Bearingstar Charitable Fund — A Year In Review 2018
Established in 2012, the mission of Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund (“BICF”) is to engage in activities and support local nonprofit organizations that have a positive impact in the lives of people and communities that we serve. This support is achieved through the Community Gift Program of the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund, a division of the Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation, Inc. Donations made by the BICF are by invitation only.
The BICF is all about giving back to our communities and supporting those charities that are most important to our employees, who are proud members of our local communities! Take a look at some of the fantastic organizations in Connecticut and Massachusetts that the Bearingstar Charitable Fund had the opportunity to support in 2018. Thank you to our Bearingstar employees for volunteering and supporting such great causes!
The Alex Fisher Foundation (June)
Jennifer Lajoie presented a charitable donation to The Alex Fisher Foundation, an organization working to bring awareness to the dangers of drug use. They offer support to families and friends who have lost loved ones to addiction and drug use while also working to educate the masses on the dangers of the opioid crisis. We’re proud to support them in this important work!
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (October)
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the Out of Darkness Walk held in Hamden, CT. Over 30 employees participated on Team Bearingstar and were the top fundraising team for the event. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.
Audubon Sharon (May)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support Audubon Sharon through a donation check! Evan Cooper, one of the insurance consultants from our Southbury office, has been a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer at the Sharon Audubon for over 5 years!
Avon Dollars for Scholars (March)
Dave Bauer, an Insurance Consultant in our Avon, CT Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Avon Dollars for Scholars. Founded in 1978 by the Avon-Canton Rotary Club, Avon Dollars for Scholars is a locally supported, non-profit, tax exempt scholarship foundation. The majority of their donations are solicited and raised locally within the community and all of their scholarships are awarded to students who are residents of Avon, or graduates of Avon High School.
Birthday Wishes (May)
For the past five years, the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund has been a proud sponsor of Birthday Wishes. Their mission is simple: to provide birthday parties for homeless children across MA, RI and Long Island, NY. The Bearingstar Charitable Fund donation provides enough funds to hold parties for an entire year! Bearingstar employees and their families enjoyed the day as Birthday Wishes held its Annual 5K CakeWalk at Lasell College in Newton, MA on Sunday May 20th. This is their signature fundraising event.
Bridgeport Rescue Mission (February)
As part of our Community Gift Program, Pamela Stenger, an Insurance Consultant in our Southbury office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Their mission is to fight poverty from the inside out as they embrace the urban poor and addicted with compassion and love, offering hope and healing for a changed life. Their vision is to excel in the provision of food, shelter, clothing, education, job training and residential discipleship for the urban poor and addicted.
Cancer House of Hope (November)
The Bearingstar Foundation is proud to sponsor the Light the Night for Hope Luminaria Event held by the Cancer House of Hope. Cancer has touched us all in some way. The Cancer House of Hope is committed to providing free access to services and therapies that bring care, comfort, strength and most importantly, Hope. This November 15th, hundreds of people from across the Greater Springfield area will join together in a poignant tribute to those who have struggled with cancer during the Light the Night for Hope Luminaria Event at Storrowtown Village in West Springfield, 6PM to 8PM. The annual event on the green carries the theme “One by One, We Light the Way to Hope.” It invites participants to purchase a luminaria and dedicate it to an individual. Cancer House of Hope is located at 1999 Westfield St West Springfield.
Christmas Wish Connecticut (December)
In December, the Bearingstar Charitable Fund will be a sponsor of the annual Christmas Wish CT holiday party for underprivileged kids in CT. This is their flagship event which consists of games, food and gifts for the children (with no cost to them). In addition to being a sponsor, Bearingstar employees volunteer at the event which is being held at Nomad’s Adventure Quest in South Windsor, CT.
Connecticut Police Work Dog Association (November)
Insurance Consultants Dana Quiqley and Jennifer Lajoie were pleased to present a charitable donation to the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association (CPWDA). Officer Marie Ceti accepted the donation on behalf of the CPWDA along with K9 Officer Uno. The donation will help support the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association with education, training and performance of police service dogs across Connecticut.
Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk (September)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s @American Heart Association Heart Walk! Bearingstar’s own Tanya Ballestrini walked with her family and friends to represent Team Bearingstar. This was Tanya’s 6th year participating with the Heart Walk. She walks each year in honor of her Dad.
Greater Windham Area Relay for Life (October)
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a silver sponsor at The Greater Windham Area Relay for Life. It was a cold and rainy day, but that didn’t stop hundreds of volunteers from coming together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors, and raise awareness and funds for the @American Cancer Society! Several members of the Bearingstar team also participated in the event by joining forces with the Soroptimist & Friends relay team! They manned the information booth, took registrations, passed out t-shirts, collected money, and walked the track.
GrowHope Foundation (October)
The GrowHope Foundation works in partnership with the Brockton Public Schools to provide support to children and families in need within the school district and help in promoting the Brockton Kids Count Advocacy Campaign. GrowHope Foundation celebrated 10 years of service to the community during its 2018 Annual Fundraising Gala Benefit Dinner on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at the Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn in Dedham, MA. Nick McCummings, a Bearingstar Insurance Consultant, presented a check on behalf of Bearingstar Charitable Fund at the event. The proceeds from the event benefitted the Brockton Youth After School Coding Program at the Gilmore School.
The Hartford Cystic Fibrosis Inpatient Fund (June)
On Sunday, June 10th, Jennifer Lajoie attended the Avon Mountain Challenge where she presented a donation from the Bearingstar Charitable Fund to Jason Reid and the Avon Police Department Team. Jason, a detective in the Avon Police Department who also lives with cystic fibrosis, started The Hartford Cystic Fibrosis Inpatient Fund to help support young cystic fibrosis patients going through long hospital stays.
Homes for the Brave (July)
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a presenting sponsor of the Forgotten Heroes Golf Classic held in July at the Whitney Farms Golf Course. Proceeds from the event will benefit Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, the women and children of Homes for the Brave. Bearingstar is proud to help support Homes for the Brave in their continued efforts to serve homeless veterans. Based out of Bridgeport, CT, Homes for the Brave provides housing, vocational training and job placement, mental health and addiction services, and life skills coaching to help individuals, especially veterans, leave homelessness behind.
James Mattioli 5K (March)
We were honored to take part in this race which pays tribute to James Mattioli, a fun-loving young boy who was taken far too soon at Sandy Hook School in 2012. Over 20 members of the Bearingstar team participated with their families. In addition, the Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the race. All proceeds from the race go to the scholarship fund created by the Mattioli family for local high school students planning to attend college, along with programs at the @Milford Public Library CT, @The Boys and Girls Club of Milford, CT, and youth sports programs offered through the Milford Recreation Department. If you’d like to learn more about James or how you can get involved in the race next year, please visit their Facebook page or their race website: http://bit.ly/2pQOWZ1
JDRF One Walk (November)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the JDRF One Walk held on 11/4/18 in Wilton. Insurance Consultant, Sally Schneider, from our Fairfield office presented a check to Marcia Maslo, Executive Director of JDRF, to help in their goal of creating a world without type 1 diabetes.
Jimmy Fund – Putting for Patients (March)
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to present a check for The Jimmy Fund at this wonderful event, organized by area high school students to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber. Elise Calendar, a customer service representative from our Duxbury office, along with her daughter Nicole, presented the check to Jimmy Fund representative, Mark Levine!
Kennedy Donovan Center Walk (April)
The Kennedy-Donovan Center Rally 4 KDC Fundraising Event was held at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford! This wonderful organization supports individuals with developmental delays, disabilities, or family challenges to help them pursue their personal potential and success in the community. We were proud to have three team members from our Fall River office attend this amazing event!
Kingdom Connect (August)
Bearingstar Commercial Insurance Consultant Jennifer McEwen from our Fairfield office was proud to present Kingdom Connect with a contribution on behalf of the Bearingstar Charitable Fund. Kingdom Connect is a non-profit media ministry working to assist churches, ministries, and other non-profit organizations by helping them connect with local communities through improved online communication and in-person outreach. They also work to directly help individuals in the community who are struggling with anything from domestic violence to drug addiction by connecting them to the appropriate resources.
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics (June)
As part of our Community Gift Program, the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund proudly made a donation to the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics. This is the sixth consecutive year that Bearingstar has been a Platinum Sponsor of the LETR.
The LETR is Special Olympics’ single largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle. Connecticut had its first Torch Run in 1986 with a few legs converging onto the campus of the University of Connecticut at Storrs. The run then became a statewide event involving several more cities and towns.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (October)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be the water sponsor at this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk held in October at the XL Center in Hartford. Team Bearingstar had a fun time walking with as many as 3,000 walkers and passing out water. The event raised over $246,000 which will help provide breakthrough breast cancer research, as well as free rides to chemo and places to stay near hospitals, a live 24/7 cancer helpline, and so much more.
In addition to the walk in Hartford, The Brockton office also participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Boston. Joanne Monahan, Sharon Larsen, and Sharon McGrath proudly represented Team Bearingstar at the walk.
Mechanics Hall (September)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund had the pleasure to be a sponsor of a Gala at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on September 25th. The event, attended by Bearingstar Insurance’s Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Kennedy, marked many milestones in their history. This event honored Bob Kennedy, the Executive Director for 12 years, who retired in October. A moving video presentation and touching tribute from his son, Bob Kennedy Jr. were among the highlights of the tribute to Kennedy, who was given the Master Mechanic Award from the Worcester County Mechanics Hall Association.
It was also the 160th Anniversary of the building’s opening and the 40th Anniversary of a major restoration to what people know of Mechanics Hall as it is today. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Bob Kennedy Legacy Fund, which helps with ongoing operations and restoration of the Hall. Mechanics Hall is internationally regarded among the world’s great concert halls for its superb acoustics and inspirational beauty. Their mission is to serve the community by offering a gathering place for experiences that inspire, enrich and enlighten generations.
Meals For Neighbors (June)
Shawn Fernance, the Senior Team Manager from our Avon, CT office, was proud to deliver a check to MFN – Meals for Neighbors a Ministry of Zion Lutheran Church in Bristol, CT. Meals for Neighbors, Connecticut’s oldest soup kitchen, has served over 875,000 meals since its founding in 1982 while also offering a food pantry which has supplied groceries for countless families. Shawn’s daughters are regular volunteers at Meals for Neighbors, so he was thrilled to be able to offer a donation from the Bearingstar Charitable Fund to help support this wonderful organization!
Miles for Smiles (April)
We were proud to have members of the Bearingstar team participate in the 10th Annual Miles for Smiles Road Race and Walk that took place in Fall River in May. This wonderful event, which helps fund youth programs in the Fall River and New Bedford communities. Learn more about SMILES Mentoring Program by visiting their Facebook page or website: http://bit.ly/2r0YtxQ
Mourning Parents Act, Inc. (July)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a Premium Gift Sponsor at this year’s 10th Annual Tee Off for Teen Driving Safety Golf Tournament! This wonderful event helps support !MPACT’s mission of eliminating tragedies caused by inexperienced drivers through awareness, education and legislation. Mourning Parents Act, Inc., also known as !MPACT, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to eliminate tragedies caused by inexperienced drivers through awareness, education and legislation.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (June)
Jennifer Lajoie participated in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Walk of Greater Hartford with Jessica Leclerc from our Southbury office and Jessica’s husband.
We are proud to support MDA’s mission of helping individuals living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases. Their events, like the Muscle Walk, work to raise money for things like research and care and support for individuals and their families.
Officer Thomas J. Giunta Memorial Road Race (April)
Bearingstar Insurance was proud to take part in the Officer Thomas J. Giunta Memorial Road Race in April. Thomas was a Fall River police officer for 21 years before he was fatally injured in the line of duty on August 24, 1994. This road race event was started as a source of income for a perpetual scholarship fund in Thomas’ honor.
Several members of our Bearingstar team participated in the 5K race and were able to present a donation check from the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund.
Olive in July (July)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was excited to present a donation to Olive in July, Inc in July! Located in Lawrence, Massachusetts, this amazing organization is dedicated to helping disabled and low-income families in the local community by connecting them to the resources they need to improve and support their physical and emotional development. The Bearingstar Charitable Fund had the wonderful opportunity to be a gold sponsor of their Fourth Anniversary Celebration in Compagnone Common Park in Lawrence and team members from our Methuen office were proud to volunteer as well!
Our Heroes Fund (June)
On Saturday, June 9th, Jennifer Lajoie volunteered at the Our Heroes Fund ‘Help A Hero Night’ and presented a check from the Bearingstar Charitable Fund. Donations from this event go directly to Officer Jill Kidik, a 12 year veteran of the force who was stabbed while responding to a dispute in May, to help with her recovery. Our Heroes Fund is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, created and run by a board of directors comprised of three service-connected disabled veterans, that aims to promote activities that assist in the health, welfare and operational capabilities of first responders by providing educational and training activities that improve professional proficiencies while advancing and honoring the service and sacrifice of first responders.
Over the Edge – Special Olympics Fundraiser (September)
On Friday September 7th, Bearingstar Charitable Fund team members rappelled down the side of the 34-story Sky Tower at Mohegan Sun to support Special Olympics Connecticut. We were thrilled to partner with the “Over the Edge” event and helped raise over $11,000 for the Special Olympics CT! A big shout out to our employees; Maureen Coleman, Elizabeth Gallegos, Gareth Leahy, Holly Long, Josh Mitchell and team captain Jennifer Lajoie for their bravery and hard work! This is the 4th year that Team Bearingstar has participated in this event. They’ve raised over $38,000 for Special Olympics!
Plymouth Police Back to School Drive (August)
Jennifer Lajoie was back at it again in August volunteering with the Plymouth Police Department for their annual Fill-A-Cruiser drive for school supplies! Thanks to our community gift program, the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund made a donation to help the Small Wonders Back to School Program which provides school supplies to children in need.
Rotary of Avon-Canton Golf Tournament (August)
Insurance Consultant, Evan Cooper, was proud to present a charitable donation to the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton in support of their golf tournament held in August.
Simsbury Trojans Golf Outing (October)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the Simsbury Trojans Golf Outing held in October. All proceeds from the golf outing go to support the Simsbury High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Southbury Women’s Club (August)
As part of our Community Gift Program, Insurance Consultant David Curran from our Southbury Office, was pleased to present a charitable donation to the Southbury Women’s Club. The funds were used to support the “Operation Backpack” program which works closely with Southbury Social Services to provide students in need with backpacks and school supplies.
St. Vincents Special Needs (June)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services by being a sponsor of their 9th annual golf tournament, The St. Vincent’s Special Needs & Kristin Nicole Appelberg Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the tournament will help them impact programs and families in financial crisis within their special needs community.
Taunton Area Community Table (October)
Our Taunton office recently presented a charitable donation to the Taunton Area Community Table, an organization that serves hot food to local individuals in need. The Taunton Area Community Table (or TacT) is a community-based meal center dedicated to providing delicious, healthy meals to individuals & families in a warm, friendly and safe atmosphere in an under served section of Taunton.
The Umbrella Club (May)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to present a donation to the Umbrella Club in May. The Umbrella Club has a mission of spreading compassion and support for communities in need. Every year, they give over $100,000 to various organizations, families, and especially children who are in need of extra support.
Walk Like MADD (May)
Bearingstar was so proud to take part in the 10th annual Walk Like MADD event held in Hartford, CT! Hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), this walk is their biggest fundraising event to help raise both awareness and funds to eliminate drunk driving. Members of the Bearingstar team participated in the walk, and the Bearingstar Charitable Fund acted as a Contributing Sponsor.
Walk to Defeat ALS (October)
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor at the ALS Association Walk to Defeat ALS. Held on October 20th at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, CT, Team Bearingstar was happy to join other walkers help raise funds to ultimately, find a cure for ALS.