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Red Cross gets $9,000 from agency, foundation

PARKERSBURG — The American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia received a $9,000 grant from Waters Insurance Agency and Westfield Insurance Foundation to help the Red Cross prevent and respond to home fires and other disasters as part of the Westfield Legacy of Caring program.

As a Horizon designated agency, which represents the top 10 percent of agents, Waters Insurance Agency, owned by the Fanta family, was invited to nominate a local nonprofit for the Legacy of Caring program.

The program invests in communities and helps impact disaster recovery, family stability or safety, and programs that invest in attracting and developing talent to insurance as a career.

The agency was pleased to nominate the American Red Cross for a Safety and Disaster Recovery Grant, Beth Fanta said.

“At Waters Insurance Agency, it is our responsibility to be a good neighbor and do our part to help strengthen the communities we call home,” Ray Fanta said.

“To us, insurance means security and protection from exposures out of our control such as fire, flood and wind. The American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia provides our community with a safety net against those hazards as they serve us every day,”
said Beth Fanta.

The grant was among the largest received by the Red Cross from a private benefactor, said Sharon Kesselring, executive director of the American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia, and Jacob A. Weghorst, regional philanthropy officer.

“This is a very significant gift,” Kesselring said.

With the support from the Westfield Insurance Foundation and Waters Insurance Agency, the Red Cross can increase efforts for home fire safety, she said.

Fires and flooding are the two largest causes of damages in the area, Ray Fanta said.

Westfield Insurance Foundation so far in 2018 donated more than $500,000 to neighborhoods across the country. Waters Insurance Agency is among of 88 agencies in 17 states donating to 95 nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, in the Westfield Legacy of Caring grant program.

“Our agency partners are one of our greatest assets and we appreciate their dedication to their own communities,” said Ed Largent, Westfield president, CEO, board chair and Westfield Insurance Foundation chairman. “Our agents care and work hard to protect our customers, and the Legacy of Caring grant program helps build brighter futures in their own communities.”

Waters Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency at 1023 Garfield Ave. in Parkersburg. Established in 1964, the agency provides home, auto, business, life, disability and health insurance from leading companies.

The Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. The foundation donates more than $3 million each year to charities.