CSFA’s Joe Stewart, Bob Hamilton and Executive Director Gene Gantt with California Casualty’s Tami Phillips and Roxanne Dean
At California Casualty, we pride ourselves on being there when you need help, or to celebrate your achievements. Recently, we have done both.
The terrible fire in Paradise, California, destroyed the entire community, including homes of many law enforcement officers and firefighters who faced the flames to protect others. The California Casualty CARES Committee, which assists the many groups we serve, donated to the North Valley Community Foundation Camp Fire Relief Fund, at the behest of the California State Firefighters’ Association. The fund aids public safety employees whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the flames.
CTA Controller Wei Pan
and Beau Brown
The California Casualty CARES Committee also gave $20,000 to the CTA Disaster Relief Fund. The funds will help provide financial assistance to CTA members who have experienced significant losses due to the fires in California.
We also learned that Paradise Intermediate School (PINT) was one of eight schools in the Paradise area that were either destroyed or too damaged to hold classes. The staff (35 of whom lost homes in the fire) was forced to find a temporary facility, 20 miles away in a vacant hardware store in Chico.
Christy Forward (left) celebrating with Reiner Light, Camp Fire Education Administrator; Kat Kennedy, PINT teacher; PINT Principal Cris Dunlap; Larry Johnson, PINT Co-Principal
Knowing the emotional roller coaster that the administrators, teachers and employees have endured, our Field Marketing Manager Christy Forward, who spent hours helping people while the fire raged, arranged to give PINT a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover to make their days at school a little more soothing and relaxed.
The gift was announced January 17, and Principal Cris Dunlap (who lost her home) was moved to tears as she said, “We’ve focused so much on giving students a learning space and place to be with their teachers and friends. As educators, we put others ahead of ourselves. It’s so nice that California Casualty recognizes the valor of our teachers and everything they are doing to be there for our kids and to keep the district going.”
The finished makeover should be revealed later this month and will be relocated to the school in Paradise once repairs are finished.
Roxanne Dean and Beau Brown presenting CARES Check to Kevin Michelson, CPOMF President
Meanwhile, California Casualty continued our decades-long support of the men and women who wear a badge and uniform in California. In January, the California Casualty CARES Committee presented a $15,000 check to benefit the California Peace Officer’s Memorial Foundation (CPOMF) scholarship fund, which is available to family members of California peace officers who have died in the line of duty.
“As a child who lost her father in the line of duty, I am very thankful for the foundation to help me in continuing my education,” wrote one recipient. “I deeply appreciate your support towards the fallen officers and supporting their families, and I promise you I will work very hard and give back to others when I have completed my student teaching.”
“I take pride in being part of your foundation and am grateful to your contribution to my schooling,” wrote another.
CPOMF also funds and organizes the California Peace Officers’ Memorial and the annual commemorative memorial service in May. California Casualty is honored to support such a worthwhile organization that provides so much to the families of fallen officers.
Beau and Award for Teaching Excellence Recipients
One of the most prestigious honors in public education is the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. California Casualty has partnered with the NEA Foundation for many years to present awards. This year, 46 instructors, the most ever, were recognized. Each awardee’s school received $500, and California Casualty CEO, Beau Brown, helped hand out the awards at the NEA Foundation’s annual Excellence in Education Gala in February.
For over two decades, California Casualty has provided $200 Help Your Classroom grants to educators across the country to help purchase supplies or educational materials. Each month, eight recipients are chosen, and we get dozens of thank
you cards every year. Recently, our Washington Sr. Field Marketing Manager, Michelle Hawkins, was able to present the grant to Robin H., in Port Angeles. Robin, who used the funds to purchase a label maker for her school district, said,
California Casualty Sr. Field Marketing Manager Michelle Hawkins with Help Your Classroom recipient Robin H.
“Every year the district orders supplies to stock up for the entire school year. I was able to contribute to our supply closet. It was very fun to win.”
We are proud of the support we give to the groups to which you belong.
See some of the ways California Casualty gives back to the groups we partner with at www.calcas.com/newsroom.
California Casualty has a long-held tradition of recognizing and celebrating the charitable act of giving. In fact, our company’s two highest achievements – the Carl G. Brown, Jr. Award of Excellence and the PRIDE in the Code Award – are based on how individuals give to others.
As we celebrate our 105th year, we are proud of the support we’ve provided to the affinity groups you belong to, giving back in ways that made a difference for you and the people you work with.
In 2018, we gave almost $700,000 in grants, donations, awards and sponsorships that directly benefited fire victims, aided first responder and law enforcement families, recognized school and educator achievement, thanked nurses for their caring, and helped prevent teen distracted driving.
Some of the highlights included:
- $83,000 in Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants, benefiting high school and middle school sports programs
Plains High, MT Athletics Grant
- $76,000 in California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence grants, in conjunction with the NEA Foundation
- $39,500 to relief funds that assisted educators, law enforcement officers and firefighters whose homes or apartments suffered damage or were destroyed in California fires
- $40,000 as part of a commitment to Impact Teen Drivers and the Create Real Impact program to end distracted teen driving
- $21,600 in Help Your Classroom grants to assist educators in funding classroom materials and projects
- $25,000 in the “Wherever Your Journey Takes You…We’ll Be There” sweepstakes, with the NEA and NEA affiliates, to promote having enough insurance coverage
- $15,300 in Music and Arts Grants
- $8,850 in Work Hard/Play Hard first responder awards
- $4,000 in Nurse’s Night Out thank you grants
Vicki Rodgers, CTA Member Benefits, receiving California Casualty’s CTA Disaster Relief Fund donation from Field Marketing Manager Norma Alfaro
Many of you may have also experienced the dedication of our Partner Relations Field Team, who presented at benefit fairs, volunteered at fundraisers and in classrooms, attended conventions and worked hand-in-hand with your group leaders explaining the power and value of membership.
One example is our Nebraska and Iowa Field Marketing Manager, Stephanie Whitmore. The executive directors of the state education associations she works with couldn’t say enough about the energy Stephanie possesses and the impressive work she does promoting group membership. They added that Stephanie is one of their best recruiters, and proves to them what a great partner they have in California Casualty.
What you may not be aware of are the countless hours and monetary donations made by our employees each year for youth sports programs, cancer research, the American Heart Association, local food banks, school supplies, holiday giving programs, comfort for homeless pets, and raising and training service animals.
Helping others is part of our DNA. Our CEO, Beau Brown, said, “The American heroes we work with give so much to help others, even in times of adversity, and we feel an obligation to say thanks by giving back in meaningful ways that let them know how grateful we are for all they do.”
See some of the ways California Casualty gives back to the groups we partner with at www.calcas.com/newsroom.
In these trying times, it’s an honor to work with so many who give so much for our communities. California Casualty appreciates all that you do, and our employees and executives are proud to be a part of your everyday lives. From disaster relief to prize giveaways, we are dedicated to making a positive impact for you, your peers and your families.
Knowing the toll the California fires took on the people that we insure, the California Casualty Cares Committee of the Advisory Board wanted to assist the many heroes who helped others at their own peril. California Casualty donated $20,000 to the CTA Disaster Relief Fund to help CTA members who have experienced significant losses due to the disasters in California.
California Casualty is also working with other groups, such as the Police Officers Research Association of California, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, California State University System, and the California State Firefighters’ Association, to give an additional $12,000 in donations from the Cares Committee. These donations supplemented $7,500 given earlier in the year to help with the 2017 fires that struck Sonoma and Ventura Counties.
In an effort to remind insureds to check their policies and make sure they have enough coverage to protect against a disaster, California Casualty initiated “Wherever Your Journey Takes You…We’ll be There” Sweepstakes. Bloomingdale, Illinois 8th grade teacher Kathleen Nikides was the grand prize winner. She was surprised with the $25,000 award November 16 during an assembly at Stratford Middle School.
“I’m still flying high, I can’t believe I won. My husband and I will take some time to figure out what we will do with the money,” she said.
Kathleen found out about the contest from the Illinois Education Association, but never thought she’d win.
Teaching for 35 years, 30 years at Stratford, Kathleen loves advocating for students and helping them reach their full potential. “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I still love every minute of it. It was great that my students were so excited when they learned that I had won.”
Kathleen is the co-president of the Carol Stream Education Association, which is an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association, and is thankful California Casualty supports education associations. “Thanks to member benefit partners like California Casualty, we feel valued, and that value is very appreciated right now,” she said.
More than 52,000 school administrators, instructors and education support professionals shared their journey and entered the contest.
Knowing how hard firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMTs work, and the danger they put themselves in to keep us safe, California Casualty invited first responders to sign up for the “Better Safe Than Sorry” Work Hard/Play Hard contest. Three winners – in California, Colorado and Oregon – will each be receiving a check for $2,250, to purchase the Liberty Safe of their choice, that they can fill with a collection of provided 5.11 tactical gear – a total prize value of $2,950. We’ll share who the winners are in the next California Casualty Connection.
In an effort to reduce tragic driving deaths and injuries, a total of $12,000 was recently awarded in the Fall Create Real Impact contest, sponsored by California Casualty and Impact Teen Drivers. The Create Real Impact contest encourages the creative efforts of youth ages 14-22 to prevent distracted driving – the number one killer of teens in the U.S.
Grand prizes were awarded for best video, writing, music and art submissions, and to schools that had the most entries. Create Real Impact is one of the many initiatives employed by Impact Teen Drivers to combat dangerous inattentive driving. Your kids, or students at your school, can learn more and enter the 2019 spring contest at www.createrealimpact.com.
TAKEAWAY: Learn more about California Casualty’s commitment to the groups we serve at https://mycalcas.com/community/, and share your pictures and stories about the men and women who make a difference for our communities at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.
California Casualty’s 9/11 Red Rocks Stair Climb Team
It’s hard to describe the emotions of being part of the thousands who turned out to honor first responders on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in New York. If you were lucky enough to be a participant, you know the mix of sadness, pride, and amazement that comes with each step at one of the many stair climbs held across the country. California Casualty helped sponsor a half-dozen memorial climbs, from California to Colorado and Ohio to Maryland.
We were honored to join firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement officers and medical professionals to remember the heroes who gave their lives to save others, and to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and its mission of providing emotional and financial help to the families of fallen firefighters. Students and teachers from various schools also attended, learning about the terrible events that day.
California Casualty’s Debbie Harris and Lorelei Seip at the Yellow Springs, OH, Stair Climb
Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief, Colin Altman, who organized the 150-person climb in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was grateful for California Casualty’s help and presence. “Your field team not only provided snacks and bottled water, but they were supportive and wonderful, making a difference cheering people on,” he said. Chief Altman feels it’s important to teach young people who were born after 2001 about the impact of that day, and not to forget the heroism exhibited by first responders.
California Casualty feels a responsibility to the brave men and women who risk their lives to make our communities safer every day. Following another disastrous California fire season, in early September we donated $2,500 to the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) Police Officers Relief and Education Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund. The fund assists law enforcement members whose homes were damaged or destroyed by wildfire, often while they were working to protect others during the firestorm.
California Casualty’s Jana Charles and Roxanne Dean presenting a donation to PORAC Insurance Benefits Trustees
And in May, California Casualty also had the privilege of participating in two important law enforcement memorial weekends. CEO Beau Brown and Vice President for Account Relations Roxanne Dean attended the California Police Officers’ Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento, commemorating six officers who died in the line of duty in 2017. California Casualty provided the blue light pens used at the evening candlelight ceremony, and is a donor to the California Police Officers’ Memorial Foundation scholarship fund, which aids the families of fallen officers. Roxanne is also an advisor to the Memorial Foundation Board and sits on the Fundraising Committee.
Roxanne and Account Relations Manager Alina Fayerman represented California Casualty at the 2018 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and the National Association of Police Organization’s TOP COP Awards, held in the Nation’s Capital. The TOP COP Awards highlight the heroic actions of law enforcers and honors those who lost their lives in the line of duty. While everyone who attended felt moved by the events, Alina summed it up best: “It struck me that our protectors need protecting and their families need our love and support.”
California Casualty has partnered with law enforcement associations for almost 50 years and firefighter organizations for 45 years, and we appreciate their service and sacrifices.
Learn more about California Casualty’s commitment to first responders at https://mycalcas.com, and share your pictures and stories about the men and women who wear a badge at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.
It’s been quite a year for educators. California Casualty is glad to celebrate the progress made despite challenging times.
Once again, we had a great opportunity to meet with the delegates at the annual NEA Representative Assembly (NEA RA), held this July in Minneapolis, and explain the benefits of the NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program provided by California Casualty.
Gathering with 6,000 representatives from around the country is always inspiring. The passion for students and public schools always impresses us. It’s wonderful to reconnect with old friends (many of whom are longtime policyholders) and get introduced to new ones, sharing the importance of membership to an organization like the NEA that fights for the rights of teachers and education support professionals.
Brian Goodman, Assistant Vice President of Field Relations, was working feverishly to catch up with as many NEA members as he could. “The NEA RA is really a remarkable event. It is rewarding to see our genuine leadership connections from across the country and get a chance to interact with 6,000 NEA leaders at one location,” he said.
California Casualty Senior Vice President Doug Goldberg concurs. “This year, the passion and energy at the RA was palpable, understandably with all of the external pressures facing public education,” he said.
Assistant Vice President Lisa Almeida added, “In my 13 years attending the Assembly, this was the best ever. Meeting with NEA leaders from across the country and hearing about their positive interactions with California Casualty and their local Field Marketing Managers is so gratifying.”
Doug said that NEA members took notice of the value and attention they receive from California Casualty. “We learned over handshakes and hugs with our friends and customers how much they appreciate the NEA, NEA Member Benefits and partners like California Casualty. In one example, a past NEA president sought us out to say he’d be switching over soon. The presidents of a couple states’ two largest locals also came to thank us for our local representation.”
Field Relations Vice President Debbie Harris summed it up with, “We often hear praise from delegates about our local reps from their states. They see us as friends and partners. Those relationships are priceless.”
We love hearing your California Casualty stories. Share them at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty, or tell your colleagues and family about our exceptional service and have them visit www.calcas.com to learn more about what we do and how we serve you.
May was a busy month for California Casualty as we celebrated the numerous appreciation days honoring you and all of the amazing things that you do. Our Partner Relations team was extra busy stopping by your various locations to say thanks. They loved sharing stories, seeing your smiles and showing how much we appreciate what you and your fellow educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders, EMTs, nurses and NPs do for our communities.
In recognition of May as Safe Driving Month, California Casualty was proud to sponsor and congratulate the recipients of more than $12,000 in grants given in the Spring 2018 Create Real Impact contest. Twice a year, students ages 14-22 are encouraged to submit essays or poems, artwork, videos, and music to address the critical teen distracted driving danger.
As the Presenting Sponsor of the California School Recognition Program, California Casualty is proud to make possible the events that honor the 2018 California Teachers of the Year, Classified Employees of the year, and the public schools named as Distinguished Schools.
From the many years that we have been visiting classrooms and listening to educators, we’ve learned that every person or school that is recognized represents dozens more that are doing great things for students, staff and their communities. Members of our organization joined Minnie and Mickey at the gala celebrating the 287 elementary schools named 2018 Distinguished Schools.
California Casualty is also celebrating the four Washington schools named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The schools demonstrated how they reduced environmental impacts, improved health and wellness of students and staff and provided education on the environment incorporating STEM curriculum. California Casualty is proud to be the Local Sponsor, supporting future environmentalists with financial help, and presenting a special award to each of the schools.
California Casualty is always impressed when we get a chance to honor you and support the many groups that you belong to.
TAKEAWAY: Learn more about the many ways California Casualty gives back to the individuals and groups we serve by visiting www.calcas.com/newsroom.
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