Our employees are passionately involved in improving the communities in which we live and work. We align ourselves with philanthropic organizations who share our values and who truly make a difference in the lives of those they serve. From volunteering at local food pantries throughout the country to mentoring youth of low-income families and supporting hospitals and cancer research organizations, here is a closer look at some of the organizations we supported in 2018:
ST. BALDRICK’S FOUNDATION
Founded by three insurance industry executives in 1999, St. Baldrick’s Foundation has grown to become the largest private (non-government) provider of funding for childhood cancer research. Primarily through head shaving events, the foundation has raised more than $258 million in research grants.
Cancer has impacted the lives of so many people in our network, and we are proud to be a long-standing supporter of this organization. We continued our efforts in March 2019, when we held our fifth annual head-shaving fundraiser at the PURE Leadership Forum. Four employees and two of our partner brokers shaved their heads this year, helping to raise pledges of $91,000. This brings our total to 30 shaved heads and nearly $300,000 raised.
During the event, Patrick Battle, Partner and Risk Advisor at Keen Battle Mead & Company, an independent insurance agency based in Florida, graciously shared the story of his late son, Patrick Battle Jr., who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a very rare bone cancer, and passed away last year at the young age of 16. Patrick spoke of his son’s courage and positivity and of how his faith and community helped his family through this unimaginable time in their lives.
Funds raised during this year’s event will be donated in honor of Jennifer Romanowski and Allison Haupt, two important members of the PURE team who passed away in 2018. Jennifer worked at the PURE Group for more than six years as an executive assistant and was beloved by everyone who knew her, including her idol-turned-friend Josh Groban. Allison was the wife of Colin Haupt, SVP of Employee Engagement for the PURE Group. She was also a devoted mother to their three children and had a very accomplished career in finance.
THE UNITED WAY
The United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. Our corporate headquarters in White Plains, New York, continued our long-standing support of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) through a variety of initiatives aimed at providing job skill training, financial education and personalized counseling for chronically unemployed or underemployed adults. Many employees also serve in positions on the UWWP’s board, Campaign Cabinet, Women’s Leadership Council and Emerging Leaders Society, and our President and CEO, Ross Buchmueller, was honored at their annual gala for his long-standing support. Thanks to the generosity of our brokers and business partners, the gala drew nearly 350 people and raised more than $510,000—the largest amount raised in a single event in the history of the organization.
New York Common Pantry reduces hunger and promotes dignity, health and self-sufficiency through a variety of programs that aim to establish long-term independence for those they serve. They provide fresh produce and hot meals, as well as resources and tools to encourage balanced food choices. Our New York team volunteered over 100 hours with this organization in 2018, and Mike Verrier, New York Underwriting Specialist, accepted a position on the organization’s Junior Board.
THE FIRST TEE
The First Tee impacts the lives of young people by promoting character development, life skills and values through education and golf. In addition to PURE’s sponsorship of the PURE Insurance Championship, Impacting The First Tee, many of our employees support chapters throughout the country with donations of time and money, like our New York team helping The First Tee of Syracuse to purchase a golf simulator so the kids can practice year-round, and our Scottsdale team helping The First Tee of Phoenix raise more than $20,000 in scholarship funds. Two PURE employees have even taken seats on chapter boards: Mike Taylor, Chief Claims Officer, is on the Board of Trustees for The First Tee of the Jersey Shore, and Jessica Furrow, VP, Southern California Regional Executive, sits on the Board of Directors for Pro Kids—The First Tee of San Diego.