Good Causes, Immelt, Christmas Are Weekend Highlights


MaryEllen Fillo

   | Permalink | Comments (0)  



There is a little bit everything when it comes to who to see and where to be seen this weekend,  beginning with the  Petit Family Foundation' s first "An Evening Honoring Women in Science" fundraiser at the Connecticut Science Center today (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. 


Honorees are Anabella Villalobos, vice president, Neuroscience and Antibody Drug Conjugate Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer, and Jennifer Whiffen, senior biomedical design engineer for Covidien Surgical Devices.  The two were chosen for their contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.   


             "We chose to honor these two outstanding scientific contributors to highlight our mission of supporting the education of young people, especially women in the sciences," said Dr. William Petit, founder of the Petit Family Foundation established in memory of his wife and two daughters who died in a home invasion in 2007.  


Honorary chair and guest speaker is Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric.


 "We are honoring these women to demonstrate our great respect for their contributions to science," said Petit about the award winners. "And to showcase their success as role models for young women throughout Connecticut and the region."


Tickets are available at the door.


 *The two-day Connecticut Food and Wine Festival, benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, kicks off Friday at The Hartford Club with the "Mind, Body and Spirits" Physician Awards dinner. Area rheumatologists and orthopedists will be honored at a seven-course chefs' dinner created by area celebrity chefs including Hunter Morton, Tyler Anderson, Kevin Cottle and Noel Jones. Two "Grand Tasting" sessions and a VIP "Grand Cru Tasting" will be featured Saturday along with chef demonstrations and wine, spirit and craft beer tutorials featuring celebrity chefs including Aaron McCargo Jr. of Food Network's "Big Daddy's House,"  and Mike Elder, owner of Black Sheep Cakes and three-time winner of TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off."  

*Also on Friday, the Ron Foley Pancreatic Cancer Foundation  will hold its "Ron's Run For the Holidays" wine and spirits tasting fundraiser  at the Pond House at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. Appetizers, entertainment, and auctions will also be featured. Tickets are available at or at Toast Wines, 984B Farmington Ave. West Hartford.

*Over at The Hartford Golf Club Friday, Nutmeg Big Brothers, Big Sisters will hold its annual "World of Possibilities" gala. University of Hartford president Walter Harrison and former People's United Bank CEO David Carson are honorary co-chairs, with WFSB personality Scot Haney as the celebrity auctioneer. 

         * Gifts of  Love will host its annual fall fundraising event," A Night Out In Style" Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. at the Hoffman Honda showroom in Simsbury. The 70s themed fundraiser features a live and silent auction, celebrity chef stations and dancing. 

               Gifts of Love is a non-profit organization, serving families throughout the Farmington Valley and Greater Hartford communities who are in financial crisis. for information go to

             *And if you need a healthy dose of holiday spirit to put you into high gear for the next month, head over to the Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park. A by-invitation-only preview is planned for Friday night but on Saturday the two-mile drive through holiday lighting extravaganza opens to the public. Proceeds benefit the Channel 3 Kids Camp.  For more information go to