United Way 2019 Gala Breaks Attendance and Fundraising Records

Gala at Doral Arrowwood, on March 14, raises more than $510,000, the largest amount UWWP history

WHITE PLAINS, NY – United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s Wine and Wonder Gala raised the largest amount of money in the history of the organization, drawing 350 people and raising more than $510,000.The gala, which was held on March 14 at Doral Arrowood Conference Center in Rye Brook, honored Ross Buchmueller, President and CEO of Pure Group of Insurance Companies. The lavish evening featured a cocktail hour followed by dinner and entertainment by master illusionist JB Benn, who has performed his magic on multiple television series, including Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as for the Royal Family of Monaco, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.

Proceeds from the event will go towards United Way’s work on early childhood literacy, stabilizing households and serving the urgent needs of the whole community through its 24/7 help line called “2-1-1.”

Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, gave a special tribute to Buchmueller for his many years of support.

“Ross is a deserving honoree who has been a longtime supporter of United Way’s work, both on a personal level and professionally through his company PURE Insurance,’’ said Sweeny. “Just like Ross and Pure, United Way is about planning, preparing and being there when you need them most. Whether it is pulling together government, not-for-profits and business to rebuild lives in the aftermath of a disaster, preparing children for the future, or answering a call for help, United Way is always there for the residents and the community.”

For his part, Buchmueller said he had learned a lot about the mission of the United Way by being part of the organization. He thanked friends and business partners for attending the event and for their generosity in supporting United Way.

“To Alana, the board and the staff of the United Way, I have great respect for the enormous challenges you all face,’’ he said. “I think we know intuitively the impact of third-grade literacy, but we might not know about the proportion of families in our community that have young kids that don’t have a single book. I think we all understand how affluent of our community is, but we may not understand the proportion of single mothers who live below the poverty line.’’

Sweeny thanked all those who had contributed to making the event the most successful in United Way’s history.

“I am grateful for the incredible generosity of the event’s sponsors and attendees, especially our gold sponsors PURE Insurance and Stone Point Capital. The support from the Wine and Wonder, A Magical Evening will truly make a positive difference in people’s lives, right here in our community.”

United Way sponsors included Gold Sponsors: Pure Insurance and Stone Point Capital; Silver Sponsors: KKR & Co. Inc., OneShield Software, PepsiCo Inc., Philip Hadley, and Ropes & Gray, LLP; Bronze Sponsors: AXA XL, Crystal, The Private Client Group Alliant; Eagle Point Credit, Hub International, IBM, KWT Global, Marsh Private Client Services, Marsh & McClennan Agency, M&T Bank, Nephila Advisors; and Table Sponsors: Aon Private Risk Management, Aon Reinsurance Solutions, Broad Glick Brand, CareMount Medical, P.C., Deutsche Bank, Munich Re America, Newmark Knight Frank, Servpro Industries Inc., and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

About the Honoree

Ross Buchmueller is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies, a specialist group of companies dedicated to serving the personal insurance needs of successful families across the United States. Ross’ career spans more than 30 years and has been exclusively focused on the specialized high-net-worth property and casualty insurance market. After spending more than a decade at The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, he founded AIG Private Client Group and served as its president for more than six years before launching PURE in 2006. Ross holds a BA from Trinity College.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam

United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) helps residents who are financially insecure to become self-sufficient and thrive in a stronger community. Our 2-1-1 helpline takes nearly 80,000 calls a year, providing online resources to resolve everything from basic to critical to urgent needs – heating, food, shelter, tax assistance, mortgage questions, childcare, natural disaster and crisis calls. We provide job skills training and financial education to adults. And we help to make sure children are reading on grade level by 3rd grade, a critical marker of academic success and future viability in our society. UWWP partners with governments, businesses, non-profits and community leaders to solve complex problems. We provide capacity building training as well as physical resources to other agencies for their own operation and those in their care. We understand that the community and residents must be interwoven, in a supportive way, to help everyone succeed.