San Francisco, CA, June 8, 2011 – Leading insurance executives, industry supporters and special guests came together at the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Annual Benefit Dinner celebrating the industry’s philanthropic efforts. Receiving special honors was Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company’s Heritage Program for its commitment to supporting firefighters for safer communities. Also receiving recognition was the St. Baldrick’s Foundation as an outstanding non-profit organization, founded from within the insurance industry, dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer. Among the guests in attendance were Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, ABC Anchor Cheryl Jennings and IICF National Board of Governors Chairman Bruce Basso.
“The Industry Foundation is proud to recognize our nation’s firefighters; they are our local heroes. We are especially honored to highlight and pay tribute to the outstanding work of Fireman’s Fund Heritage Program and the St Baldrick’s Foundation. Both of these organizations are truly helping communities and enriching lives,” said Stephen Meyer, IICF Western Division Board Chairman and Regional Vice President, Northwest Region, ACE USA.
The IICF Benefit Dinner annually provides an opportunity for insurance professionals from across the industry to come together in a united philanthropic effort, raising vital funds for local nonprofits. The evening also provides a platform to honor organizations and individuals making a positive impact in local communities.
While accepting the award on behalf of Fireman's Fund employees and independent agencies, Michael LaRocco, President and CEO of Fireman’s Fund, struck a chord with the audience commenting, “We help people get back on their feet after tragedy strikes. Working in the insurance industry is a noble job and we should all be very proud of the daily impact we make.”
Founded in 1863 with a mission to support the fire service, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company today awards grants to fire departments across the nation. Grants are awarded at a grassroots level through the company's employees and independent agencies. Firefighters from across the San Francisco Bay Area attended the event to show their appreciation. Dinner guests were welcomed at the entrance by a fire truck and able to view and try out fire service equipment including thermal imaging cameras and extrication equipment.
The IICF Dinner also recognized the outstanding work of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Firmly rooted within the insurance industry, St. Baldrick’s was conceived out of a simple challenge issued by three reinsurance executives. Today, St. Baldrick’s is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research, providing a powerful example of the philanthropic initiative inherent within the insurance industry.
IICF Dinner Chair John Bender, President, Allied World Reinsurance and Chairman, St. Baldrick’s Foundation commented on the great charitable impetus within the industry. “I’m honored to represent an industry whose members are committed to serving the communities where they live and work. The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is a model for our profession, and its members are great ambassadors of the goodwill that we employ in our work every day.”
“St. Baldrick’s has a long connection with the insurance industry,” commented Julia Hernandez, St. Baldrick’s Child Ambassador, at the conclusion of the IICF Annual Dinner. Hernandez continued, “I am touched by the kindness extended to me and I appreciate all the effort donated to support childhood cancer research. I am proud to be a part of the great work being supported by the IICF.”
Proceeds from the evening will benefit multiple nonprofit programs through the Foundation’s community grants program. To date, the Industry Foundation has contributed over $17 million and 140,000 volunteer service hours to hundreds of community nonprofits.