Bearingstar Charitable Fund – Year in Review 2016
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.
This past year, the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund provided financial support to numerous organizations in Connecticut and Massachusetts through our Community Gift Program. In addition, we are proud that our employees have volunteered their time and energy to support these organizations. We thank our offices for supporting such great causes!
After School at the Klein (ASK)
Sally Schneider, on behalf of our Darien office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to The Klein Auditorium ASK Program. ASK provides tuition-free afterschool instruction in vocal music, dance and acting to Bridgeport’s most at risk students, those in grades 7 through 12. ASK is the only tuition free afterschool arts program in Bridgeport. The program gives the children the opportunity to learn performance arts as well as accomplish great life skills. We are proud to support such a great program!
American Cancer Society – Relay for Life of Greater Windham, CT
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a Silver Sponsor for the Relay for Life of Greater Windham. Held annually, the event this year was held on October 15, 2016 in Mansfield, CT. We are honored to support our employees, families and friends who are cancer survivors, remember those lost to cancer and help raise funds and awareness to help end cancer forever.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was a proud sponsor of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s 2016 “Hamden Out of the Darkness Community Walk,”. Held on Sunday, September 25th, the charitable walk raised awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support survivors of suicide loss.
American Heart Association
Insurance Consultant, Tanya Ballestrini, from our Bozrah, CT office, had the pleasure of participating with Team Bearingstar in the 2016 Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk held at Fort Shantok in Uncasville, CT. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the event this year. The mission of the American Heart Association is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
When asked about why she participated in the walk, Ballestrini said “For the past 4 years, I’ve walked in this event in honor of my father, Mark Ballestrini. He died of a massive heart attack in 2013 so this cause is very dear to my heart.”
Evan Cooper an Insurance Consultant from our Avon, CT office, had the pleasure to presenting a charitable donation to Audubon Sharon. For over forty years, Audubon Sharon has been the community resource for treating injured and orphaned wildlife, servicing northwestern Connecticut, eastern New York, and southwestern Massachusetts. Established in 1961 and located in Sharon CT, Audubon Sharon is part of Audubon Connecticut, a branch of the National Audubon Society. The ultimate goal of Audubon Sharon’s wildlife rehabilitation program is to treat sick and injured wildlife and release healthy, viable individuals back into the wild while educating the public about what they can do to help protect wildlife.
Evan Cooper has been a regular wildlife rehabilitation volunteer on Sunday mornings at Sharon Audubon since 2012. Evan and her husband, Ross, have broad based wildlife rehabilitation experience caring for raptors and songbirds, preparing specific meals to meet their dietary needs, administering emergency care, cleaning and bandaging wounds, providing medical hydration and administering medications. Evan also helps with their 18 resident educational raptors providing care as needed. The staff and Sharon Audubon Center Director have recognized Evan and Ross as leaders in their volunteer core. Both are active with the Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association regularly attending workshops and training sessions as part of their ongoing wildlife rehabilitation training.
Avon Food Pantry
Bearingstar Insurance was pleased to sponsor a “Free Shredding Event” in June at Avon High School in Avon, CT. Files were professionally destroyed by “Shred-It” on site. In lieu of cash donations, people were asked to bring a non-perishable food donation, all of which were donated to the Avon Food Pantry. In addition, a financial donation was made to the food pantry courtesy of the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund.
Bearingstar Bunnies for Babies
This March, employees from the Bearingstar CT offices purchased and donated new stuffed animals to FISH, Friends in Service to Humanity in Northwestern CT. Bearingstar employees have been donating new stuffed animals for over ten years to various organizations.
For the past three years, the Bearingstar Charitable Foundation 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. Last year approximately 34,000 children enjoyed a piece of birthday cake at one of their parties. Bearingstar employees and their families braved the cold and walked at their Fifth Annual CakeWalk (5K) at Millennium Park in West Roxbury on Sunday May 15th. This is their signature fundraising event. Our donation provided birthday parties at a shelter for an entire year!
Bridgeport Rescue Mission
As part of our Community Gift Program, Pamela Stenger, an Insurance Consultant in our Fairfield office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
The Bridgeport Rescue Mission was founded in 1993 to address the issues of hunger, homelessness and addiction in coastal Fairfield County. They are celebrating over 20 years of fighting hunger one meal at a time.
The Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Bridgeport, CT has a mission 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
On Thursday, November 17, 2016, Bearingstar employees and their families joined CHD and their Cancer House for Hope for their “Night of Light” Luminary event. The event took place on the beautiful Green at Storrowton Village in West Springfield at 7pm.
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a survivor level sponsor of the event. During the Night of Light, over 1,000 Luminaria bags were lit to honor cancer survivors and to remember those lost. Each Luminaria bag was hand-inscribed in honor or in memory of someone who has or has had cancer.
This event was a fundraiser that supports the Cancer House of Hope and the great work they do for families who are affected by this terrible disease.
Dining in the Dark
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the Freedom Guide Dogs Dining in the Dark fundraiser on Friday, September 30th! This special event gave the average person a short moment to experience what those with visual impairment deal with every day, and adorable guide dog puppies and working guide dogs will be in attendance as well. The event featured a silent auction, wine pull and a 50/50 raffle all for a great cause!
This special event gave several Bearingstar employees a brief moment to experience what those with visual impairment deal with every day. Here is what they had to say:
“It was a pleasure to meet the volunteers from Freedom. They are kind and generous people who do amazing things for the visually impaired community. The experience of eating dinner blindfolded gave me a whole new appreciation for my sight and the work that Freedom does.” – Jennifer
“It was also nice to know about all the people it takes and that these dogs are given to them free of charge. This is the reason I love dogs, to see them take such good care of people is amazing. How could you not love them?” – Tia
“Eating blind folded gave me an idea what visually impaired people go through and it’s an experience I will never forget. The work the people and dogs do for their clients is unbelievable.” – Barbara
Fall River Historical Society
Bearingstar Insurance was proud to have partnered with our friends at the Fall River Historical Society for this year’s Sights & Sounds of the Season holiday festival. The outdoor holiday festival was free for children and families. Attendees were also able to visit the annual FRHS Holiday Open House, Deck the Halls!, a Victorian Christmas extravaganza featuring the Society’s famous themed trees, free of charge.
Hope Lives, Inc.
As part of our Community Gift Program, Insurance Consultant Lorina DeMatteis from our Rocky Hill Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Hope Lives, Inc. in support of their annual fundraiser. All proceeds raised during the event will be used to support the fight against breast cancer. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be an Event Sponsor. In addition to raising funds, non-perishable food items were collected and donated to the Connecticut Food Bank.
Hope Lives, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to making a difference in the community. Their mission is to support individuals and families by promoting breast cancer awareness and raising funds to support facilities that focus on breast health, education, prevention and treatment.
James Mattioli 5K
Our Bearingstar team was thrilled to participate in the 3rd Annual James Mattioli 5k on March 19, 2016 at Fowler Field in Milford, CT. We are proud that the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was a title sponsor of the event which paid tribute to James Mattioli, who was tragically lost at Sandy Hook School in 2012.
All race proceeds support the James R. Mattioli Scholarship Fund, established by James’ parents. The fund awards annual scholarships to graduating seniors at Jonathan Law and Joseph Foran high schools in Milford. The scholarships are awarded to students pursuing fields that were of interest to James such as mathematics, engineering, architecture, fire science, public safety, criminal justice, and lifeguarding.
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund recently donated $25,000 to the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics. This is the fourth 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. The 2016 Torch Run will cover over 500 miles and pass through over 100 cities and towns. Over 1,500 Law Enforcement officers and Special Olympics Athletes will participate in the Torch Run. These officers represent local, state, and federal departments, agencies and correctional facilities. The 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run was held June 8-10.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was an event stage sponsor for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Held annually, this year’s event was held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at Bushnell Park in Hartford, CT.
Merrimack Valley YMCA
As part of our community gift program, the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of Feaster Five. This is an annual road race held in Andover, MA that takes place on Thanksgiving morning. The Merrimack Valley YMCA is a non-profit, social services organization providing services to members and participants of all ages, cultures and needs in the community. The Andover Y handles the race registration that annually has 10,000+ entrants.
Mourning Parents ACT, Inc.
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was a Premium Sponsor of !MPACT’s annual charity golf tournament held in July. We were proud to have Bearingstar team members participate and attend the event.
Mourning Parents ACT, also known as !MPACT, is a nonprofit organization that depends on local donations in order to continue their mission to eliminate teen driving tragedies. Members of !MPACT have been personally affected, either having lost children to this public health epidemic, or having been a victim or a perpetrator. Mourning Parents ACT has developed a safe teen driving program that it offers for free to high schools, hospitals and driving schools.
Over the Edge 2016 – Special Olympics Fundraiser
Three Bearingstar employees, Jennifer Lajoie, Dana Quigley and Tanya Ballestrini, participated in the “Over the Edge” fundraiser in support of Special Olympics Connecticut on Friday, Sept. 9th! They bravely rappelled down 34 floors of the Mohegan Sun building to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics. What’s more, Team Bearingstar proudly donated more than $10,000 to the organization. Our sincere appreciation goes out to our Bearingstar clients and friends: Lisa Duntz, Lynelle Prast and David Yadach for joining Team Bearingstar and helping us meet our goal! Way to go team!
The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to sponsor Rachel’s Table tenth annual Foodraiser. Over 200 community members shopped at the Big Y in Longmeadow, MA and more than $13,000 worth of food was donated directly to The Open Pantry and Providence Ministries. Debbie Rubenstein, Director of Rachel’s Table, stopped by to present us with a framed participation collage.
Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off
As part of our Community Gift Program, insurance consultant Pamela Stenger from our Fairfield office had the pleasure of helping the Salvation Army’s Kettle Kick-Off with a donation from the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund. When asked about why she wanted to help, Stenger said “I wanted to donate to the Salvation Army because of their outreach to those in need. They offer food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless and companionship to the forlorn.”
Southbury Women’s Club
Insurance Consultant David Curran from our Southbury Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Southbury Women’s Club. The funds were used to support their “Operation Backpack” program which works closely with Southbury Social Services to provide needy students backpacks filled with school supplies each September. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be an Event Sponsor helping to prepare students in need for their upcoming school year.
The Southbury Women’s Club is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization dedicated to serving the Southbury community through various public service projects.
We Are The Children
The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support Gary Craig and 96.5 WTIC’s 31st Annual “We Are the Children” event as they provide toys for over 1,000 less fortunate children on Christmas day!
We Are The Children is an organization founded in 1985 by Gary Craig, morning radio personality of 96.5 WTIC-FM in Hartford, Connecticut. Gary Craig, along with a tremendous support committee including various corporations is committed to raising funds for abandoned, battered, disadvantaged, and needy children. To date, We Are The Children is a 100% volunteer organization with all goods and services donated by members of the local communities.ight