When the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Midwest Division created its Associate Board in Chicago, it did so in an effort to provide young insurance professionals an avenue to give back to local charities while networking with like-minded peers.
After all, many of the younger employees of insurance companies don’t get the opportunity to highlight their passion for philanthropy within the industry setting.
At the same time, it can be difficult to align a group as varied and diverse as insurance professionals around a single cause. For that reason, the foundaiton has chosen to focus its fundraising efforts on a variety of organizations that serve local needs. In Chicago and throughout the Midwest, for example, focal points include organizations that focus on education, health and safety.
It’s with that focus on local nonprofits that I had the honor of chairing the Midwest Division Associate Board Trivia for Charity event on Feb. 18. This event is an annual crowd pleaser, and this year was no exception. More than 250 industry “Brainiacs” split into nearly 50 teams to battle it out for the coveted Trivia Trophy.
Of course, the sentiment of camaraderie created by fundraising took a backseat once the competition kicked off. Much to the dismay of 47 other teams, Hinshaw & Culbertson took home the win and the highly sought after Trivia Trophy, which they will hold until next year’s event.
Networking with a purpose
The energy in the room on the night of the event was electric. While the industry is full of trade associations and great opportunities for networking, few offer the added benefit to do good for the communities that we live in and serve as insurance professionals.
When it was all said and done, the group of 250 insurance industry professionals representing more than 50 companies raised more than $13,000 in support of local nonprofits.
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The winning team from Hinshaw & Culbertson with their trophy. (Contributed photo)
In addition, a $5,000 directed grant was awarded to the event beneficiary and foundation nonprofit partner, Hephzibah Children’s Association. Hephzibah was highlighted for the amazing work that they do and have done within our community since 1897. This includes providing:
- Group homes for children traumatized by neglect and abuse.
- Child welfare.
- Family services.
- Foster care.
- Adoption programs.
- Award-winning day care on a sliding scale for families of all income levels.
The money granted to Hephzibah will be directly used to support these services, as well as the Residence at Hephzibah Home. Considering the impact and reach of the organization —i t serves more than 1,000 children and their families each year — it’s an organization truly deserving of our support.
The impact of this event went beyond just dollars and cents. To be sure that all of the industry professionals who attended had an opportunity to get to know the organization, Hephzibah sent several of their dedicated employees to the event to give out information, answer questions about who they are, and generally increase awareness around the need to have these innovative, community-based programs available in our city.
It was truly amazing to see the extensive roster of companies that support our cause and bolster our ability to continue to lift up such great charities as Hephzibah. This includes event sponsors Swiss Re and Burns & Wilcox, as well as the contributions of countless other organizations and individuals who donated time to make the event a success. As event chair, I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the dedication of time and energy that went into creating the most enthusiastic, most successful Trivia for Charity event to date.
Through its Associate Boards, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation provides the means for our industry partners to give back and show love and appreciation for those who work so tirelessly to make our communities a place for those less fortunate.
For more information on the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Trivia for Charity and Hephzibah Children’s Association, please visit the foundation’s website.
Tom Mullins is vice president of binding authorities for RT Specialty in Chicago. He has been a member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Midwest Division Associate Board since 2014.