Setting aside the cacophony of trading futures and options on orange juice, coffee, ethanol and other commodities, commodity traders at the New York Board of Trade and other industry participants last year combined to raise a record $1 million for children's charities.
"The perception of the commodity industry is that we're a bunch of rogues and cowboys," said Fred Mascia, chairman of NYBOT Futures & Options for Kids, the non-profit group that organizes the fund raising. "People don't realize we're a bunch of giving individuals." The $1 million raised "goes to show you that the generosity of the commodity industry is phenomenal."
On March 10, Mr. Mascia flew to Bay St. Louis, Miss., to present a $75,000 check to officials at the Hancock Medical Center to help the hospital rebuild its pediatric unit, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Other charities that have benefited from NYBOT Futures & Options for Kids include BurnCare... Everywhere Foundation Inc., Children's Health Fund, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Special Olympics New York and Tomorrows Children's Fund.
To raise money, the organization holds several fund-raisers throughout the year. This year's slate of events includes a casino night in June, a car raffle in August and a golf tournament in October.