Photo: Courtesy of CFF

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Breathe Easy Bash

Several DC area professionals get the chance to celebrate their hard work and fundraising skills at the annual Breathe Easy Bash, hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) on September 14 in downtown DC.

The event is the culmination of a 16-week program called Finest, teaching local professionals fundraising and networking skills. After raising money for CFF, learning valuable business skills and expanding their business contacts, Finest participants get classy and celebrate.

According to Finest committee chair and honoree Nuria Diallo Padro, the event is an incredible way to wrap up 16 productive weeks.

“It’s always on a rooftop, there’s a silent auction, they have a celebrity guest emcee [and] they celebrate your accomplishments to-date in terms of what you’ve done in the community and your achievements,” Diallo Padro says.

Finest members not only get a chance to relax and show off how much they’ve raised for a good cause, but the silent auction also gives them one last chance to raise funds for people affected by cystic fibrosis.

“It’s just a really feel-good event, and it makes people really proud of their accomplishments in terms of how much they raised,” Diallo Padro says.

Tickets are sold online and at the door, but Finest members get to invite family and friends to the event as well. The bash also gives Finest members who have built friendships throughout the program some more time to bond in a more relaxed atmosphere, Finest mentor and former participant Korey Paff says.

“Everybody’s friends and family came out to honor the person who raised the most money or brought in the biggest commitment from a vendor or sponsor,” he says. “We received really nice trophies, and [it was] just a really cool last get together. It was really cool just to celebrate together.”

But more than anything, the bash gives Finest members a chance to look back on obstacles surpassed and lessons learned. One of Diallo Padro’s mentees excelled in his profession, but lacked fundraising experience. With her guidance and encouragement, as well as the support of his Finest peers, he excelled far more than he thought he would.

“To me, that was what the Finest program was all about,” Diallo Padro says. “He came in very hesitant because he didn’t think he could achieve it, and not only did he achieve it, he raised more than his own goal. It was very meaningful for him and now he’s a champion for the cystic fibrosis community.”

The 2017 Breathe Easy Bash will be held at K&L Gates on Thursday, September 14 at 6 p.m. To donate or learn more about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit their website, or contact Beatrice Santacroce at [email protected]

Breathe Easy Bash at K&L Gates: Ninth floor terrace of 1601 K St. NW, DC; 301-657-8444;

Continue reading on the next page for more information on the Finest program.