Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Boston Chapter Launches Grants Program

April 29, 2013

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Boston chapter launched its grants program by hosting its first-ever grant fundraising event April 11 in Boston.

The new Boston chapter is part of the IICF Northeast division, which makes its grants in the focus areas of education, children at risk, disaster preparedness, and the environment. Proceeds from this and other 2013 events will benefit two Boston-area charities: Cradles to Crayons and Bottom Line.

More than 200 insurance industry guests attended the IICF Boston kickoff event at The Black Rose in Boston and celebrated the chapter’s startup with live music, food and cocktails. A volunteer team of more than 20 board and committee members for the chapter organized and hosted the event. The chapter plans another fundraising event in the fall.

A photo from the April 11 fundraising event. From left to right: Kathryn Marshall and Emily Rastiello from Aon Affinity, March Cochran from Aon Benfield and Bonnie Bystrek from Tower Group Cos. All are board or committee members of the new IICF Boston Chapter.

“The turnout at our first event is indicative of the interest of the Boston insurance community in working together to give back in a greater way,” said Pat Rastiello, senior managing director at Aon Benfield and chair of the IICF Boston chapter board.

“The chapter board met for the first time in September 2012 and less than a month later participated in the IICF Week of Giving volunteer activities with 232 people, contributing 731 hours of service to nearly 17 New England charities,” Rastiello said.

Shaun Kelly, president and CEO of U.S. operations for Ironshore Services and IICF Boston board executive committee member, added: “Being part of IICF allows us to amplify our individual and company giving and to be a positive face of the industry in our community. IICF will be a force for good in New England.”

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play. The organization supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

A photo of the band that played at the event. The lead singer is Jim Wallace from Aspen Specialty Insurance – who is vice chair of the IICF Boston board.

Founded in 1997, Bottom Line provides for at-risk urban students offering disadvantaged students a way to college. Bottom Line’s support includes counselling from the college application process to mentoring throughout the college years. This one-on-one support has successfully navigated the college experience and has resulted in an increase in graduations. The privately funded 501(c)(3) program currently serves more than 2,000 students and families.

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is completely directed and funded by the insurance industry. The foundation seeks to help communities and enrich lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. Since its inception in 1994, IICF has contributed more than $19.6 million in grants to charities and 166,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations. IICF is a registered not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

Upcoming IICF events include the Boston chapter’s fashion show fundraiser on Sept. 30; the IICF Week of Giving on Oct. 12-19; and the IICF Northeast division benefit dinner on Dec. 11.

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