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Feb 27 2018

Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund – Year In Review 2017

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.

We 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 2017. Thank you to our Bearingstar employees for supporting such great causes!

Access Community Action Agency (February)

As a part of the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund Community Gift Program, Michelle Lamotte from our Mansfield, CT office presented a check to the Access Community Action Agency. In addition to affordable housing, Access provides food, emergency shelter, home heating fuel assistance, youth mentoring and more for low-income families and individuals living in Windham and Tolland Counties.

American Cancer Society – Southeastern CT Relay for Life (June)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund is proud to help support the American Cancer Society! Our Insurance Consultant, Tanya Ballestrini, stopped by to present a check for the Southeastern Connecticut Relay for Life event on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Dodd Stadium. Relay for life brings communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Sept)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a gold level sponsor of the Out of Darkness Walk held in Danbury, CT. Team Bearingstar consisting of Yale Cooke, Lorina DeMatteis, Marleen Turner, Mary Signore, Chris Gray and Jennifer Lajoie were happy to walk in the fight to prevent suicide. 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.

American Heart Association (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 and collectively raised more than $3,500!

The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was pleased to be a sponsor of The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament held at the Haverhill Country Club. The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport is devoted to promoting and improving support and services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They provide individualized and customized support to families and individuals to live and to work where and with whom they wish.

Audubon Sharon (March)

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. This past year they treated over 850 birds and mammal, an increase of over 15% from 2016. Many new programs have been started including bird banding and trail maintenance.

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.

Avon Food Pantry (June)

We teamed up with the Avon Chamber of Commerce on a free shredding event for the community. Shred-it provided shredding for personal, sensitive documents to anyone that donated nonperishable food items or monetary donations. All food items and monies were then donated to the Avon Food Pantry. With school being out for the summer, many families struggle to provide healthy meals to their children. The need for donations is year-round and we’re happy to help!

Birthday Wishes (May)

For the past four 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. Last year approximately 34,000 children enjoyed a piece of birthday cake at one of their parties. Bearingstar employees and their families enjoyed the perfect weather day as Birthday Wishes held its Sixth Annual 5K CakeWalk at Mount Ida College in Newton on Sunday May 21st. This is their signature (and only) fundraising event.

Boston Sled Hockey (Jan)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund is proud to have helped the Boston Shamrock Sled Hockey team reach its $10,000 fundraising goal! The team will use the donations to compete in the USA Disabled Hockey National Championships in San Jose this April. The Boston Shamrocks Sled Hockey is a free program based out of the Allied Memorial Veterans Rink in Everett. The sport was created to encourage participants who have physical disabilities to get on the ice.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission (May)

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. 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 (November)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of CHD’s Cancer House of Hope’s annual “Light the Night for Hope” Luminaria Event held in Springfield, MA. Bearingstar Insurance Consultant Joe Tavella presented a donation to CHD President & CEO Jim Goodwin to support the organization’s mission of helping those affected by cancer with free-of-charge emotional, education, social and spiritual support. Each year, the Cancer House of Hope holds a Luminaria event, where over a thousand candles Light the Night to celebrate the lives of those affected by cancer. Whether in memory of a loved one or as an affirmation for one’s own successful fight, each candle shines with a special meaning. Cancer House of Hope is located at 1999 Westfield St West Springfield.

The Charity Guild (November)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was pleased to make a donation to The Charity Guild’s “Women Who Care” event in December. Proceeds from the event help The Charity Guild fulfill its mission of feeding families and helping them bridge the gap between what is necessary to live and what their income provides. Their Food Pantry and Thrift Shop are located at 501 Main Street in Brockton MA. Thank you to Bob Ketchen, a Bearingstar Insurance Consultant in our Brockton, MA Office, for your involvement with The Charity Guild!

Christmas Wish CT (November)

Jennifer Lajoie from our Avon office and Tina Roy from our Enfield office visited the Lite 100.5 WRCH studio to present a donation from the Bearingstar Charitable Fund. The donation will go to the Christmas Wish CT program, started by WRCH’s Mike Stacy, which helps to improve the lives of children in need by granting wishes and giving them a holiday experience every year!

Coalition for a Better Wallingford (June)

Insurance Consultant, Dana Quigley, an Insurance Consultant from our Southbury office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to the Coalition for a Better Wallingford. The monies will go toward their mission of education and substance awareness in the Wallingford community. The Coalition was founded on the heels of the opioid/heroin epidemic bringing a costly toll across the country and specific to Wallington. Their outreach involves supporting healthy family activities and those affected by this insidious epidemic.

Community Autism Resources (April)

Bearingstar Insurance, along with the Raymondo family, was proud to sponsor Community Autism Resources 4th Annual Autism Fundraiser Dinner. The event raised $22,000 and all proceeds will benefit programs for individuals with autism and their families.

Community Autism Resources Hearts & Hands Walk/5K Run for Autism (October)

Bearingstar Insurance was delighted to help support the Community Autism Resources Hearts & Hands Walk/5K for Autism.

Connecticut Association of Schools (April)

The Connecticut High School Fine Arts Awards Recognition Banquet honors two outstanding seniors from each of the member schools in the state who excel in the performing or visual arts. They must possess the qualities of scholarship and leadership. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund is proud to be a sponsor of the awards banquet and to be affiliated with the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS). We extend our congratulations to this year’s recipients.

Connecticut Police Work Dog Association

Our Insurance Consultant Dana Quiqley visited the Farmington Police Department to present a Bearingstar Charitable Fund donation to K-9 Officer Kyle Mortensen and his partner Ryker. The donation will help support the @Connecticut Police Work Dog Association with education, training and performance of police service dogs across Connecticut.

Foundation for MetroWest (October)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the Foundation for MetroWest Community Leadership Breakfast and support its philosophy that everyone can make a world of difference in their own backyard! The organization provides resources for local nonprofits, and helps to connect donors with local giving opportunities and improve the quality of life for all its citizens.

Freedom Guide Dogs (October)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support Freedom Guide Dogs – an organization that raises, trains and places guide dogs with the visually impaired at no cost. Our Bearingstar team members Barbara Cilento, Tia Vaughn and David Bauer recently attended its Dining in the Dark event. Prior to dinner attendees enjoyed meeting some of the amazing guide dogs and their trainers. Guests who attended the dinner portion of the event ate their meals blindfolded which gave them a new perspective on what those who are vision impaired experience on a daily basis.

Girls, Inc. (March)

As part of our Community Gift Program, Insurance Consultant Dana Quigley from our Southbury Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Girls, Inc. This organization inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls Inc.’s programs are designed to focus on girls’ learning strengths and needs: they are grounded in positive peer and adult relationship development; afford experiential and varied learning components; and provide opportunities for new experiences.

GrowHope Foundation (December)

Nick McCummings, an Insurance Consultant in our Brockton, MA office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to GrowHope Foundation. The Bearingstar Charitable fund was proud to be a sponsor of their 2017 Annual Fundraising Gala. Proceeds from this event will support Brockton Kids Count Advocacy Campaign. The GrowHope Foundation works in partnership with the Brockton Public Schools to provide assistance to struggling families and children. They also provide an Alternative to Violence Workshop to help reduce violence in the community.

Harmony House of Western Massachusetts (April)

Insurance Consultant Joseph Tavella from our Longmeadow, MA office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Harmony House to support their 2nd annual Fundraiser held on April 29th. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a platinum sponsor. The mission of Harmony House of Western Massachusetts is to provide a loving home environment with compassionate care for the terminally ill.

Homes for the Brave (January)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund 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.

Hope Lives (July)

As part of our Community Gift Program, Lorina DeMatteis, an Insurance Consultant in our Avon, CT office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Hope Lives, Inc. They are 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.

JDRF One Walk (November)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the JDRF One Walk held in Norwalk. Our team from the Darien office presented a check to Daryl Woolsey, Development Director of JDRF in Fairfield, to help in their goal of creating a world without type 1 diabetes.

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 fifth 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.

LEGO 5K Family Fun Run (October)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support the 5th annual LEGO 5k Family Fun Run. The event raised a total of $43,227 for the @Enfield Family Resource Center and its’ site at the Stowe Early Learning Center. We were excited to help this great cause and cheer on our Inside Sales Consultant Jennifer Casalone!

LifeBridge Community Services (September)

Insurance Consultant, Kathy Piro from our Fairfield, CT Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to LifeBridge Community Services. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people in the Greater Bridgeport area to build a brighter future.

Make A Wish CT (September)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the 15th Annual Russell Hall Open held in September at Lyman Orchards Golf Club. The event raised over $30,000 for
Make A Wish CT which will help fulfill the dreams of children all over Connecticut.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (October)

Team Bearingstar wouldn’t let a bit of rain dampen their spirits as they participated in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was a Water Stop sponsor of the event, appropriate considering the stormy weather!

James Mattioli 5K (March)

Team Bearingstar took to the roads Saturday, 3/25/17, as a part of the 4th Annual James Mattioli 5k in Milford, CT. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to serve as title sponsor for the race, which pays tribute to James Mattioli – a fun and loving young boy who was taken far too soon at Sandy Hook School in 2012. Proceeds from the day fund scholarships for four local high school students.

Merrimack Valley YMCA (June)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to sponsor the LiveStrong program at the Merrimack Valley YMCA. The LiveStrong program at the YMCA is a free 12-week small group Fitness & Wellness program for adult cancer survivors, family members and caregivers. You do not have to be a YMCA member to participate. 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.

Mourning Parents Act, Inc. (June)

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was a Premium Gift Sponsor of the 9th Annual Tee Off for Teen Driving Safety Golf Tournament held in June to benefit !MPACT, Mourning Parents Act, Inc. 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. Members of !MPACT have either lost young family members or friends in motor vehicle crashes. They volunteer their personal time and resources to advance the mission of the organization. !MPACT has developed the Drive 4 Tomorrow teen driving safety program in which members share their experiences in a powerfully emotional presentation that not only has an immediate effect on the audience, but makes a lasting impression on them.

Over the Edge – Special Olympics Fundraiser (September)

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 more than $11,000 for the Special Olympics! A big shout out to our employees; Maureen Coleman, Elizabeth Gallegos, Jennifer Lajoie, Josh Mitchell and Laura Penn for their bravery and hard work!

Penguin Plunge (March)

Team Bearingstar braved the frigid temps at Highland Lake and participated in the Winsted Penguin Plunge to support Special Olympics Connecticut. Jennifer Lajoie, her son Alex Lajoie, Chris Conway, Maureen Coleman and Elizabeth Gallegos all took the plunge and helped raise more than $3,400. Plunges take place throughout the winter season, from January through mid-March. Your participation provides funding to support over 13,000 athletes who participate in Special Olympics Connecticut’s year-round training and competition in 27 sports.

Person to Person (April)

We are so pleased to support Person-to-Person, a volunteer-driven and community-supported nonprofit committed to promoting positive change. They strive help those in need and support families by providing food and clothing, financial assistance and scholarships to help break the cycle of poverty.

Plymouth Police Back to School Drive (August)

We were thrilled to help the Plymouth Police Department with their 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. Great job everyone!

Quincy Community Action Programs

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a sponsor of the Best Chef Event 2017 with funds benefitting Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP). Insurance Consultant Nick McCummings from our Brockton office attended this fun event. The Best Chef event brings together the most talented local chefs to use secret ingredients commonly found in the QCAP food pantry to create gourmet dishes for a panel of judges. The event was hosted by Susan Wornick and Celebrity Chef Paul Wahlberg. Since 1965, Quincy Community Action Programs has been the leading nonprofit organization in Greater Quincy dedicated to reducing poverty. They serve 22,000 unduplicated individuals every year in more than 80 communities.

Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley (May)

Our Insurance Consultant Joe Tavella recently stopped by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley to present a check for their Scholarship Fund. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund is so proud to work with RAPV as they help students pursue higher education opportunities.

Rotary Club of Avon-Canton (May)

As part of our Community Gift Program, Evan Cooper, an Insurance Consultant in our Avon, CT Office, presented a charitable donation to the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton. The funds will go towards the construction of an exciting new Life Enrichment Program (LEP) building for Favarh – The Arc of the Farmington Valley. This project will help the nonprofit provide even greater support for its clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 7,500 square-foot building, located at 100 Commerce Drive in Canton, will enhance Favarh’s day programs for adults who can’t work because of disability and medical complexities or who have retired from work. Favarh day programs place a high emphasis on daily community excursions with a priority on volunteer work.

Salisbury Youth Hockey (May)

Insurance Consultant, Jennifer Lajoie from our Avon, CT Office, had the pleasure of presenting a charitable donation to Salisbury Youth Hockey. Salisbury Youth Hockey (SYH) is a nonprofit youth hockey association that has been teaching children to play ice hockey for more than 30 years. Located in the Berkshire hills of northwestern CT, SYH was started and continues to be run by local residents who have a love for the game and the children who play it. The mission of SYH is to promote the development of our children both as hockey players and as people by establishing a safe, supportive and fun environment in the context of an instructional and competitive hockey program. SYH believes that participation in team sports can be an important ingredient in healthy youth maturation.

Save the Children (March)

Insurance Consultant, Vicki Sicilian from our Fairfield, CT Office, proudly presented a donation to
Save the Children. The funds will be used to support after school programming, in-school reading support and physical activity and nutrition.

SMILES Mentoring Program

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund is proud to support the SMILES Mentoring Program. The SouthCoast Mentoring Initiative for Learning, Education and Service (SMILES), is a program of People, Incorporated. They help connect at-risk students with mentors to help them thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Soroptimist International of Willimantic – Relay for Life of Greater Windham, CT (October)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support the Soroptimist & Friends Relay for Life team as a Ribbon Sponsor! All funds raised for Relay for Life went to the American Cancer Society. Soroptimist International of Willimantic works to improve the lives of women and young girls through social and economic empowerment programs. We’re thrilled to help such a great organization – learn how you can support them too: http://www.soroptimistwillimantic.org/

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. We are proud to have helped them fill over 60 backpacks with school supplies!

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund is proud to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! Sally Schneider and Barbara Perani from our Darien, CT office had the pleasure of presenting a check at the 5th Annual Honorine St. Jude Golf Classic Tournament. We’re happy to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their lifesaving mission.

The Umbrella Club (May)

Insurance Consultant Sally Schneider and Customer Service Agent Frieda Francis from our Darien officer were proud to present a donation to The Umbrella Club on behalf of the Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Foundation. The Umbrella Club is dedicated to providing compassion, support and financial assistance to families in need. Sometimes we all need a helping hand.

Veterans Association of Bristol County (November)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund was proud to support the recent Veterans Association of Bristol County fundraiser. Proceeds from the event are going towards Thanksgiving dinners for veterans during the holiday season. Kevin James, one of our Fall River Insurance Consultants, is shown here presenting the check to veteran Doc Ramsey.

Walk like MADD (May)

Bearingstar Insurance Consultant Jennifer Lajoie and her son, Alex, participated in the Hartford Walk like MADD event held this past Saturday, 5/6/17. The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund was proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the event. The walk was dedicated to Ruth “Nanny” McCarthy who was tragically killed in 2000 by a drunk driver. This year’s MADD walk had 72 participants who raised over $30k.

Waterbury West Side Middle School Girls’ Softball Team (August)

The Bearingstar Charitable Fund made a donation to the Waterbury West Side Middle School Girls’ Softball team. The gift will help buy protective gear for the team including chest and face gear for the catcher, face masks for the infield players and chest protectors for the pitchers. We’re happy to help the team have a fun and safe season.

Westborough 300th Anniversary Gala (October)

Our Insurance Consultant, Joe Tavella, attended the Westborough300th Anniversary Gala to present a donation from the Bearingstar Charitable Fund. Westborough has grown from a rural farm town to the bustling, dynamic community it is today and we are happy to help it celebrate its 300-year anniversary!

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