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Children's Free Care Fund

Supporting our communities
Howard Hanna's company-wide ‘ChooChoo ChowChow’ campaign has been raising money for children’s free care funds and associated programs/activities since 1988.  Free care funds at children's hospitals provide medical care to all children regardless of insurance or the family's ability to pay or for cutting edge care that insurance may not cover.

Thanks to all who attended and supported our 'Chow Chow' events last year, we raised $936,664, our most ever!  To date, more than $10 million has been donated to children's hospitals and associated programs/activities in the communities where we do business from the Howard Hanna Children's Free Care Fund.

Sales associates, managers and staff, along with the Hanna family, work tirelessly to hold fun, festive and creative Chow Chow events year after year.  What began as 'pot-luck' luncheons in our neighborhood offices is now mostly evening and weekend events at country clubs, restaurants, sports stadiums, wineries and even golf courses.   Chow Chow events were traditionally held around the holidays but that has changed too with events beginning in the spring with golf outings, to summer pool parties to fall wine tastings and tailgate parties.  However, the mission and vision are always the same - to give time and resources to help bring a better quality of life to those less fortunate.  And to raise the most money possible and to exceed last year!  With your help we CAN do it!

Support your local Howard Hanna office and their 2015 Chow Chow with donations both big and small; sponsorships, both big and small; goods or services for auctions; gift cards or certificates; food or beverages; whatever you can give will help limit their event expenses and in turn, provide you and your business with additional marketing.  In advance, we can't thank you enough.

Call your local office for information on their 2015 Chow Chow or follow us on Facebook as Howard Hanna Children's Free Care Fund or contact the corporate office at (412)784-3816 or email ddonahue@howardhanna.com

The Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fund is a registered non-profit 501(c) (3) and a receipt will be provided for all donations.

Howard Hanna partners with eleven children’s hospitals in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Hershey Medical Center, Pinnacle Health (Harrisburg), Hamot Medical Center (Erie), Shriner’s Children’s Hospital of Erie, University Hospital Rainbow Babies (Cleveland), Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, MetroHealth (Cleveland), Akron Children’s Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Ann Arbor) and Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus).

What is a Chow Chow you ask?

Here is a short history…
In 1988, CEO Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III was asked by the Old Newsboys (Pittsburgh Press) to raise money for their organization by placing collection cans in all Howard Hanna offices during the holiday season. As Hoddy would visit the offices, he would always shake the cans to see how the collection was going. Unfortunately, he kept noticing that the cans were pretty much empty…and unfortunately that year, the company raised only a couple hundred dollars.
The next year, Cathy Winghart, Vice President and Manager of our Wexford office (
Relocation Director at the time) suggested to Hoddy that the company's corporate office do a “covered dish” holiday luncheon as a fundraiser.  Everyone was asked to bring a homemade dish and invite all of their clients, friends, neighbors, family, etc. to attend. As most people were usually spending $5 to go out for lunch, the donation to attend Howard Hanna’s holiday luncheon would also be $5.

The luncheon was a huge success and the company raised much more money that year!
So the next year (and every year since), all Howard Hanna offices held holiday buffet luncheons called Chow Chows with the proceeds going to the children's free care funds. 

Now a name was needed for these successful luncheons. Then Marketing Director Lynn Hecklinger suggested calling them “Chow Chows” to go along with the Howard Hanna “Choo Choo” (train) that went from  office to office for each luncheon.

...and that is how Howard Hanna’s fun, fundraising events got their name!

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