After their 27-year-old brother Corey passed away in a tragic accident, Michael and Casey Griffin—along with family and close friends—established the Corey C. Griffin Charitable Foundation to honor his incredible dedication to philanthropy. The organization celebrates Corey’s philanthropic spirit and accomplishments, and furthers his original efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged children, primarily in the Boston area.
Brooke Kelly: Tell me more about the foundation’s goals.
Michael Griffin: Corey was incredibly gifted at connecting people to meaningful causes, so there was no question that we would continue the philanthropic work that he started: improving the lives of children in need. The Corey C. Griffin Foundation is a 501c3 public charity. We’ve been blessed to positively change the trajectory of the lives of over 18,000 children through our programs that focus on education, leadership development, and medical challenges. We lovingly refer to all the children we have the privilege of working with as “Corey’s Kids,” and our outreach to them is rooted in the belief that every child should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. We are currently working with Boston Children’s Hospital to build the Corey Griffin House. This initiative will provide housing for families of children undergoing treatment to alleviate financial burdens and keep families together during challenging times.
BK: Tell me about your involvement in the organization today.
MG: We both serve on the Board of Directors and get involved in all aspects of the Foundation. Each of us has a leadership role in our largest events. For me, that is the annual Boston Winter Ball, a black-tie bash for young professionals. This year, even virtually, we are so excited to have raised $1.5 million for Corey’s Kids. Casey’s primary focus is on CoreyFest—a country concert that raises close to a million dollars annually and has featured big name artists such as Old Dominion, Lee Brice, Chris Young, Cole Swindell, and others. Not only do these events get young professionals engaged in experiential philanthropy and in helping kids in need, but they’ve become must-attend events on the Boston social calendar.
BK: How has the pandemic shifted your focus in the past year?
MG: The pandemic has been eye opening. There is so much need out there, and the “asks” from those requesting our services has never been greater. At the same time, the generosity of our donors has been incredible and record-setting as well. Two of our focus areas are in juvenile mental health and elementary education; both of these segments have been in crisis mode the past year. The pandemic has forced us to think outside the box regarding ways we can assist children and families. And it has caused us to pivot in a creative way to host fun, high-energy events. For example, our 2020 CoreyFest was held at a drive-in with a live band and a 65-foot screen. Guests wore masks and practiced social distancing, but even still it was the event’s most successful fundraising year yet—and it was a blast!