Grinnell Mutual supports Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games

Grinnell Mutual supports Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games

The Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games received a boost this week with a $7,861.64 donation from Grinnell Mutual.

“Grinnell Mutual’s sponsorship helps every athlete that competes,” said Stuart Steffy, Special Olympics Iowa individual giving officer. “They help create a place of inclusion for all, regardless of whether they have intellectual disabilities.”

Funds from Grinnell Mutual and its employees will sponsor the shot put venue at the Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games in Ames, May 19–21. The Games will include  2,600 athletes competing in over 60 events. A team of 65 Grinnell Mutual employees will be part of the 1,900 volunteers who support and cheer on the competitors.

“We impact people’s lives every day in our work at Grinnell Mutual. Through volunteering with Special Olympics, we will also walk away with a meaningful and rewarding volunteer experience and memories to cherish forever,” said Christy Bellinger, Grinnell Mutual claims manager and Emerging Leaders Program class member. 

Grinnell Mutual’s spirit of giving and sense of community impressed Steffy, who also brought Tomi DeGrado, Special Olympics Iowa athlete, to share her experiences.

“Grinnell Mutual is a welcoming community — it feels like one big family,” said Steffy. “We are very proud and grateful to partner with Grinnell Mutual.”

Grinnell Mutual employees gave $5,361.64 through a Penny War competition led by Grinnell Mutual’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), surpassing their $2,500 goal. The company further contributed to employee donations with a $2,500 gift from the Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation.

“Had we worked anywhere else, we may not have reached our goal,” said Adam Moore, Grinnell Mutual direct underwriting auditor and ELP class member. “Because we work with the kindest and most generous coworkers, we were confident that we would be able to give a substantial amount to this important cause.”

Special Olympics Iowa

Special Olympics Iowa unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport. Through programming in sports, health, education, and community building, it changes the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance, and inactivity they face. Special Olympics serves more than 12,000 Iowans with intellectual disabilities and their Unified Sports partners. Learn more at

Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a 16-month leadership program. The third class to participate in the program has seven employees, chosen through a selective application process. This program is designed to build a strong base of leaders at Grinnell Mutual through sessions featuring a variety of leadership theories, practical skills, and team-building exercises. This class will graduate in December 2016.

Photo credit

Members of Grinnell Mutual’s Emerging Leaders Program presented a $7,861.64 donation on behalf of employees and the company to Special Olympics Iowa. (L to R) Paul Boonstra, claims director; Ron Nott, claims director; Adam Moore, direct underwriting auditor; Pam Bryan, underwriting director; Tomi DeGrado, Special Olympics Iowa athlete; Stuart Steffy, Special Olympics Iowa individual giving officer; Christy Bellinger, claims manager; and Dan McCue, digital marketing strategist. Not pictured: Tom Schmidt, mutual services manager.