Honorary Chair of the event.
This year's Big Mo', Saturday, April 16, features the first-ever look inside the spectacular new addition to Hartford's skyline - and the pride, excitement and growing confidence that this step forward will generate positive energy that will radiate out through the expansive glass windows and reverberate throughout the region.
"This is the most we've ever raised from one event, and it's all due to the enthusiastic response from our generous sponsors and the large numbers of supportive people who have purchased tickets to be among the first to see this beautiful site rising above the Connecticut River," said Joseph R. Marfuggi, president and chief executive officer of Riverfront Recapture.
The Big Mo' is an annual Riverfront Recapture fundraiser that celebrates the region's 'Big Mo'mentum.' Now in its sixth year, it is traditionally hosted at a site of construction or renovation. Last year's Big Mo' was at the Colt Gateway complex; the year before it was at Rentschler Field. Other past locations have included Constitution Plaza, Travelers and G. Fox.
In addition to showcasing the new convention center, The Big Mo' will feature exhibits by area developers and various showpiece projects, Riverfront Recapture programs, events and projects, as well as gourmet food stations, musical entertainment and more!
This year's event, themed "Energy Under Glass" as a nod to the striking expanse of windows that overlook the city and the Connecticut River, is sponsored by NewAlliance Foundation. The NewAlliance Foundation was established in April 2004, as a result of a $40 million gift in stock from NewAlliance Bancshares, Inc. Currently, the Foundation has assets of approximately $60 million and provides grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations in the areas of: the arts, community development, health and human services and youth and education.
"The Big Mo' is a celebration of progress, and we couldn't think of a better way to kick off our new alliance with the greater Hartford region than by presenting this unique and very special event," said Peyton R. Patterson, NewAlliance Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
Event goers will forever be able to say they were at the first-ever event at the Connecticut Convention Center and, as part of the event, they will be treated to a sneak peek inside this latest success in a continued wave of economic development progress in Hartford.
"As a global leader in innovation and next generation technology, we are proud to sponsor this event, which marks a milestone in the redevelopment of our hometown," said Krista Pilot, Director, Community Affairs at United Technologies Corporation (UTC).
Honorary Chairs for the evening include: Governor M. Jodi Rell and Louis Rell; Mayor Eddie A. Perez and Maria Perez; Peyton R. Patterson, Chairman, President & CEO of NewAlliance Foundation; Commissioner Robert L. Genuario, State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management and Mary Ann Genuario; and William McCue, Chairman of the Capital City Economic Development Authority, and Melanie McCue.
This year's event, chaired by Tom and Mary Ellen Cody of Glastonbury and Jim and Susan Gleason of West Simsbury, has attracted unprecedented community interest and corporate support. In addition to the NewAlliance Foundation's Presenting Sponsorship, United Technologies has committed to the event's exclusive Diamond Sponsorship.
Big Mo' Platinum Sponsors include: Aetna Foundation, Connecticut LIFE Newspaper, Lincoln Financial Group, MassMutual Foundation for Hartford, Inc., St. Paul Travelers, and Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc.
Gold Sponsors include: Colt Gateway, Connecticut Natural Gas, Grunberg Realty, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Hunt/Gilbane AJV, Northland Investment Corporation, Pita Communications, Robinson & Cole LLP, and SBC.
People's Bank is the event's entertainment sponsor.
A pre-event reception, starting at 5:30 p.m., will offer special tours of the Convention Center and its spectacular views of the riverfront and downtown Hartford. The main event, starting at 7 p.m., will include a buffet dinner and entertainment.
Tickets are still available through Friday, April 15th at 5 p.m. by calling 860-713-3131.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: On Friday, April 15, 10:15 a.m., the Connecticut Convention Center will be available to members of the media who want to share in the excitement as Riverfront Recapture gets ready to host the first-ever event in the spectacular new convention center. Please contact Gene Sheehan at Sullivan & LeShane, 860-560-0001 or cell: 860-214-9222, to make arrangements to meet in the parking lot at 50 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford or to schedule an afternoon availability.
About Riverfront Recapture
Riverfront Recapture, a private nonprofit corporation, was founded in 1981 and challenged with developing a plan to re-connect Hartford and East Hartford with their riverfronts. In addition to a reconstruction project involving Interstate-91, the organization has created numerous parks, bridges, walkways and even a boathouse. Riverfront Recapture created The Big Mo' fundraising event in 2000, using the growing momentum in economic development projects as a theme.