On August 10, Project Purple visited Ion Bank in Naugatuck to celebrate the life of Kevin King. King was a proud member of the bank’s staff who sadly passed away in June of 2022 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. King was not only a vibrant presence in the community, but a diligent worker who was beloved at Ion.
Honoring Kevin King
To honor King and all his work as an advocate for pancreatic cancer patients and survivors, Project Purple presented him with a purple jacket, a symbol of his status as a Project Purple Hall of Fame Inductee. King was inducted in 2023, after his passing, and his wife, Karen King, was presented with the jacket.
Due to King’s over fifteen-year career with the bank, and their continued support of Project Purple and King during his diagnosis, she asked that it be given to them as a reminder of his hard work and dedication – not just to the bank, but to the community at large.
King had always been an active member in the community, working with several charities throughout his career. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, King took the same approach to the disease as he did with everything else; he embraced treatment with grace and hope for the future.
King got involved with Project Purple shortly after his diagnosis. The organization’s mission is to create a world without pancreatic cancer, and raises funds and awareness for this cause. They contribute to several research efforts, as well as serve patients in the local community with their patient financial aid program. King was so proud of the organization’s work that he wanted to do his part to help the organization.
King worked with Project Purple on several occasions, bringing in sponsors and fundraisers to help support their various local events. He also contributed several times to Project Purple’s podcast; he was one of the first-ever guests on the show in 2018 and was also a guest on Project Purple’s 10-year-anniversary episode in 2020. He even worked to help produce video content for the organization. His What’s Your Why video has reached nearly 900 people and has helped support fellow patients as they battle this disease.
Ion and Project Purple
His charitable efforts and positive attitude not only inspired other pancreatic cancer patients, it inspired his co-workers as well. The bank quickly became a sponsor for Project Purple’s Charity Golf Classic, an event held every year to raise funds for the organization and its programs for patients and research efforts. They held fundraisers as well, donating all the proceeds back to Project Purple. Even after King’s passing, friends and co-workers from the bank donated over $2,500 to Project Purple to honor him.
All of these efforts were done not just to support King, but to give back to the local community. Their contributions have not only been a testament to King’s legacy, but the bank’s generosity as well.
Dino Verelli, Founder and CEO of Project Purple, visited the bank on August 10 to present them with the jacket. Karen King, Kevin’s wife, was also present, showing the family’s continued support for both the bank and for Project Purple. Bill Purcell, president of the Greater Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce, gave a small speech to commemorate the occasion. Verelli and Karen King also said a few words in celebration of the event. A small ceremony was held outside to honor King and his legacy, including an unveiling of King’s purple jacket to his friends and co-workers.
The community was invited to the ceremony, and many people in the Naugatuck area showed up to pay their respects to King and his legacy. The local paper, the Republican American, wrote an article covering the community outreach of the bank and Project Purple to show their support for King’s legacy as well.
The bank hopes that King’s jacket, and his memory, will serve to inspire generations to come. Thank you Ion Bank for all your support. Kevin would be proud!