The Chicago Bears and Symetra Financial announced today a multi-year partnership to sponsor the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program. Presented locally by Gallagher Benefit Services, the program recognizes Chicago-area teachers for outstanding leadership and instructional skills.

Sixteen K-12 teachers in the Chicago area will be named a Symetra Hero in the Classroom during the 2010 NFL season. Teachers will be recognized in their schools at surprise presentations where they will receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies. In addition, they will receive tickets to a 2010 Bears home game and will be honored on the video board at Soldier Field during the game.

The winners will be selected based on their ability to balance the core curriculum with students’ individual needs; build trust among students, parents and the community; and invest in their students’ long-term success.

“Symetra and Gallagher are partners in business, and we also share a deep commitment to making our communities even better places to live and work,” says Jim Pirak, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Investor Relations for Symetra Financial. “We look forward to working with the Chicago Bears, a team with deep ties and commitment to community service.”

“We all have a favorite teacher who helped get us to where we are today,” says Caroline Schrenker, director of Community Relations for the Chicago Bears. “Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is a meaningful program that celebrates the accomplishments of the exceptional teachers who have shaped our lives.”

For more information on the program and to nominate a teacher for the award, visit

About Symetra Financial

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE:SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefits consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit

About Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.

Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), is one of the leading employee benefits brokers and consultants in the U.S. It delivers a full range of employee benefits services and consulting, as well as human resource services. For more information, visit

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