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News Article

UTC Hosts Military Appreciation Night at Connecticut Open

On Monday, Aug. 24, UTC saluted the armed forces at the Connecticut Open. The Sikorsky Veterans Association presented the colors at the start of the evening session.
Dr. David Parekh, Vice President, Research, and Director UTRC performed the coin toss to kick off the Championship Match between Petra Kvitova (left) and Lucie Safarova (right).
Veterans, service members, and their families enjoyed dinner at the Military Outpost, a UTC hospitality venue sponsored only on Military Appreciation Night.
World War II veteran, Constantine Ludovico enjoys dinner with his niece Gail Curran at the UTC Military Outpost.
Sikorsky Veterans Association members, from left: James Kaye, Ron Craft and Doug Adamson.
The USO Troupe entertained tennis fans throughout the evening with a mix of contemporary and classic songs.

​Veterans and active military members were honored at Military Appreciation Night at this year’s Connecticut Open tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn. Over 250 veterans and their families received complementary tickets and were hosted in the United Technologies Military Outpost. Veterans enjoyed a light dinner and had prime views of the matches in an air-conditioned lounge.

Before the evening matches commenced, members of the Sikorsky Veterans Association color guard were escorted onto the court by the Connecticut National Guard to present the military flags. The USO Show Troupe then performed the national anthem to officially kick off the evening’s matches.

“As a member of the Sikorsky Veterans Association, I try to participate in as many opportunities as I can to show support for military service members,” said Ron Craft, senior service engineer, Sikorsky. “Military night has been a great way to socialize with other veterans and we’ve enjoyed the matches.”

Ranging from World War II to the current conflicts in the Middle East, veterans from all branches of the military chatted and shared an evening with their friends and family.  Ninety-four year old World War II veteran, Constantine Ludovico came to watch the matches and enjoy the hospitality with his niece Gail Curran. Ludovico fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was in the first walking unit sent to capture the Lundenoff Bridge during the Battle of Remagen.

“Thank you for adding to the delight of the evening and to United Technologies for making it all happen,” said Gail Curran of New Haven, Conn. “Constantine was so pleased, and he especially enjoyed the United Technologies' gathering. It was a terrific evening that meant so much to him. Throughout the night, people shook his hand to thank him for his service.”

The Connecticut Open is a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Premier Tournament that has been held annually at Yale University’s Cullmany-Heyman Tennis Center since 1998. As the last WTA stop on the US Open Series before the Grand Slam, the Connecticut Open hosts a selection of the world’s top players including Petra Kvitová (world no. 5) and Caroline Wozniacki (world no. 4). Petra Kvitova went on to win the Connecticut Open title on Saturday, Aug. 29 against Lucie Safarova (world no. 6). 

This is the second year that UTC has been the presenting sponsor of the weeklong not-for-profit tournament, and earlier this year that the Connecticut Open launched a fundraising program for local non-profit organizations. The “50/50 Project” encourages local nonprofit organizations to sell tournament tickets, and are then allowed to keep 50 percent of the total net profit for their own charitable programs.

Recognizing, honoring and supporting those who volunteer in U.S. military service is part of UTC’s commitment to support leading non-profit organizations in the communities where its employees live and work.