Union Mutual was proudly represented by nearly four dozen employees, independent agency partners, and family members at the Burlington Waterfront for the Penguin Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Vermont on Saturday, March 12, 2022. The Union Mutual Popsicles were the event’s leading fundraiser for the fourth year in a row, with a grand total of over $85,000. The event raised over $500,000 in total.
The team fundraising all-time record was set by Union Mutual in 2020. Since 2016, Union Mutual has raised nearly $370,000 for Special Olympics Vermont through participating in the Penguin Plunge.
“We are truly overwhelmed by and appreciative of all the support we received for the Penguin Plunge this year,” Union Mutual President and CEO Lisa Keysar said. “Our team and our supporters are dedicated to this incredible cause and truly special event, surpassing our fundraising expectations yet again. It continues to be a true testament to the strong relationships and civic-minded spirit of our insurance community.”
At the time of this release, four of the top 10 fundraisers were Union Mutual Popsicles, led by Chief Financial Officer Jen Galfetti and Keysar. The event’s 10th highest fundraiser was Union Mutual employee Jeff Staples, a first-time Plunger.
“Our team of Popsicles gathered Saturday morning, walked united to the waterfront, in the snow and wind and all the time I saw nothing but smiles and expressions of welcomed anticipation,” Staples said. “As we arrived and gathered our groups for the plunge, I felt all anxiety leaving me and much to my surprise I found myself filled with energy and excitement. I was listening to upbeat music, cheering spectators and fellow participants, everyone was clapping and encouraging the groups as they plunged, it was nothing less than amazing!”
Laura Buermann is one of two Union Mutual participants who have taken the Plunge in all seven years the Popsicles have fielded a team.
“It was encouraging to have so many first-time Plungers on the team this year,” Buermann said. “The combination of COVID protocols and dramatic weather made for a memorable day. I’m so proud of our whole Union Mutual team for maintaining our first-place fundraiser status, and I look forward to extending our streak for years to come.”
“The Union Mutual Popsicles team is unstoppable! They demonstrate their commitment to advocating for inclusion in Vermont over and over again,” said Special Olympics Vermont President and CEO, Missy Shea. “This year’s fundraising effort for the 27th annual Penguin Plunge was beyond impressive. Through the leadership of Union Mutual CEO Lisa Keysar, the enthusiasm and skill of her senior management team, and the incredible energy and dedication of so many of the employees, their generosity of both spirit and success is unparalleled. Special Olympics Vermont is deeply grateful.”
Union Mutual is also the proud lead sponsor of the Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games. The Company was the organization’s first Champion for 50 in honor of its 50th year in operation, and its continued partnership has provided support for several key initiatives, including: Athlete Leadership Program, Inclusion through Employment, USA/World Games Sponsorship, Advisory Committees, Employee Volunteers, Virtual Fitness Programming, and more.
The Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge fundraising extends through March 31. For those who haven’t already done so, there is still time to visit www.penguinplunge.org to donate.
Union Mutual of Vermont Companies, founded in 1874, is a property casualty insurance group consisting of Union Mutual Fire Insurance and New England Guaranty Insurance Company Inc., both based in Montpelier, Vermont; and Community Mutual Insurance Company, based in Latham, New York. The three companies write a total of $192 million in direct premiums annually through independent agents throughout New England and New York, and are all rated A (Excellent) with a Stable Outlook by A.M. Best.