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Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation to Recognize St. Baldrick's Foundation at Annual Benefit Dinner

Posted on 17 Mar 2011

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The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), is pleased to recognize the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at the IICF’s Annual Benefit Dinner being held Thursday, May 19, 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco.

“St. Baldrick’s is an outstanding non-profit organization leading the way in pediatric cancer research. Growing out of a simple St. Patrick’s Day challenge made between insurance industry executives, St. Baldrick’s provides a powerful example of the impact the insurance industry makes when banning together to address important issues within the community,” said Stephen Meyer, IICF Western Division Board Chairman and Regional Vice President, North Western Region, ACE USA.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers. Conceived in 2000, three reinsurance executives, John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell came together to turn an industry St. Patrick’s Day party into a head-shaving event raising money to find a cure for children with cancer. Growing out of that initial head-shaving event, St. Baldrick’s quickly became the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research.

Today the St. Baldrick's Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization, with the exception of the U.S. government. Since 2000, more than 170,000 volunteers, including over 15,000 women, have shaved their heads in solidarity with children with cancer. St. Baldrick’s shavees have raised over $99 million for life-saving research.

Leading through example, John Bender, St. Baldrick’s Co-Founder and Chairman, holds the great distinction of St. Baldrick’s “Iron Man”, being the only person in the organization’s history to be shorn every year. Bender, President, Allied World Reinsurance will serve as Chairman of the IICF Annual Benefit Dinner.

“Not only has it been my honor to be a part of the cause to fund life-saving childhood cancer research and witness the tremendous growth and impact the Foundation has had over the last 11 years, it has also been a life-changing experience,” said Bender. “I could never have imagined how one crazy idea could mature into an entity that brings disparate communities together for one Conquer Kids’ Cancer.”

During the evening, the IICF will also honor Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company’s Heritage Program SM for their industry leading role in the realm of philanthropy. Accepting on behalf of the program will be Fireman’s Fund President and CEO Michael LaRocco.

The IICF Annual Benefit Dinner provides an opportunity for insurance professionals from across the industry to come together in a united philanthropic effort, raising vital funds for local nonprofits. 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.

For dinner information, including ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Office at (925) 280-8009 or