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Local firm raises $750,000 for charities

54Freedom CEO Jim Griffin, right, is pictured with friend and author Tom Wolfe, at a previous business function sponsored by Griffin.

54Freedom CEO Jim Griffin, right, is pictured with friend and author Tom Wolfe, at a previous business function sponsored by Griffin.

— 54Freedom, a Cazenovia-based firm founded by long-time resident and insurance executive Jim Griffin, has raised more than $750,000 for charities that are helping to provide important social needs for a variety of often under-served groups, from children with terminal illness to female combat veterans returning home.

54Freedom just received patent approval for its ground-breaking 54Freedom Gift Annuity, that for the first time allows people to donate to smaller charities and utilize the retirement and tax advantages that come with conventional gift annuities. The patented process allows investors to move underperforming or time-sensitive assets nearing maturity into an income-generating annuity and at the same time make a donation to any charity.

Examples of charities that 54Freedom has helped raise more than $750,000 include nationwide organizations like the American Alliance for Disabled Veterans in Miami and The Blind Children’s Center in Los Angeles, as well as groups closer to home, like Creative Healing Connections in Saranac Lake, which helps returning female combat veterans re-integrate into society. In addition to donations made from its first-of-its-kind annuity, 54Freedom also sponsors charitable fundraising events, such as for the Blind Children’s Center at the Riviera Country Club in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“This is truly a win-win for those who all too often don’t receive the attention and help they need and deserve,” Griffin said. “Our 54Freedom Gift Annuity help seniors make changes in their investment portfolio to meet their current and future financial needs, and at the same time help these lesser-known charities raise funds they might not otherwise have access to.”

Bernard McGee, CFS, of M.T. Flanagan Associates of Cazenovia and Lake Placid, is a local broker affiliated with 54Freedom who has raised over $200,000 for charities this year.

“We are fortunate to work with Bernie McGee,” Griffin said. “He’s not only a leading national financial planner but has also raised a significant amount of money for groups like Creative Healings Connection, which helps female combat veterans returning home. This is a good sister organization to our American Legion charities.”

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