Canadian Underwriter

Finding the Silver Lining

May 23, 2014  

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Whether fundraising for cancer research or helping the victims of severe weather, the brokers of Silvercrest Insurance Group are quick to roll up their sleeves and give back to their community. As a Calgary-based, independently owned and operated insurance brokerage with a staff of 10, Silvercrest approaches people and organizations in need with the same care and compassion they show toward family.

“The community we work in is near and dear to our hearts. After all, many of us live here, too,” says Diane Jones, Silvercrest’s vice-president of Sales and Marketing. “Charity work is a fantastic way to create stronger bonds among our staff, the industry and the community. It brings everyone together.”

Silvercrest’s charity work developed organically from pouring time, effort and resources into supporting causes that affected those around it. Just as family members rally around each other during challenging times, the staff at Silvercrest pool their efforts to be there for the community and industry members in need.

“Our Annual Charity Golf Tournament was originally created to raise money for medical research when Sherre Newell, Aviva Calgary’s commercial lines assistant vice-president, was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Right then and there we decided to organize an event that would raise money for the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC). We’re always there to support our close friends and colleagues,” says Jones.

“Our golf tournament is a fantastic way for staff, industry members and the community to come together to make a difference,” says Donna Farrow, administrative assistant, Silvercrest. “I’m one of 20 volunteers who has worked behind the scenes to organize a wonderful event that’s raised more than $32,000 over the past four years.”

But a week before last year’s 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, torrential downpours caused record-breaking flooding in Calgary. “Rain clouds rolled into our surrounding areas and, suddenly, water was everywhere. Houses were flooded and cars were gone,” says Jones. Thankfully, the staff at Silvercrest used the tournament as an opportunity to pull together and help those affected by the flooding.

“We were happy to support our surrounding communities. We used our Annual Charity Golf Tournament as a channel for people to donate clothes, hygiene supplies, blankets, pillows—whatever would help flood victims,” says Jones.

Given the flood’s devastating impact on local residents, Silvercrest decided to split the proceeds of last year’s golf tournament between WICC and flood relief efforts. “Last year’s golf tournament raised $9,050. We donated $4,000 to WICC and the rest was put toward purchasing $100 Costco gift cards for those affected by the flooding in High River. People were grateful we cared so much,” says Jones.

And Silvercrest’s help extended beyond local residents to local businesses—even to competing brokerages without access to their buildings. “Customers need fast service when disaster strikes—whether that comes from us or another brokerage. We were happy to offer our office to other brokers who needed a place to make calls, get work done and make sure customers’ claims were addressed as quickly as possible,” says Jones.

When it comes to charity work, Silvercrest Insurance Group uses family values to guide their contributions. “We’re in the business of helping people,” says Jones. “From our small fundraisers to larger campaigns, we understand the value of giving back and the lasting effect charity has on the people who matter most.”

Copyright 2014 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the April 2014 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.