The National Insurance Industry Council (NIIC) not only held a successful fundraising campaign in 2007, but a large surprise pledge at the group’s annual gala pushed its fundraising total to $1.6 million.
Members of the NIIC — a business consortium of insurance industry leaders supporting City of Hope — gathered at the November dinner to acknowledge Thomas F. Motamed, vice chair and chief operating officer of The Chubb Corporation, with their 2007 Spirit of Life® Award. More than 500 insurance executives and their guests toasted the NIIC’s annual fundraising total of more than $600,000.
The surprise came when NIIC supporters Tony and Susan Markel pledged an additional $1 million to create the Markel/Friedman Peritoneal Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, bringing the campaign total to $1.6 million. The Markels’ motivation to back City of Hope’s ovarian cancer research is based in part on Sue Markel’s own experience with the disease. The Markels were not present at the gala, but they announced their gift through a video produced for the event.
“Sue and I have been discussing appropriate ways to advance the research into this insidious disease, as well as adequately express our gratitude to Michael [A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of City of Hope] and City of Hope,” said Tony Markel, who received the NIIC’s Spirit of Life Award in 2006.
Paulette Pasciuti, City of Hope senior director of development, noted: “The depth and sincerity of the Markels’ gift left the entire audience awestruck. Given the impressive fundraising record set by the industry in 2007, the entire industry membership should take a bow.”
The council, which includes prominent property and casualty companies in the insurance industry, has raised more than $19 million since its inception in 1978.