For children in under-resourced neighborhoods, back-to-school season can be a bittersweet time. They gain access to school resources, but often miss out on opportunities to participate in after-school programs including sports and clubs. A recent event hosted by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Midwest Division aimed to address this issue.
The eleventh annual Blazing the Trail Benefit gathered over 350 attendees in Chicago to raise more than $510,000 to help those in need in the Midwest region. Proceeds from the event went to the IICF Midwest Community Grants program, a fund designed to assist and give back to local nonprofits and their surrounding communities. Two Community Grant recipients were featured at the event, recognized for their work in helping children in underserved communities. By the Hand serves children living in under-resourced neighborhoods with after-school programming, and Intentional Sports, a community partner of By the Hand, is building a professional-level facility for sports, education and wellness to close the opportunity gap for westside youth in Chicago.
The Blazing the Trail Benefit event also celebrated the Midwest insurance industry’s commitment to philanthropy and honored the founding companies of the Chicago Apprentice Network. Accenture, Aon and Zurich were honored for their innovative work with the Chicago Apprentice Network, a group dedicated to increasing awareness of apprenticeship opportunities and assisting businesses in building their own programs. Since its inception in 2017, the Chicago Apprentice Network has grown from the three founding companies to 75 participating companies across various industries.
The IICF Midwest Division is one of five divisions throughout the US and UK that make up the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. Since 1994, IICF has granted a total of $42 million to benefit nonprofit organizations globally.
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