Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) recently announced it is distributing $125,000 to eligible non-profit organizations through its annual Community Service Awards (CSA) program. Organizations receive a grant based on the volunteer efforts and the commitment of the MassMutual financial professionals who work with them.

This year marks the first time a $25,000 Volunteer of the Year Award will be granted along with 10, $10,000 grants to organizations across the country.

The Volunteer of the Year grant was awarded to Alberto “Tico” Gutierrez of MassMutual’s Miami agency, Linq Financial Group, Inc., for his work with the Switchboard of Miami Inc. The Switchboard is a comprehensive telephone crisis counseling, suicide prevention, information and referral service for Miami-Dade County. The Volunteer of the Year grant is awarded on behalf of a financial professional with an outstanding dedication to volunteerism.

“I am surprised and thrilled. The Switchboard impacts so many people in our community. With cuts to social service programs becoming more commonplace, this is a real boost,” said Gutierrez, adding that Switchboard programming keeps housebound elderly connected with a hotline and works to eradicate domestic violence among other social ills.

MassMutual’s Assistant Vice President of Community Responsibility, Nick Fyntrilakis, said the award matches Gutierrez efforts as an integral volunteer for several years.

“At MassMutual we encourage our financial professionals and employees to volunteer and be active members of their community, but we also want to make a point of acknowledging one professional who goes above and beyond for their community,” he said, noting that Gutierrez was hauling cases of water to a Switchboard golf benefit when he received the news he had won. “We are proud of all our financial professionals who dedicate their time to charitable organizations and are pleased to contribute these funds to assist the many good works of non-profit organizations across the country.”

Each CSA award recognizes the many selfless hours of volunteer time members of MassMutual’s sales force put in during the year to improve their communities. MassMutual has contributed more than $1 million to charitable organizations across the country since the program’s inception in 1996.

The CSA program is just one of many philanthropic programs sponsored by MassMutual in support of non-profit organizations where its financial professionals volunteer. Last year, MassMutual contributed nearly $800,000 in Community Service Award grants and matching gift donations to organizations across the country in honor of its sales force.

The following financial professionals have been awarded grants for their local non-profit organizations:

Alberto Gutierrez, Switchboard of Miami, Inc., Miami; William Haycox Jr., Virginia Gentleman Foundation Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.; David Howell, Autism Society of Middle Tennessee, Nashville; Thomas Hayes, Family Promise of Nassau County, Woodbury, N.Y.; Joseph Sparacio, Breast Treatment Task Force,Woodbury, N.Y.; Jeffrey Dollarhide, Homeward Bound, Phoenix; William Costello, Harbor House of Rochester, Inc.; Rochester, N.Y.; Gerald Radican, Jill’s House, Inc., Vienna, Va.; Ali Barghelame, The Bridge Project/University of Denver, Denver; Ryan Platt, Arc of Mecklenburg County Inc., Charlotte, N.C.; and Jim Chapel, CHOC Foundation, Orange, Calif.

For more information, visit massmutual.com.