Stratton Faxon Celebrates $200k Community Contest with Winners

Representatives from Billings Forge accept their check for $25,000.

Injury Board Member Stratton Faxon, friends and family celebrated an end to their $200,000 Community Builder Contest with a summer patio party (and one inspiring surprise guest).

Six weeks of voting on Stratton Faxon’s website—relaunched June 1 with a new look and interactive features—saw online visitors from all over Connecticut and the U.S., even Poland, Colombia and the U.K.

“More than 25,000 people came to a lawyer’s website,” said Michael Stratton, before announcing the grand prize winner. “And not because they wanted to see Joel Faxon’s mug!”

The fantastic energy generated by the contest stemmed from the hard work and dedication of four featured nonprofits: All Our Kin, Billings Forge Community Works, Common Ground and Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.

Three of the deserving organizations were each presented with an oversized check for $25,000 by attorneys Michael Stratton and Joel Faxon.

All Our Kin will use the money to plant organic gardens at the daycare centers it supports across the state.

Mike Stratton announces the Community Builder Contest winner as Stratton Faxon's Joel Faxon and Christina Acampora look on.

For Billings Forge, the $25k will underwrite an after-school enrichment program for 300 low-income kids from the area, and Common Ground will fully fund 37 work placements in its Green Jobs Corps—a yearlong employment and leadership program for high schoolers.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford also received $25,000 for being the top write-in candidate, with almost 3,000 “bonus” votes!

And at long last, the grand prize winner was announced; staff from Gaylord Specialty Healthcare gleefully accepted a check, this one for $100,000.

In a compelling demonstration of what Gaylord plans to do with those funds, Sarah Anderson donned an “Ekso,” a wearable exoskeleton for people with paralysis.

She stood up from her wheelchair with minimal assistance and walked across the KitchenZinc patio—demonstrating Ekso’s use of motors and sensors alongside the wearers own balance and body positioning to help them get around, to the awe and applause of the gathered crowd.

Sarah Anderson helps accept Gaylord Specialty Healthcare's $100,000 Community Builder Grant.

“This is going to help a lot of people,” she said, learning of Gaylord’s grand prize.

Basking in community cheer, 100-plus guests grazed on artisanally crafted pizzas made fresh with local ingredients and sipped margaritas and tap beer, swaying to the sounds of a live band.

And while the contest went out with a bang, it doesn’t signal an end to Stratton Faxon’s commitment to community and charity. The law firm will continue to promote local, “grassroots” nonprofits across the state financially and in its work: 10% of all fees are donated to nonprofit organizations.

“When we represent and win a case, if some of that money doesn’t make it back to the community, it doesn’t have any meaning,” Stratton said. “We have an obligation as trial lawyers to connect and to care.”

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