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NEW YORK (October 21, 2011)—The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) New York/Northeast division announced that its 2011 benefit dinner on Dec. 14 will feature Katie Couric as special guest speaker. Couric is host of “Katie” (premiering September 2012), ABC News contributor and co-founder of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health.

Three prominent figures will serve as grant presenters at the fundraising event: 
* General Richard B. Myers, USAF, Retired, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
* Denis Leary, actor, comedian, author and founder of The Leary Firefighters Foundation, and
* Archie Manning, NFL great.

Manning will present Zurich Financial Services with the 2011 ‘Double I’ award for influence in the industry and impact in the community. Accepting the honor will be Mike Foley, chief executive officer, North America commercial and regional chairman of the Americas.

The IICF event will be held at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6:00 pm. The dinner, now in its fifth year, is the premier insurance event in the New York tri-state area and is attended by 900 insurance industry leaders.

Couric contributes to “ABC World News,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” “Good Morning America,” “This Week” and primetime news specials. She anchored the “CBS Evening News,” reported for “60 Minutes,” and hosted the “Today” show in a television journalism career that began in 1989. She was the first solo female anchor of a weekday evening news program on one of the three major broadcast networks. Couric established the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and is a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer.

General Myers, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Air Force, served as 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2001 through September 2005. As chairman, Myers was the military’s highest-ranking uniformed officer and principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council during the earliest stages of the War on Terror. He was the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Myers, who entered the Air Force in 1965, is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, including 600 combat hours.

Denis Leary, an actor, comedian, writer and director, co-created and starred from 2004-7 in the FX television show “Rescue Me” about a group of New York City firefighters. He has appeared in more than 40 movies, including “Wag the Dog” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” had the lead role in the TV series “The Job,” and garnered two Emmy award nominations. He founded the Leary Firefighters Foundation in 2000 after a cousin, friend and four other firefighters were killed in a fire in Leary’s hometown of Worcester, Mass. The foundation has distributed more than $2.5 million to Worcester, Boston and New York City fire departments.

Manning attended the University of Mississippi, where he was named an All-American quarterback. He was voted Mississippi’s “Greatest All-Time Athlete” in 1992, and recently named Mississippi’s “Most Popular Athlete of the Century.” In 1971, Manning was the second player chosen in the NFL draft, the number one draft choice of the New Orleans Saints. He set Saints passing records, played in two Pro Bowls and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1978. He was the first player in Saints history to be inducted into the Louisiana Superdome Wall of Fame. He concluded his 15-year career in 1985.

Paul Krump, president of Chubb Commercial & Specialty Insurance, is the dinner chairman. Kirstin Cole, correspondent for WPIX TV, will serve as master of ceremonies. Event proceeds go to the IICF grants program.

Betsy Myatt, executive director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, noted: “With this exceptional program and help from these outstanding individuals, we aim to make this year’s dinner sell out in order to provide the greatest funding to date for our community grants program.  There are so many people in need in our area, and, in spite of the economy, the insurance industry continues to respond generously to our communities.”

For information and ticket sales, please contact the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Benefit Office at (212) 763-8597 or iicf@cmevents.net.