Linda & John - OBESo said an OBE virgin about her first time at a Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective party.  She wasn’t alone; everyone had a great time.  The crowd came for good food and drink, cool auction items, dancing, socializing and having a fun time.  They got that and so much more.

There were so many highlights, it’s hard to list them all.  Emcee Michael Wilson was on fire that night.  From welcoming the audience to rousing the crowd to up their bids during the live auction to raising a record number of donations to the live ask, Michael worked the crowd to maximum effect. John McGarvey, OBE Chair thanked the audience for being an important part of the evening.  Executive Director Linda Estabrook informed everyone that the work of the Health Collective is wide ranging and touches many in our state.  Vice President of Workplace Culture, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Aetna, Grace Figueredo, represented OBE‘s Biggest Sponsor of the evening.  She highlighted the continued need for quality LGBT healthcare and how Aetna has been a pioneer in this field.  U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal reminded the audience of the need for continued perseverance for many LGBT issues.  It was exciting to see both current Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and Mayor Elect Luke Bronin share the podium.  Where else could this happen but at One Big Event?  MpowerCT member Aaron Scott moved the audience with his coming out story and how the Health Collective has been there for him.  Finally, the music of Shaded Soul Band and DJae Melee put everyone in the mood to get up and dance.

People said they’re already looking forward to One Big Event 2016.  If you’d like to be a part of the team that puts the many parts of this wonderful party together, let us know.  We always welcome new volunteers.  Please contact Dan Millett at (860)278-4163 x18 or  (Photos: Tom Hurlbut)