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Medical Mutual of Ohio makes largest single gift in community foundation's 56-year history

 John T. Petures Jr., Jared Chaney, and Michael A. Sweeney
ACF President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. holds the $5 million check presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio's Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Jared Chaney (center) to ACF board chair Michael A. Sweeney (left) during the board's Feb. 24 board meeting.

AKRON, Ohio (Feb. 24, 2012) – Jared Chaney, chief marketing and communications officer of Medical Mutual of Ohio, presented a $5 million check to Akron Community Foundation Chair Michael A. Sweeney at the foundation’s quarterly board meeting this morning. The gift is the largest in the community foundation’s history. With it, the company established the Medical Mutual Community Investment Fund, a corporate-advised fund that will be the company’s charitable arm in the Akron area, where it will break ground on a new office later this year. (Watch video of the check presentation.)

According to Chaney, the main reason Medical Mutual established the fund is Akron Community Foundation’s ability to gauge the needs and emerging issues of greater Akron: “You have your finger on the pulse of this community,” he said. “Working with Akron Community Foundation gives us a partner who understands local issues and who can help us use our charitable dollars to maintain a vital, healthy community for our policyholders.”

This fund is the first of several charitable funds Medical Mutual plans to establish at community foundations across Ohio. As a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders, Medical Mutual is a strong supporter of nonprofit causes that improve life in its customers’ communities, Chaney said. “Our first responsibility is to our policyholders. Part of that is meeting the charitable needs in the communities where they live,” he told the board.

In addition to Chaney, the fund’s advisory committee will consist of President and CEO Rick Chiricosta, Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President Pat Dugan, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Jancsy. They will meet periodically with community foundation staff to recommend grants that support a broad range of programs in Summit County.

Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. said he is “thrilled” to be partnering with Medical Mutual to make greater Akron “a more vibrant community.” He said he views the partnership as a model of how community foundations can work with charitable people of all kinds, be they individuals or organizations.

“Akron Community Foundation exists to help charitable people make a permanent commitment to the good of the community – whatever ‘good of the community’ is to them,” Petures said. “Our goal is to enhance people’s philanthropy by making it less cumbersome and more strategic: from handling gift acknowledgments and tax reporting, to offering grant-making options that match donors’ charitable intent. We are excited to be partnering with this great organization, and we can’t wait to work together to improve Summit County’s quality of life.” (Listen to Petures' interview with WAKR's Ray Horner.)

The foundation’s largest previous gift of $4.74 million came in 1994 from the John A. McAlonan Trust, which established the John A. McAlonan Fund. Since then, the fund has made $5.1 million in grants and grown to $9.5 million in assets, nearly entirely from its initial gift.

About Medical Mutual of Ohio
A trusted insurer for more than 75 years, Medical Mutual of Ohio is the oldest and largest health insurance company headquartered in the state of Ohio and its Family of Companies has operations in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina. As a mutual company, Medical Mutual operates for the benefit of its members without being required to meet the demands of stockholders or Wall Street analysts. Instead, the company focuses on developing products and services that allow it to better serve its customers and communities. Visit us at: medmutual.com.

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating more than 56 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a $135 million philanthropic endowment with a growing family of 400 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life.

To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded a combined $94 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own fund, call Laura Fink at 330-376-8522.