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A partnership between Chubb, a national insurance firm, and Snellings Walters, an Atlanta-based insurance agency, has blossomed into a community-wide campaign to help support the search for a cure.

Sometimes business ventures can open doors that lead to unexpected opportunities. That’s the case in Atlanta, where a partnership between a national insurance company and one of its brokers has blossomed into a community-wide campaign to support the search for a cure.

Clay Snellings, whose daughter has CF, is co-owner of the independent, Atlanta-based insurance agency Snellings Walters. He first partnered with Chubb, a national insurance firm, to form a national corporate Great Strides team in 2010.

Now, with help from Chubb Regional Vice President Scot Dalton, Clay and the partners at Snellings Walters are encouraging other insurers in Atlanta to get involved.

“Great Strides is about community and it’s about family. So we thought why not invite other members of Atlanta’s insurance community to get involved?” said Clay, whose firm also acted as the presenting sponsor of the Georgia Chapter’s 2013 Great Strides walks. “We want to encourage our business clients to form teams, make donations and really take advantage of this terrific opportunity.”

Building a Movement

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Insurance companies and their employees raised $150,000 to help support the search for a cure at Great Strides in Atlanta in 2013. Under the leadership of Clay Snellings of Snellings Walters, Atlanta’s insurance community hopes to raise $250,000 through Great Strides in 2014.

Five different insurance companies heeded Clay’s call to join Great Strides this year, and together they raised $150,000 to help support the mission of the CF Foundation. There’s already so much talk among Atlanta’s insurers about next year’s walk that Snellings Walters has set its 2014 fundraising goal at $250,000.

“The partnership between Chubb and Snellings Walters has blossomed into a movement that engages the entire insurance community here in Atlanta,” said Molly Taggart, associate executive director of the Georgia Chapter. “The group is making an incredible impact on CF families in this city and throughout the entire state of Georgia.”

Supporting the Search for a Cure

For Clay, the involvement with Great Strides is about helping to fund life-saving research that could lead to a cure. His daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with CF when she was three months old.

“It’s one of those moments you never forget,” Clay said. “I remember the doctor pulling us aside and saying this is a condition that we’re learning to manage better each and every day. The doctor came to us with a positive attitude and that gave us hope.”

Today, Emily is an active 16-year-old who enjoys playing piano, volleyball and lacrosse. She must complete three hours of breathing treatments each day just to stay healthy.

Clay’s dream is for Emily to graduate from college and have every opportunity to pursue her own dreams.

“Once people learn about the disease and the milestones made by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they really take the cause to heart,” Clay said. “I’ve been overwhelmed by this community’s generosity and willingness to get involved.”