Grow Your Community Awards 2014

Grow Your Community Awards 2014

President’s Award Winners

First Columbia Bank & Trust Company

In 2011, Tropical Depression Lee left the Bloomsburg area devastated by flooding. Many homes and businesses were flooded beyond repair—some literally toppled from their foundations. The storm showed no mercy and unfortunately did not spare Kidsburg—the area’s iconic and well-loved playground located at the picturesque Town Park on the banks of the Susquehanna River. In the year that followed the flood, most efforts and resources were rightly focused on restoring people’s lives and businesses. But all the while, there stood the empty spot where Kidsburg once was, patiently waiting its turn. In late 2012, the community rallied and began raising funds to rebuild the playground. First Columbia Bank helped jumpstart the corporate contribution flow with a $50,000 donation—the largest they have given to a single cause. In addition to being the lead donor, in the months that followed, First Columbia’s branch offices helped promote many fundraising events and several of their employees served as Kidsburg ambassadors, participating in those events. Finally, in April of 2014, the building project began and several of the bank’s employees joined in the construction efforts. Joyfully, the newly rebuilt playground opened for business in May 2014. The new Kidsburg is one of the last pieces of the recovery puzzle finally put in place. It is symbolic of a community with tremendous resilience—one that has emerged from that terrible storm stronger and more united than ever.

Somerset Trust Company

Located only 15 miles from the crash site of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, Somerset Trust Company (STC) realized immediately the importance of helping the surrounding communities rally together after the crash. STC committed its ongoing involvement with the Flight 93 Memorial to provide a tribute to the heroes and embrace their families. The bank has contributed over $50,000 and assisted with the underwriting of consulting services to help make the memorial a reality. In addition, the commissioning of the USS Somerset Navy Ship was held in March 2104 to honor the Flight 93 heroes. STC offered a match of $10,000 to rally community support while also helping to coordinate and raise $50,000 in donations for the ceremony by serving as a collection site. Working with the local chamber, the bank also helped to coordinate five buses to attend the event. The bank also sponsored Plant a Tree at Flight 93 in April as employees and family members along with 400 total volunteers came together to plant 20,000 seedlings. STC’s commitment of volunteer and monetary resources to the Flight 93 Memorial and the families of Flight 93 has helped to create a place that bonds their community, Flight 93 families and our nation.

Community Leadership Award Winners

Allegheny Valley Bank

Allegheny Valley Bank is proud to show their ongoing support to The Education Partnership through employee volunteerism and by hosting an annual school supply drive. Since 2009, the Bank has collected school supplies and monetary donations in branch offices. Customers, friends, neighbors and employees of Allegheny Valley Bank have personally contributed more than $5,000 in monetary donations and over 30 cases of school supplies directly through this campaign to the Education Partnership. These collections have benefited thousands of students and hundreds of teachers in their area.

Ambler Savings Bank

Ambler Savings Bank branches celebrated Community Banking Month in April by collecting canned food for Philabundance as a way to give back to their communities. The four branches, in Ambler, Schwenksville, Fairview Village, and Limerick, raised a combined total of 459 pounds of food that will be used by Philabundance to help provide for more than 75,000 individuals each week. The inaugural food drive at the local, community bank ran April 1 through 30 and food was donated by employees, customers and community members.

Brentwood Bank

Brentwood Bank partnered with Family Promise of Southwestern Pennsylvania to assist the organization in realizing their mission of helping homeless families return to sustainable independent lives. The bank has assisted the program through the development of a financial education program focused on the importance of repairing poor credit and maintaining good credit once it is achieved. Brentwood bank has also provided Family Promise with direct financial support and is committed to increasing its involvement with the Family Promise of SW PA as the organization grows.

East River Bank

East River Bank partners with Bike & Build, a non-profit organization that encourages young adults ages 18-28 to address the country’s affordable housing crisis through organized bicycle trips. This year, East River Bank sponsored a rider for Coastal Drift, an 830-mile bicycle ride from Maine to New York City where riders stop along the way to assist in building affordable homes for families in need. When the trip is complete, many Bike & Builders continue their commitment of service to the cause through their career choices or further volunteering.

First Federal S&L Association of Greene County

This year, the employees of First Federal S & L Association of Greene County participated in the Great American Cleanup of PA, cleaning nearly four miles of roadway in a two county area. Approximately 30 bags of trash and debris were filled in their efforts to help keep their part of PA beautiful! Other volunteer efforts included a blood pressure screening, Relay for Life, and Habitat for Humanity. All in all, the Association has donated over $65,000 to their communities so far this year.

Jonestown Bank & Trust

For Jonestown Bank & Trust (JBT), community involvement is more of an extension of their community banking culture than a “program”. At JBT, employees in all roles and levels are encouraged to devote time to community organizations. In 2013, their roughly 130 bank employees contributed in excess of 1300 hours to organizations with a focus ranging from economic development to youth coaching and mentoring to worthy community causes. The bank recognizes top employees on an annual basis for their involvement and engagement in strengthening the communities they serve.

Malvern Federal Savings Bank

Malvern Federal Savings Bank has partnered for a second year with the Chester County Food Bank to grow vegetables for use by the Chester County Food Bank. In 2013, employees built garden beds, and planted and tended the garden, ultimately harvesting 200 pounds of food. The new tradition continued in 2014, with the planting of the crops that employee volunteers will water, weed and harvest this season. They eventually will deliver the fresh vegetables throughout the season to the food bank to be used by families in need throughout Chester County.

Mid Penn Bank

As part of Mid Penn’s ongoing commitment to education, the bank developed a new “Millionaire for a Day” contest for local children. The contest, which kicked off in late 2013, encouraged students in grades one through five in the bank’s footprint of Central Pennsylvania to write essays explaining what they would do as millionaires for a day in 200 words or less. The results were greater than initially anticipated with the bank receiving approximately 800 essays.

Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust

Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust has a long tradition of giving a percentage of its yearly profits back to the communities in which it serves. Since the program’s inception, the bank has donated nearly $2 million to local non-profits and community organizations. The First Annual Celebration of Giving Reception was held on January 19, 2011 with over 50 representatives of local organizations in attendance. The bank wanted to celebrate not only by giving their financial support, but also by applauding those who give sacrificially throughout the year.

The Neff’s National Bank

The Neffs National Bank takes pride in being involved in the community and value the relationships that they have built with their customers and the community as a whole. During the month of April, the bank celebrated Community Banking Month by giving back to the community through numerous events. Busy Bee Quilters, Grundsau Lodsch, the American Legion, the Upper Lehigh Lions Club, and the Easter Bunny all paid a visit to the bank. Additionally, Neff’s held customer appreciation events such as a community shred day and customer appreciation day.

Washington Savings Bank

Washington Savings Bank has always been actively involved in community activities. Employees volunteer with local cleanups to pick up trash dumped on the side streets of neighborhoods. In addition, the bank sponsors local events at the community park and gives the park the financial assistance needed to plant trees and flowers and keep the park clean. Customer appreciation days have also assisted the community by providing for others through canned food drives, collecting cellphones for soldiers, and donating to abused children shelters.

William Penn Bank

Every year, the William Penn Bank Community Foundation provides support to local charities that provide assistance and opportunities to improve the quality of life for low income families and those at risk. In April 2014, the William Penn Bank Community Foundation awarded $80,000 in financial support to charitable organizations. In addition, 43% of employees volunteered through William Penn Bank’s employee volunteer program, entitled “Doing Goodwill with Bill.”

Grow Your Community Award Winners

Alliance Bank

Alliance Bank helped honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by selling Buddy Poppies, often considered to be the “flower of remembrance.” To kick off this campaign, Alliance Bank was thrilled to have members of VFW Post #7390 on hand to meet customers at their corporate office to encourage them to consider supporting their local service members. The proceeds collected from the Buddy Poppy Campaign provide financial assistance in maintaining state rehabilitation and service programs, and supports the VFW National Home for Veterans’ orphans and widows of their deceased comrades.

Bryn Mawr Trust Company

Bryn Mawr Trust has a proud history of supporting educational, community, and charitable organizations in the communities that they serve. Leadership and employees at the bank believe in giving back to the communities that they serve, so one of supported projects over the past several years has been to volunteer for a build day with Habitat for Humanity. This year the Bank chose to work with Habitat for Humanity located in Coatesville, Chester County, PA.

Harleysville Savings Bank

Harleysville Savings Bank uses a kid’s savings account program called “Trusty’s Club” to allow children to earn “Trusty Bucks” for their deposits and use them to purchase prizes. Each year, the bank celebrates Trusty’s birthday during Community Bank Month and this year, four branches held Trusty birthday parties. During the parties, Trusty greeted his friends, and kids were treated to double Trusty Bucks, a Kona Ice truck, and other refreshments. In connection with Trusty’s birthday and Community Banking Month, each branch held a collection for a local non-profit in the area.

Indiana First Bank

Every year for almost a decade, Indiana First Bank has underwritten the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Kickoff Breakfast. According to chairwoman Kathleen Mack, this fundraising event covers approximately 70% of the yearly budget. Because the Salvation Army receives no federal, state, or local funds or grants, it is imperative to garner the support of local citizens and businesses to help families in need all year. This is the single largest fundraiser for the local Salvation Army, which serves the Indiana County community with many outreach programs to help those in need.

Liverpool Community Bank

Liverpool Community Bank participates in a coat and blanket drive each year to collect blankets and coats for donation to the local Family Life Center. Many bank employees also volunteer their time in helping at the local fireman’s carnival and collecting eye glasses and cell phones for the local Lions Club. The bank continues to support local organizations such as the Liverpool Volunteer Fire Company, Liverpool Baseball, Perry County Fair, St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and the American Cancer Society.

Sharon Savings Bank

Sharon Savings Bank celebrates with their community by participating in OctrolleyFest, which is a celebration of the communities’ transportation heritage. It began is 2005 with a ceremony and free trolley rides on a vintage trolley car. Since then the bank has sponsored the event with representatives volunteering during various activities at the celebration. In addition, the bank holds a drawing contest for local school children, during Community Banking Month in April. They also hold a food drive in conjunction with their customer appreciation week.

The Bank of Landisburg

Employees at The Bank of Landisburg have supported and participated in charitable events for local organizations. It was the idea of the employees to start a “Casual Friday” to offer additional monetary support for the selected charities. One Friday each month, employees enjoy the privilege of dressing casual for a $2.00 or more donation to a selected charity. The Bank also contributes by matching the employee donations. The program was started in July 2009 and has since generated over $21,000 in donations.

The Farmers National Bank of Emlenton

The Farmers National Bank of Emlenton has long been known for going above and beyond its commitment of supporting and positively impacting local communities over the past 114 years. As a dynamic community bank rooted in eight counties throughout Western Pennsylvania, the broad employee base actively volunteers with numerous charitable organizations throughout the region. Over the past three years, the bank has donated over half a million dollars to local charities and organizations.

The First National Bank of Mercersburg

The First National Bank of Mercersburg has always held the belief that volunteering in the community that they serve is their duty and privilege as a hometown bank. The bank’s “Teach Children to Save” program has allowed them to impact the next generation and teach children financial literacy at a young age so it will not just affect them, but so that they can go home and teach their parents what they have learned.

Washington Financial Bank

Washington Financial Bank has partnered with the Highland Ridge Community Development Corporation (HRCDC) to assist in the revitalization of Washington, PA through their pilot program, Mending Fences. Mending Fences provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications, and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes in the community at no cost to the service recipients. Many of these renovations are necessary for home safety, as many service recipients in the City of Washington are low-income, elderly, disabled, and veterans.

This article can be found featured in the October 2014 issue of Transactions. Not a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.