Pinup fashion show in Middletown benefits WWII veteran organization

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MIDDLETOWN-- Jennifer Sequenzia wanted to come up with an unique way to pay tribute and help raise money for some of the oldest living veterans in Connecticut and across New England.

"I didn't want to do something typical. I want to come up with the best way to do this, so we connected the 40s and 50s," said Sequenzia,

Sequenzia helped bring together 40 local women to dress up as 1940-1950s era pinup models, as a salute to World War II and Korean War veterans.

The All-Pinup Fashion Show was held Friday night at the historic Wadsworth Mansion to help raise money for Honor Flight New England--an organization that helps to send veterans to war memorials in our nation's capitol.

Honor Flight New England takes vets to Washington D.C. to see war-time memorials and some of our nation's attractions, at no cost.  The organization gives priority to the senior veterans -- World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Honor Flight New England relies heavily on donations to provide six annual trips it makes to DC each year.

"There's a lot of emotion, there's a lot of closure for the veterans. One of their wives told us we brought her husband down to the memorial but had brought a different man back," said Joe Byron, executive director and founder of Honor Flight New England.

Each year, 1,000 WWII  veterans pass away.

"We're in a race against time to get them down there.  The average age of a World War II vet is 90," said Byron.

The night's event had deep meaning for many of the pinup models, including Middletown resident Heather D'Amora, who served in the Navy for four years.

"It means a lot for me to be here tonight, I wanted to be apart of it," said D'Amora.

Organizers hoped to raise around $5,000 for the Honor Flight New England.  The next flight is scheduled for March and will depart from Boston.

The organization says flights quickly fill up to capacity, but interested veterans can sign up on the Honor Flight website.