Bearingstar Charitable Fund — A Year In Review 2019
Reflecting back on 2019, we are proud of the positive impact the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund (BICF) has made for the many people and communities that we serve. Over the course of the year, BICF has made charitable donations to over 65 amazing nonprofit organizations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. 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.
“Through relationships that we have developed over the years, I believe we make a positive difference in the communities we live and work in. Our employees actively participate and volunteer their time with many of these nonprofits. A very dear friend of mine who is a Global Messenger for Special Olympics CT said it best: Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference. ” — Jennifer Lajoie, coordinator of the BICF in Connecticut
Read more about some of the fantastic organizations the BICF had the opportunity to support in 2019. Thank you to our Bearingstar employees for volunteering and supporting such great causes!
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Bearingstar team members participated in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk – Hamden, CT for suicide prevention. The BICF is proud to work with such an inspiring cause in their fight against suicide.
American Heart Association
We were a proud 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 seventh year participating with the Heart Walk. She walks each year in honor of her Dad.
We were so happy to be able to support Birthday Wishes at their Annual CakeWalk held in May at Lasell College in Newton! Birthday Wishes’ mission is to ensure that children impacted by homelessness in MA, RI, NH, and Long Island are able to celebrate their birthdays. Every step taken and every dollar raised by walkers goes towards this goal!
Bozrah Fire Department
Marie Glaude of our Mansfield, CT office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Bozrah Fire Department Bozrah Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. at their 5K Road Race and Kids’ Fun Run event. Marie also participated in the 5K along with Shawn Fernance, of our Avon, CT office.
Cancer House of Hope
Joe Tavella had the pleasure to present a donation from the BICF. We were a proud sponsor of their Light the Night for Hope event in Storrowton Village in West Springfield. The Cancer House of Hope is committed to providing free access to services and therapies that bring care, comfort, strength and most importantly, hope.
Christmas Wish Connecticut
The BICF was proud to support Christmas Wish CT at their Stuff A Bus Event. Christmas Wish CT fundraises all year long for their annual holiday party — on December 19, they expect over 600 children from different shelters across CT and less fortunate communities to attend.
Citizens for Citizens
The BICF was proud to make a donation to Citizens for Citizens, Inc.. This wonderful organization is the Massachusetts Community Action Agency that assists over 42,000 households in the Greater Fall River and Taunton area each year. Their mission is to provide short and long term services that empower low-income individuals and families with the tools they need to overcome the burdens of poverty and financial crises with the goal of helping these community members live happier, healthier, and more stable lives.
Connecticut Police Work Dog Association
Dana Quigley, an Insurance Consultant in our Southbury, CT office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Officer Marie Ceti and K9 Officer Uno. The donation helped support the CPWDA with education, training, and performance of police service dogs across Connecticut.
Down Syndrome Association of CT
Bearingstar team members participated in the Connecticut Buddy Walk to raise money for the incredible Down Syndrome Association of Connecticut – DS ACT. Their mission is to celebrate individuals living with down syndrome.
Enfield Food Shelf
The BICF was proud to make a donation to the Enfield Food Shelf. This wonderful nonprofit has been a critical member of the Enfield community since 1968. Their priority is serving local families and individuals with the goal of ensuring no Enfield resident in need is without food assistance.
David Raymondo was honored to present a BICF donation to Fernando Santos, President of Espirito Santo in Fall River. We are proud to support them in their mission of preserving and maintaining “Old World” Portuguese traditions and feasts, which are largely run by volunteers. Visit them at 311 Alden Street in Fall River.
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 to help promote the Brockton Kids Count Advocacy Campaign. GrowHope Foundation celebrated 11 years of service to the community during its 2019 Annual Fundraising Gala Benefit Dinner this past year.
We were proud to present a BICF donation to Horizons – Camp Horizons at their 30th annual golf tournament. Horizons is a nonprofit organization located in South Windham, CT where they create and sustain person-centered opportunities for people with special needs where they live, learn, work and play.
!mpact – Mourning Parents Act, Inc.
The BICF was proud to be a sponsor at this year’s 12th 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.
James Mattioli 5K
We were thrilled to participate in the 6th annual James Mattioli 5K in Milford this past March! The BICF was a Premiere Level Sponsor and over 20 Bearingstar employees and their families participated in the event. The James Mattioli 5k was founded to remember James Mattioli, who was taken far too soon at Sandy Hook School on December 14th, 2012. James’ parents, Cindy and Mark, established a scholarship fund to honor James’ legacy and all event proceeds go towards four annual scholarships given to graduating seniors at Milford’s two public high schools.
JDRF One Walk
Bearingstar employees and their families were honored to participate in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk in Boston on September 28th — the largest Type 1 Diabetes event in the world!
Pam Stenger presented a BICF donation to the Jennings PTA in May. The donation went towards helping the 3rd-5th grade Odyssey of the Mind Team from Jennings Elementary School travel to Michigan to compete in the World Odyssey of the Mind Competition!
Joe Andruzzi Foundation
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is committed to providing assistance to patients of all ages throughout New England who have fallen on financial hardships as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Joe Andruzzi is a former New England Patriot and 3X Super Bowl Champ who completed cancer treatment in 2007 at Dana Farber. The BICF presented a donation to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation to help support cancer research.
Jordan Porco Foundation
The BICF presented a donation to Matthew R. Riley, Chief Operating Officer of The Jordan Porco Foundation. The Jordan Porco Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco after they lost their son, Jordan, to suicide when he was a freshman in college. Their mission is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Walk
The BICF participated in and sponsored the JDRF Walk at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT. JDRF funds innovative research to advocate for government action to provide a support structure for our community. No other organization does more to fight type 1 diabetes (T1D) than JDRF.
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
The BICF was proud and excited to once again have the opportunity to sponsor the Law Enforcement Torch Run and to volunteer with the Special Olympics Connecticut. The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Connecticut is a commitment made by the law enforcement community to pay homage to our heroes — Special Olympics Connecticut athletes and their families.
We were pleased to present Carmen Vega and Harvey Vargas of Lazarus House Ministries a BICF donation. The Lazarus House in Lawrence opened its doors as an emergency homeless shelter in 1983. They have been breaking the cycle of poverty in the Merrimack Valley Region ever since.
Literacy Volunteers for Greater Waterbury
A donation was made to Jessica Reho, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury. Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury’s trains volunteers and community partners to help improve all lives through literacy by cultivating educational opportunities for adults.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Bearingstar team members participated in the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk held in Litchfield, CT. We were honored to be a Hope Sponsor and proud to help raise money for this inspiring organization. The ACS walk was created to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, and raise awareness about steps we can take to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
Mayor Mike’s Foundation for Kids
Caragh Germano was proud to present a BICF donation to Chris Peters, the Director of Mayor Mike’s Foundation, at their golf tournament. Mayor Mike’s Foundation is dedicated to paying tribute to the late mayor of the Insurance City, Mike Peters, by continuing his commitment to youth programs in the city, particularly for disadvantaged residents of urban neighborhoods.
MDA Muscle Walk
A core group of our Bearingstar teammates hit the turf at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT to help give strength to individuals and families impacted by neuromuscular disease earlier this month! MDA Muscle Walk uses every dollar raised to ensure they are able to have the greatest impact in the fight to end muscular dystrophy.
Miles for Smiles
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, helps fund youth programs in the Fall River and New Bedford communities.
Naugatuck Police Union
Police Officer, Mike Deely from the Naugatuck Police Department bike patrol squad, took it upon himself to fix local kids’ bikes on his own dime. To thank Mike, Bearingstar Insurance Consultant, Jennifer Lajoie presented a BICF donation to the Naugatuck Police Union to help him purchase a new tool kit and parts to continue to fix bikes in the community.
New Bedford Women’s Center
The BICF was proud to make a donation to the Women’s Center of New Bedford to support their mission of empowering and supporting positive choices for all through education and action in the community. The Women’s Center offers free and confidential services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Northwestern Robotics Gearheads
The BICF was happy to present a charitable fund donation to NRG4055 (Northwestern Robotics Gearheads). The Northwestern Robotics Gearheads are a part of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) — a nonprofit organization devoted to kindling and advancing the pursuits of science and ingenuity.
Our Heroes Fund
Jennifer presented a BICF donation to Lieutenant Chris Chappell, president of Our Heroes Fund. Jennifer was honored to attend and volunteer at the 2nd Annual ‘Help a Hero Night’ held in June at Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield, CT. Our Heroes Fund is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote activities that assist in the health, welfare, and operational capabilities of first responders. They do this by providing educational and training activities that improve professional proficiencies while advancing and honoring the service and sacrifice of these first responders.
Oxford Dog Park
The BICF presented a donation to the Friends of Oxford Dog Park. This team of dedicated volunteers has been working towards the goal of building a new dog park in North Oxford!
In March, Bearingstar team members Jennifer Lajoie, Nick Zeigler, and Elizabeth Gallegos took the Penguin Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut at Patriot’s Park in Coventry, CT. In Jennifer’s words: “We came! We saw! We PLUNGED!”
Pink Chair Project
The Pink Chair Project’s mission is to deliver physical and emotional support to breast cancer patients by providing them with reclining chairs to support them throughout their healing process. Bearingstar’s very own Evan Cooper was proud to present Pink Chair founder, Cara Spath, with a donation check from the BICF.
Relay for Life of Greater Windham
Team Bearingstar joined forces with Team Soroptimist & Friends for the Relay for Life of Greater Windham. Captained by Barbara Straub, our joint-team raised over $10,000 to help in the fight against cancer. The BICF was a silver sponsor. Barbara was proud to help carry the banner in the survivors’ lap and the whole team manned the Information Booth during the event.
Rotary of Avon-Canton
Evan Cooper had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton CT. The Rotary Club offers business and professional men and women the opportunity to provide service and meet special needs and challenges in their communities.
Rotella Dance Team
The Dance Team at the Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury, CT held fundraisers to raise money for new dance costumes. The BICF was glad to support them and Barbara Wychulis, presented the check at their dance party in May.
The BICF was proud to make a donation to SCORE Mentors! SCORE’s mission is to help small business owners start or continue their own small business dreams. They offer mentorship and guidance on a range of topics including making business plans, legal requirements, accounting, and commercial insurance.
Evan Cooper had the pleasure of presenting a BICF donation to the Sharon Audubon Center. Evan has been a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer at the Sharon Audubon Center for over seven years! We were happy to support their mission to educate and connect people with the natural world.
Special Olympics – Over the Edge
Our brave members of the BICF team recently rappelled down the side of the 34-story Sky Tower at Mohegan Sun and raised $4,200 to support Special Olympics Connecticut! This is the 5th year that Bearingstar has participated in this fundraiser.
The Umbrella Club
Sally Schneider was proud to present a BICF donation to Scott Kelly, President of the Umbrella Club CT at their annual golf outing in May. The Umbrella Club began over thirty years ago when a group of friends wanted to help out a friend in need and has grown into the club giving over $100,000 a year to organizations, families and especially children who are in need of support and a special friend like The Umbrella Club.
Veterans Association of Bristol County
The BICF was happy to make a charitable donation to the Veterans Association of Bristol County in September. Staff from our Fall River office also had a food drive for donations.
Walk Like MADD
Over 17 employees & family members joined Team Bearingstar as we participated in the Walk Like MADD event held this past May in Hartford, CT! Walk Like MADD — hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving — is dedicated to spreading awareness about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving in order to make communities safer spaces for all.
Walk to Defeat ALS
The BICF was a proud sponsor of the Walk to Defeat ALS in Westport, CT. We raised over $1,000 for the great cause.
Westborough Education Foundation
The BICF sponsored a trivia team for the Westborough Education Foundation supporting grants to Westborough, MA schools. The fundraiser was a huge success raising more than $17,000.