April 13. 2012 9:30AM

CFF honors ‘Milwaukee's Finest' young professionals

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host its inaugural Milwaukee's Finest event at Coast at Zilli Lake and Gardens, 931 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee on Thursday, April 19 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy an evening of food, drinks and music with some of the most elite young professionals in the Milwaukee area.

The event will showcase individuals who show exemplary leadership, are active in the community and have excelled in their profession or business.
"In addition to raising awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, our goal is to introduce young professionals in the Milwaukee area to philanthropic causes," said Danelle O'Neill, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "Our goal is to say to the next generation of philanthropists that they too can make a difference."
Milwaukee's Finest honorees include Lauren Aust of Kohler Co.; Paulina de Haan of City of Milwaukee; Mike Forrester of Anchor Moving Systems; Matt McElligott of Offermation.com; Molly McElligott of Johnson Controls; Jason Schueller of Johnson Controls; Rick Verthein of Robert W. Baird & Co; and Sara Zirbel Nowak of M4 Financial Partners.
Aust and Verthein served as co-chairs for this year's event.
The campaign kicked off in February and the selected candidates were paired with a family in order to learn about the impact and challenges associated with Cystic Fibrosis. They also met with mentors to discuss ways they can and should get involved in the nonprofit community, O'Neill said.
“It's a great way for us to showcase the many young men and women that are out there doing great things in our community,” Verthein said. “It's also a great way for young professionals who maybe haven't been as involved to get involved and learn about philanthropy and how to give back to Cystic Fibrosis or any other organization.”
Verthein became involved with the organization back in college when a Fraternity brother of his let them know he was living with the disorder.
“I've been passionate about the cause and this organization every since,” Verthein said. “It's a well-run organization which was important to me.”
According to Verthein, 90 cents of every dollar raised at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation goes towards finding a cure.
"People are going to get involved because they have a personal connection," she said.
Julie Brzostowicz, is the development manager at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is leading the charge on the Milwaukee's Finest event. "Other chapters across the nation have been hosting the Finest events," she said. "It's a great way to show young professionals they can be involved and that it doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. They can make an impact in just a few months."
The Finest young professional, the individual who raises the most funds for the organization, will be recognized at the end of the evening.
According to Aust, candidates fundraised in a variety of different ways including donation asks, letter writing, hosting cocktail hour fundraisers and even selling Cystic Fibrosis bracelets for the cause.
Cost to attend the Milwaukee's Finest event is $50 per person in advance or $65 per person at the door. Purchase tickets in the name of one of the honorees by visiting http://wisconsin.cff.org/finest.
To learn more about Milwaukee's Finest click on the video below with Verthein and Aust, co-chairs of the Milwaukee's Finest initiative.