In order to help the company’s annual United Way donations, Merchants Insurance Group held a “dunk tank” event with company executives as the targets September 30.
The event saw six company executives take part: Bob Zak, president and CEO of Merchants and past Chairman of the Board, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County; Charlie Makey, Senior Vice President, Insurance Operation; Shad McKnight, Senior Vice President, Underwriting, Product and Actuarial; Robert Fagerburg, Vice President, Claims; Peter Balisteri, Chief Information Officer; and Sam LaDuca, Vice President, Product Management and Actuarial. They each took a turn upon the throne of infamy for an opportunity to get “dunked”, for the good cause of raising money.
The company raised almost $2,300 from employees donating to take a chance to “dunk an executive,” and a company match and 50/50 raffle brought the day’s total to more than $3,700.
Coordinated by this year’s Merchants’ United Way team of company employees and spear-headed by company United Way chair Kelly Kompf, this was only one event in many the company has used as a fun way to increase donations. In addition to the standard paycheck deductions, fundraising events include “Weenie Wednesday” cookouts and 50/50 raffles. Future events include “Costume for a Cause,” in which employees can dress up for Halloween if they pay a small fee, and “Taste of Merchants”, a cook-off contest. The company’s participation goal is 66% of employees, and is currently at 78.5% of their financial goal. The appeal runs through late November.
Merchants Insurance Group offers personal and commercial insurance through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents throughout the Northeast and North Central United States. With corporate headquarters and regional operations located in Buffalo, N.Y., Merchants also operates offices in Hauppauge, N.Y.; Mount Laurel, N.J.; and Bedford, N.H.