More than 150 children of Aon employees who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, will persevere in their educational endeavors thanks to the continuing support of the Aon Memorial Education Fund.
Established by Aon Corporation on Sept. 14, the fund ensures that the children of the 176 employees who were lost can pursue post-secondary education as well as assists families with the educational requirements of children with special needs.
To date, the fund has received more than $3 million in contributions from Aon employees, clients and business partners. It provided emergency needs assistance to Aon families in the months immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center and has been used to send 30 students to college, three of whom graduated in the Spring 2003.
“The Aon Memorial Education Fund honors the memory of our lost colleagues by helping ensure that their children can pursue an education,” said Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO of Aon Corp. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our employees, clients, partners, and friends, and we thank them for their support in helping these children achieve their dreams.”
Among the many Aon-sponsored events that support the fund is “Running to Remember” where Aon employees participate in the New York and Chicago marathons to raise donations. Aon New York employees Rich O’Brien and Laura Taylor initiated and developed the idea in April 2002. O’Brien’s original plan was to run in the New York City Marathon in memory of his friend, fellow runner and Aon colleague Henrich “Heinz” Ackerman.
Taylor’s idea was to raise money for the fund and expand the idea beyond New York. More than 120 Aon employees from around the world took part in the 2002 Chicago and New York events raising $200,000. Greg Donovan of Australia was not only the first Aon colleague to cross the finish line in New York but also the largest single fund-raiser with $71,000.
Other contributions have been raised in a variety of ways – fund-raising dinners and auctions, bake sales, sales of cookbooks and T-shirts, and other creative means by Aon employees and clients around the world. Employees have even asked that contributions be made in their name in honor of their weddings and birthdays, or named the fund a benefactor when raising funds through golf outings and speaking engagements.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the fund can either call +1.877.542.3301 or +1.312.381.3559 or mail their contribution directly to: Aon Memorial Education Fund, c/o Harris Bank, 36133 Treasury Center, Chicago, IL 60694-6100.