ERIE Giving Grants Helped Sponsor Virginia Festivals, Thousands in Attendance

June 19, 2013 – Erie Insurance’s Roanoke, Richmond and Silver Spring branches supported three spring events —  Asian American Chamber of Commerce Gala, Asian American Society of Central Virginia Annual Celebration and the Local Colors Festival.

The support was made possible through the Branch Giving Grants, which is a small part of the overall Erie Insurance Giving Network. The network helps ERIE Employees and Agents serve their communities by supporting events on safety, community building and environmental responsibility.

Asian American Chamber of Commerce Gala

In some areas of Virginia, Asian Americans make up 18 percent of the population. That number is growing quickly, especially in Richmond, where the Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) “Jewels of Asia Gala 2013” took place on April 5.

More than 200 guests gathered to recognize businesses as well as business leaders of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who have made significant contributions to the metropolitan Washington, D.C., business community and economy. ERIE was one of the businesses recognized, receiving the Next Generation Investment Award.

In addition to accepting the Investment Award, Vice President and Roanoke Branch Manager Mark Banks and Richmond Senior District Sales Manager Peter Maercklin presented two $1,000 scholarships to Asian American Chamber of Commerce interns.

Asian American Society of Central Virginia Annual Celebration

Banks also used a Giving Grant to support the Asian American Society of Central Virginia’s (AASCV) 16th Annual Asian American Celebration. Through cultural celebrations and active participation in various community initiatives, AASCV recognizes Asian heritage and promotes cultural diversity in the region.

The Annual Asian American Celebration, held May 4, attracted more than 10,000 people. The festival included cultural exhibits, food, educational games, a children’s parade, workshops and performers. There was also a fashion show featuring Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Kazakhstani, Korean, Malaysian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese styles.

Local Colors Festival

The Roanoke Branch received a Giving Grant to sponsor a festival hosted by Local Colors. Local Colors works to partner with schools, colleges, businesses, neighborhoods and civic organizations to promote diversity and cultural understanding. Throughout the year, the program sponsors cultural sensitivity training, cultural sharing/storytelling, an international fashion show, an international choir, authentic cooking demonstrations and international mini fairs.

Every year in the third week of May, Local Colors hosts a festival that features more than 100 different cultures. This year, ERIE was the exclusive insurance company sponsor of the May 18 event, which celebrated diversity with sharing and learning through music, arts, crafts, parade, food, attire, language and goodwill. The festival attracted between 20,000 to 30,000 people.