Possible Dreams Come True at Dana Farber’s “Jimmy Fund Fenway Fantasy Day”

Fenway Park: Ted Williams Jimmy Fund Statue

Image by wallyg via Flickr

 

Eradicating cancer in our lifetime is a possible dream for the many supporters  of the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana Farber Institute.  The Jimmy Fund supports the fight against cancer by helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Since 1948, thousands of events, coupled with the generosity of millions of people, have helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives by furthering cancer research and care at Dana-Farber

One of these events “Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day ” was held this past Sunday at Fenway Park.  I had the honor of serving as a volunteer at the event as thousands of fans contributed to  benefit the Jimmy Fund.  These supporters earned chances to hit from home plate, run the bases, field balls off the Green Monster and many other activities. Many children undergoing treatment at Dana Farber also participated bringing tears to the eyes of onlookers. 

I also had a chance to realize a possible dream of my own during my volunteer stint at Yawkey Way.  Call it weird but I always thought  it would be fun to work as a Red Sox vendor of some sort…for one game. Don’t get me wrong,  I’ll keep my day job. Much to my amazement after the volunteer staff convened, I was selected from the dozens of volunteers to hawk tickets at the corner of Ipswich and Van Ness to suspecting and unsuspecting tourists. Game on! I was ready for the challenge. Standing in record breaking heat, I worked the corner as well as any scalper- only my cause is truly legitimate. Dozens of tourists  disembarked the double stacked tour buses and my work began marketing the Fantasy Day event to tourists from Houston, Hong Kong and Russia. Next up- wayward parents stopped by the Fenway area after settling their college freshman at nearby dorms  and they too were easily swayed to join in the fun and support the cause. Despite the 90 degree shadeless conditions, it was a win-win for all involved. 

The Jimmy Fund started in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England and the Boston Braves baseball team joined forces to help a 12-year-old cancer patient  dubbed “Jimmy” to protect his privacy. Einar “Jimmy”  Gustafson longed for a television set so he could watch his favorite baseball team — the Boston Braves. He was selected to speak on a national radio program, “Truth or Consequences,” in 1948, which was broadcast from the boy’s hospital room. During the broadcast, the host spoke to the young cancer patient from his Hollywood studio as Braves players crowded into Jimmy’s hospital room in Boston. The show ended with a plea for listeners to send donations so Jimmy could get his TV set. Not only did Jimmy get his wish, but more than $200,000 was collected in one year to support  cancer research conducted by Dr. Sydney Farber. The Jimmy Fund was born. 

The ” 2010 Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day” was a great success with hundreds of thousands raised for the cause. Dreams did come true in the process for all those batters, fielders and also for myself- the Yawkey Way scalper- for the day. 

Kasey McCarthy, CPCU
Andrew G. Gordon, Inc.  

For relevant and topical insurance information as well as risk management solutions, visit us at our website, www.agordon.com

  

OUI – A Cautionary Tale

As you may have read from previous posts, I’m about to enter my senior year of high school, something that I am both excited and apprehensive about. On one hand, I can already tell from this summer that senior year is going to be a ton of fun and/or a rip-roaring good time. However, I also realize that the lengthy college application process and AP exams will temper the fun with an experience similar to belly-flopping into a swimming pool of Jell-o (painful). The college application process in particular will do wonders in helping me achieve spiritual and physical separation from my money and free time.  But that’s all in the near future. Right now it’s the end of summer, and the respite from the world of sleep deprivation and #2 pencils has been a welcome change.

So if life’s so peachy, why the title? Well, I’d like to talk about something close to home that occurred recently. About a week ago, three teens crashed an SUV into a utility pole a few miles from where I live. The driver lost control of the car, which rolled over after impact, ejecting one of the three passengers. The driver was trapped in the car, but otherwise fine; the front seat passenger was ejected from the car, but miraculously suffered only minor abrasions; the passenger in the backseat suffered serious injury and was moved to intensive care, where he is now recovering. The driver of the car is currently facing OUI charges.   

This is just one accident in a string of OUI incidents to occur in the town where I live, one involving a death of a passenger about a year ago. What made this one personal for me was that I go to school with the kids in the car. They’re in my graduating class; I sat next to one in Latin, and I played baseball in 8th grade with the passenger who was injured. It’s heartwarming to see the response and support my peers have given to the injured passenger and his family, and I think that closeness says more about our town than the accident did. There will always be mistakes in everyone’s life, but the ability of a community to support one another through them is always more important.

Risky behavior is a dilemma that no amount of police money or lack of personal insurance will solve. In the past week I have heard everything from sympathy to outright condemnation of the accident. For me though, the incident is a lesson in mortality and fragility. As a teen, you think that you are invincible, that nothing can go wrong, and in the comfortable surroundings of a small town you’ve spent years in, that isn’t a hard notion to conceive. But the fact is that we are all mortal, we are all fragile, and tragedies strike when we forget that.

Corbin F.

www.agordon.com

Hiking and Risk Assessment

hiking way - escursionisti

Image via Wikipedia

 

I recently hiked a stretch of the Appalachian Trail  in Maine known as the “100 Mile Wilderness” with my two sons; and even being literally days from the office, and days from cell coverage or other reminders of “civilization”, I had an epiphany about personal risk. 

While insurance and public safety measures are importants tool for reducing the effects of risk on our personal lives, it does change our everyday assessment of the risk we are all willing to bear. 

When you’re miles from any kind of help descending a trail littered with boulders, roots, and deadfall trees, every single step is deliberate and cautious.  The risk of losing your footing – anywhere on the trail – carries dire consequences.  A compound fracture coud be life threatening; even a mild sprain could mean you have to lay off your pack with a week of food, clothing and shelter to your two companions (assuming you’re traveling with companions).  

Back here in civilization, we go to great lengths to minimize risk to the public when they pass by or into our office.  The sidewalk is repaired each spring after winter’s snowplow damage; concrete filled steel posts are anchored in the sidewalk to protect us from vehicles parked outside; we have non-slip rugs; and have moved our commercial operation to our basement to provide a conference room for customer privacy.  All these are good steps for providing a safe and hopefully risk-free environment to the public.   But it changes our personal assessment of risk 

The downside of this is in how it changes some people’s perception of real risks.  We talk of “risky behavior” by teens when they drink and drive, or take drugs: the only risk they may perceive is getting caught by their parents or the police and losing driving privileges.  They’ve been so insulated from “the trail” that my sons and I walked on, that they risk their lives and the lives of people with them and around them when they speed down a residential street drunk and high.  

We all make risk assessments in so many decisions; and reducing risk in all public places allows us to carry-on and focus on things important to us.  But occasionally, a walk in the woods where the environment hasn’t been safety sanitized, can be a good re-set for our perception of the world. 

Our journal appears at http://gordon100wild.wordpress.com/ 

Geoff Gordon 

www.agordon.com 

Linseed Oil is Hot Stuff

Linseed oil

Image via Wikipedia

 

Ever wonder about horror movie special effects where an object suddenly bursts into flames without any likely cause? Look around the movie set and there is no electrical short, match, flame or spark to set the object ablaze.  You may have witnessed a phenomenon called  spontaneous combustion.   

One of our insurance agency customers learned about this phenomenon firsthand  after cleaning her antique pumpkin pine floors with linseed oil. She placed the rags in her washing machine. The insured walked away for only a few minutes before turning on the machine when suddenly the rags combusted and began melting the inside drum of the washer. The fire department responded within minutes and the homeowner only incurred very minor smoke damage to her million dollar home.  

There was a very happy ending to this story but it brings an awareness to the dangers of linseed oil and other oils used to finish wood. Heat  is generated during the drying process for these oils. This is because the oils do not dry like paint through the evaporation of a solvent or water. Linseed and other oils dry through the same process that generates fire- oxidation. There must be enough heat in order for spontaneous combustion to occur. That’s why you won’t see a recently finished table spontaneously combust from linseed oil treatment because the chair is open to the air.  

  

Linseed oil soaked rags pose the biggest risk for spontaneous combustion. The rags act as an insulator as the oil oxidizes. This allows the oxidizing oil to become hot enough to cause the rags to smoke and eventually ignite.  Also,  the bigger the pile of rags then the greater the risk of sudden combustion. Room temperature is also a factor.  Rags reach ignition temperature quicker in warmer rooms.  

Have no fear home improvement enthusiasts- there is a way to safely dispose of rags soaked with linseed or other oils to finish wood. These cloths should either be burned immediately following use or stored in a metal container filled with water and a metal lid to be disposed as hazardous waste.  

For more topical, relevant insurance information, risk management resources, or to get a quote from us, visit our website.  

   

Kasey McCarthy, CPCU  

A. G. Gordon, Inc.  

Just Some Insurance Humor

An insured called her auto carrier to report an accident.  She was very distraught as it was her first accident and she insisted that it was caused by the other driver.  While providing her company with the details of the incident, she was asked by the claim representative to provide her plate number.  She indicated that it was 123NMF.  The claim rep repeated it back to her as 123 N as in Nancy, M as in Mary, and F as in Francis.  The insured responded, no it is 123 N as in Not, M as in My, F as in Fault!

Donna M. Bellavance
A.G. Gordon, Inc.

For topical and relevant insurance resources, or to get a quote, visit our webpage www.agordon.com.

Moving Into Fall

Some Things to keep in mind moving into fall. At A. G. Gordon, Inc. we wish everyone a peaceful and safe seasonal transition.

Grill Safety:  With Summer winding down, everyone is trying to get in as many cookouts as possible before the weather gets cooler.  Be sure to check your propane tank to be sure you have enough to last – nothing more frustrating than to run ‘out of gas’ in the middle of a meal!  Also be sure to watch children around the grill – smaller kids don’t understand the danger of burning themselves. 

It’s Back to School time!  Be sure to be on the lookout for kids waiting for the school bus.  And most importantly – be aware that school buses make frequent stops!  Be sure to stop not only behind the school bus, but also in front of it.  Kids will be entering and exiting – let’s keep them safe!

Summer is over and what a wonderful one it has been.  With Fall in the air, now is the time to do those all important home checkups.  Have you had your furnace cleaned for the upcoming heating season?  Covered the Air Conditioner unit?  Checked the roof and windows to be sure all are secure?  Winterized the lawn mower?  Covered the pool? Click here for our Homeowner’s Checklist to complete.

Moving into Fall, it’s been easy to forget some of the important things like health checkups, etc.  Before the colder weather comes, why not schedule an appointment for a physical?  How about a dental checkup?  And why not schedule time with your physician for those all-important flu shots?  Then relax and enjoy all the upcoming holidays!

Sandi Cornell
Ratings Expert, A. G. Gordon, Inc.

And for more insurance information, resources, and to get a quote, visit our website, www.agordon.com.

Home Project Snowballs

A true story from the life of an agent on staff:

We were looking forward to replacing our exterior door and because it seemed manageable, planned on doing it ourselves.  In retrospect, it was probably a mistake.  My husband removed the door frame including the threshold and we found what we believe are termites and carpenter ants along with the damaged sill and other areas.  At least it seems to be isolated to that small area.   He tore out the affected areas and sprayed with the old toxic chemicals that were on hand.  We made multiple trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot to pick up supplies and more spray to treat the affected areas.  We’re not done yet and as it turns out, we’re replacing the deck now instead of next year so that he has easier access to replace the damaged area.  Unfortunately, our homeowners policy won’t step in either, as there are exclusions for insect damage, wear and tear, deterioration, and other damages that happen over time. 

If you’re more inclined to hire a carpenter than try this kind of project yourself, be sure to ask for a certificate of insurance, showing they have liability and workers compensation insurance.     This should be a minimum “legitimacy” level for any contractor, and is one good way to separate the pros from the amateurs!  For a project like ours, we should have found a pro!

Keep in mind that insect damage is not usually covered under a Homeowners policy:
“Additional Exclusions”. We do not cover, with respect to any property, any loss resulting from, caused by, contributed
to, or aggravated by any of the following:

  1. Wear and tear, marring, or deterioration;
  2. Inherent vice, latent defect, or mechanical breakdown;
  3. Rust or other corrosion, mold, or wet or dry rot;
  4. Contamination, smog, or smoke from agricultural or industrial operations, including smudging;
  5. Settling, shrinking, bulging, or expansion, including resultant cracking, of pavements, patios, foundations, walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, fences, swimming pools, retaining walls, or bulkheads, whether resulting from growth of vegetation or otherwise;
  6. Birds, vermin, animals, rodents, or insects, except that this exclusion does not apply to collapse under Coverages A and B, under which we do not cover loss involving collapse resulting from detectable decay or detectable damage by birds, vermin, animals, rodents, or insects, and that any ensuing loss resulting directly from a Peril Insured Against to property described in Coverages A and B is covered.

 

For more insurance information, as well as topical and relevant resources. Visit our website or recieve an online quote.