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More Than 500 Attend Extremely Successful Aurora Foundation Signature Breakfast

From left: Madeline Ross, Olivia McAdams, Tiffany Dufu, Jestina Gilbert, and Shannon Klenk. Submitted photo

The West Hartford-based Aurora Women and Girls Foundation held its 12th Annual Signature Breakfast to raise funds for women and girls in Greater Hartford!


Tiffany Dufu. New York
Photos ©02-15-2016
by Elizabeth Lippman
Portraits of author and thought leader Tiffany Dufu. New York
Photos ©04-15-2016
by Elizabeth Lippman
for Chantel Febus
Portraits of Chantel Febus (Courtesy photo)

The Aurora Women and Girls Foundation presented its 12th Annual Signature Breakfast, Building Futures for Women and Girls, attended by 530 people on Oct. 20, 2017 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.

The fundraiser featured Leadership Luminary and author Tiffany Dufu as guest speaker. Honorees Shannon Klenk and Olivia McAdams were recognized for their service to the community. Three young women, all students in the Hartford area, were also recognized as Emerging Young Philanthropists: Madeline Ross, Jestina Gilbert, and Elyece Patterson. Net proceeds from this event will be distributed back to the Greater Hartford region in support of college completion programs for women and girls. 

2017 Keynote Speaker – Tiffany Dufu

Tiffany Dufu is a catalyst-at-large in the world of women’s leadership and the author of Drop the Ball.  Named to Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, Dufu was a launch team member to Lean In and is chief leadership officer at Levo, one of the fastest growing millennial professional networks. Prior to that, Dufu served as president of the White House Project, as a major gifts officer at Simmons College in Boston, and as associate director of Development at Seattle Girls’ School, an institution committed to giving all girls power to be innovative, confident and critical thinkers.

2017 Woman Philanthropist of the Year – Shannon Klenk

Shannon Klenk. Courtesy photo

Shannon Klenk is a “retired fundraiser” who devotes her time, energy and resources to multiple organizations in her community. Closest to her heart is the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) where she is a member of the Board of Directors and chair of the Fund Development Committee. In addition to CCADV, Klenk volunteers at St. Patrick St. Anthony’s Church in Hartford and is a strong supporter of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC). In 2016, she chaired CCMC’s 20th Anniversary Gala fundraiser, helping them surpass $1 million raised for the first time in their history.  Klenk will again chair CCMC’s event this year.

2017 Young Philanthropist of the Year – Olivia McAdams

Olivia McAdams. Courtesy photo

Olivia McAdams, a senior at Watkinson School, devotes much of her time, when not focusing on her academics, to serving others. She advocates for Native Americans and those with autism, raising awareness and educating communities on the challenges these groups face. McAdams is also a proactive member of the Watkinson School’s Young Woman’s Empowerment Group where she routinely takes a lead role on raising awareness about injustices towards women. Additionally, she is a member of RAVENS (an affinity group for young women of color) and volunteers at Auerfarm in Bloomfield.

About Aurora

Established in 2000, the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation is a standalone charitable organization focusing specifically on the support of women and girls in the Hartford region. The foundation was founded by a dynamic group of businesswomen and community leaders from the Greater Hartford region and is now one of 150 organizations throughout the United States and internationally with this focus.  The Aurora Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of women and girls in the Greater Hartford area.

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