CFF announces Milwaukee’s Finest application deadlines and event dates

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) Wisconsin Chapter will accept nominations for honorees to take part in its second annual Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign through Friday, Feb. 15. Interested participants can also apply to be honorees, themselves, through Friday, Feb. 22.

The Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign recognizes young professionals throughout Milwaukee who have excelled with both leadership skills in their careers and a dedication to community service. The nominees and applicants selected as campaign honorees are then challenged to raise a minimum of $2,500 over 10 weeks for the foundation’s mission, which centers on building awareness about cystic fibrosis as well as building funds toward finding a cure.

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic lung disease that causes mucus to accumulate in the lungs and digestive tract among other areas in the body.

Among last year’s eight honorees for the inaugural campaign were Rick Verthein, a registered client relationship specialist at Baird, and Lauren Aust, a communications specialist with the Kohler Company. Both Verthein and Aust are serving as co-chairs of the 2013 campaign in continued support of CFF.

“I think that Milwaukee and the area has a lot of good young professional groups that bring to light the social aspect of Milwaukee and a lot of those things, but the goals of the Finest is to try to showcase beyond the social, fun aspect of Milwaukee and how great of a city it is,” Verthein said.

Verthein has been involved with the Wisconsin Chapter of CFF since 2005 when he started taking part in walks and events to benefit cystic fibrosis research in support of a fraternity brother impacted by it.

Participating in Milwaukee’s Finest gave him an inside look at what families affected by the disease must endure day by day.

Typically, CFF provides each honoree with a family affected by the disease in some capacity so that honorees can learn about cystic fibrosis on a more personal level.

“I think it brings awareness to what those families have to go through every single day,” Verthein said.

Aust, whose 7-year-old nephew John suffers from cystic fibrosis, has been involved with CFF chapters in Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin for the past seven years. Through the 2012 Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign, she raised more than $5,000 with bake sales, donations from family and friends, social media initiatives and a trunk show with the jewelry company Stella & Dot.

“This is something with a cause behind it, and so we’re not only recognizing the good that’s going on in our community and the young professionals who are specifically committed to the metro Milwaukee area and its betterment but those who are also personally possibly adopting a new cause,” Aust said.

While both Verthein and Aust have personal connections to the disease, CFF will accept nominations and applications from anyone regardless of their knowledge about cystic fibrosis.

“I just think it’s pretty honorable that somebody would be able to be recognized, but then as party of that recognition they continue to give back,” Aust said.

The Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign will officially launch with a kick-off event on Thursday, March 14. The program concludes with a recognition event scheduled for May 23.

Nomination and application forms are accessible at and, once completed, can be e-mailed to Julie Brzostowicz, development manager at the Wisconsin Chapter of CFF, at

For more information about the CFF and the Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign, visit

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