(Photo collage by Chris Nicholls)

With the holiday season in full swing, Investment Advisor asked broker-dealers and financial advisors to describe how they have donated time and other resources over their careers.

Reading through these vignettes, we have been touched by the generosity of organizations and individuals and impressed by the incredible variety of their non-profit partners. Here two of the 14 stories we received from broker-dealers and advisors.

We also found that this charitable work encompasses local endeavors, as well as worldwide activities that raise the quality of life in countries like Ghana, Haiti and Tanzania. Some industry professionals have gone so far as to “adopt” adaptive athletes and hike Mount Kilimanjaro with them!

These efforts are deeply personal, in many cases, with volunteers saying they are moved to work with existing causes or to start their own charities to address the needs of family members or others facing similar challenges.

This sampling — and it truly is a sampling — speaks to the generosity of spirit that runs throughout the advisory world. And though we could showcase just a limited number of good deeds, this coverage is meant to illustrate the powerful impact financial professions have in their communities. We hope it serves as motivation for more such efforts to come.

Here is part 1 of 5 highlighting two of the 14 stories Investment Advisor magazine received from broker-dealers and advisors.

Advisor Group

FSC Securities CEO Derek Burke and his son Stephen.

For more than 10 years, Derek Burke, CEO and president of FSC Securities, an Advisor Group broker-dealer, has supported and been involved with Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey, a non-profit “dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and other special needs,” said Burke.

Burke’s son was born with cerebral palsy and has been a student of CPNJ for 10 years. “[CPNJ supports] personal growth, independence and participation in the community.”

The organization was founded in 1953 by parents of children with cerebral palsy, Burke explained. Today, it is a $36 million organization with more than 800 staff at 19 program sites serving more than 1,500 infants, children and adults with disabilities.

“The staff and volunteers at CPNJ are incredible [and] help people of all ages who are less able to maximize their potential throughout the course of their lives,” he said. “The staff and students are truly inspirational and help me recognize and prioritize the things that are truly important in life.”

Joseph Curatolo and wife Kathy (far right) meet with Candace S. Johnson, Ph.D., president & CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center after the 2018 Ride for Roswell. The Curatolo’s team, Kids Just Want To Have Fun, raised $180,000 at the event to help enhance the quality of life for kids undergoing cancer treatment at the center.

For 25 years, Joseph Curatolo, president of Georgetown Capital Group (affiliated with Advisor Group’s Royal Alliance), has focused on fundraising for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in his community of Buffalo, New York.

“More than 40 years ago, my wife Kathy was successfully treated at the facility,” shared Curatolo. “So we started raising money and were just honored as one of their top 10 fundraisers over the last 20 years.”

He continued: “Our fundraising has also evolved to create programs that enhance the lives of childhood cancer patients at Roswell. It is greatly satisfying to see the struggles of these patients made a little easier because of our efforts.”

 

American Portfolios

American Portfolios CEO Lon T. Dolber at Mount Kilimanjaro with World T.E.A.M. adaptive athletes in 2007.

American Portfolios Financial Services CEO Lon T. Dolber has been involved with the World T.E.A.M. (WT) since 2007 and with The Center for Discovery for almost a decade. These experiences have changed him.

“Before WT and The Center, my point of view was not uncommon — prone to noticing differences or limitations of people I encountered,” he said. “I was transformed during a WT event assisting seven adaptive athletes climb Mount Kilimanjaro. As a result, I saw a reflection of myself in them. Everyone touching WT and The Center comes away changed … for the better.”

Dolber presents an award medal to an adaptive athlete from the Center for Discovery at a World T.E.A.M. Adventure Team Challenge closing ceremony.

In addition to donating effort and time, American Portfolios has a five-year commitment to fund Assistive Technology Laboratory, which is run by The Center on its campus in Harris, New York, and makes it possible to develop “cutting-edge technology that will better the lives of physically and developmentally disabled residents at the Center and beyond,” Dolber adds.

Next year, AP will be the presenting sponsor of the WT’s 2019 Face of America Bike Ride, which is a 110-mile cycling challenge from Arlington, Virginia, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Participants of the ride will include “adaptive” military veterans, meaning individuals who live with the loss of a limb or limbs, paralysis, blindness, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

American Portfolios affiliated financial advisor William Donahue and WWII veteran Charlie Elwertowski in Washington D.C., during an Honor Flight Long Island event.

William Donahue, an affiliated investment professional of American Portfolios based in Holbrook, New York, cherishes the country’s veterans by participating with and being a board member of Honor Flight Long Island, a local chapter of the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization that escorts U.S. veterans to Washington, D.C., war memorials free of charge.

After visiting the war memorials, Donahue said, “The veterans are welcomed home by a committee consisting of 500 people, including an honor guard, bagpipers, Girl Scout/Boy Scout Troops and local citizens who are there to show appreciation for their service and sacrifices.”

Donahue has been involved with Honor Flight since 2011. “Being a guardian is an immeasurable feeling; I’ve participated in 18 flights thus far — two each year,” he explained. “Knowing that after an event, each veteran goes to bed having been thanked by people of multiple generations for their brave service to our country is such a great feeling.”

— Check out Investment Advisor magazine’s other Giving & Getting Back stories.

Ginger Szala is executive managing editor of Investment Advisor. She can be reached at gszala@alm.com. Janet Levaux is editor-in-chief of Investment Advisor. She can be reached at jlevaux@alm.com.