Marquette Bank Awards 60 Scholarships to Local Students

Neighborhood Bank Supports Chicagoland High School Students Through Annual Program

ORLAND PARK, Ill. — Marquette Bank, a locally-owned neighborhood bank, continued its over half-century tradition of awarding scholarships to local graduating seniors. This year, the Marquette Bank Education Foundation awarded individual scholarships of $2,500 to 60 graduating seniors from Chicagoland schools.

“This year is a different time to graduate, but one thing remains true: life moves forward. Marquette Bank is proud to support these neighborhood graduates as they take the next step in their education. These future community leaders and professionals have shown their commitment to service and to making a difference in their community,” George Moncada, President and CEO of Marquette Bank, said. “Service to the community and making a difference are part of our culture at Marquette Bank. We look forward to helping our neighbors and neighborhoods bounce back stronger in the months ahead.”

Since the scholarship program began during the 1967-1968 school year, more than $3.4 million has been awarded to almost 1,800 high school seniors from Chicagoland neighborhoods. Students were selected based on financial need, scholastic achievement and a record of volunteer service in their communities. The scholarship can be used for any post-secondary education program, including four-year universities, community colleges and vocational training schools.

The scholarship program is funded by the Marquette Bank Education Foundation (MBEF) and scholarships were awarded to students chosen by their school’s guidance counselors and principals.

ChoiceOne Bank Awards Scholarships to 12 High School Seniors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich, — ChoiceOne Bank has awarded a one-time, need-based scholarship of $1,000 to12 seniors in eight different community high schools and one home school. Seniors were asked to submit a 500 word or less essay explaining their experience with community service, why they got involved, who benefited, and how the student benefited. Spanning Michigan, ChoiceOne serves markets in both West and Southeastern Michigan. Six winners were selected from each market.

“As the local community bank, we are committed to the families in our communities across Michigan,” said ChoiceOne Bank President Mike Burke. “Our seniors are our next generation of community leaders and customers. We believe it’s important for them to realize the benefits of being raised and educated in caring and supportive local communities.”

The ChoiceOne Bank Scholarship Essay Contest was held from February 27 to March 27, but was extended through April because of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible candidates included high school seniors, GED recipients in the current calendar year that had not begun college classes, and home school students with documentation of high school equivalency and college eligibility. Students had to be graduating seniors from schools in ChoiceOne’s communities planning to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college in Michigan for the fall of 2020.

Open to local high schools in each of the Bank’s 29 locations, eight high schools participated – Holton, Fremont, Kent City, Rockford, Imlay City, Lapeer, Croswell-Lexington, Yale, and one home school.

“We truly value the youth in our communities,” said Burke. “The students who participated in this contest also volunteered thousands of hours of community service. Their accomplishments highlight the spirit of giving and dedication to their communities and demonstrate the importance they have already placed on community service. As parents, it is our hope that our students return to their roots to raise their families and grow their businesses. It is definitely a local thing.”

Three Illinois Banks Recognized for Exceptional Community Service

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., — First Bank of Highland Park, First Neighbor Bank and Philo Exchange Bank were honored for their exceptional community service with 2020 Illinois Bank Community Service Awards by the Illinois Bankers Association (IBA). The awards were presented during the IBA’s virtual Annual Conference on June 16. This is the 18th year for the Community Service awards, which honor Illinois financial institutions that demonstrate a high level of service in their communities.

First Bank of Highland Park

As one of the five largest privately-owned banks in Chicago, First Bank of Highland Park understands the importance of giving back and serving the community. Annually, the directors, officers and staff provide over 2,500 hours of volunteer service to 60 different non-profits, including social service agencies, affordable housing services and economic development programs. The bank also provides financial education classes for youth and adults as well as college scholarships for students demonstrating a financial need.

First Neighbor Bank, Toledo

First Neighbor Bank has branches in 5 counties in central Illinois and has a very community-minded staff. When their community needs help, the bank steps up whether with manpower, funding or simply advice. The most recent project was the fundraising and construction of the Neal Center YMCA in Toledo — population 1,200 — and over $1 million was raised. This has had wide-reaching effect, and currently, there are 1,700 YMCA members from the various surrounding communities.

Philo Exchange Bank

Philo Exchange Bank has been serving its communities since 1883. With branches in four towns and a combined population of just over 1,400 people, community service is part of the bank’s daily operations. In 2019, in their small footprint, they donated to 16 different organizations ranging from school groups, sports groups, churches, food pantries, veterans, medical cure fundraisers, and community funds. In addition to community donations, they also host several annual programs, including Warm Hearts, Warm Hands, Shred Days, and the popular Santa Breakfast, which raised nearly $2,000 in cash donations and filled several large boxes with toys.

Fifth Third Bank Partners With Steady to Help Customers Find Jobs and Maximize Earnings Opportunities

CINCINNATI — Fifth Third Bank, National Association, announced that it is partnering with Steady and its innovative application to help the Bank’s customers find work and maximize their earnings opportunities. The partnership is one of the Bank’s initiatives to assist people who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when more than 44 million unemployment claims have been filed.

“Our role as a bank is to empower our customers to reach their financial goals,” said Greg D. Carmichael, chairman, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. “We are excited to partner with Steady to connect our customers with additional resources and income opportunities, and to help them continue to move towards achieving their goals, even in times of financial hardship that many are experiencing with the current pandemic.”

Steady offers an application that allows consumers to build a profile, enter their skills, and set work preferences like geography, work hours, and pay rate. They are then matched with job opportunities that might be a good fit and can apply to those positions online.

“There is no doubt that our two million members face daunting financial challenges, driven by a massive Covid-19-driven increase in the unemployment and underemployment of both W-2 and 1099 workers,” said Steady Co-Founder and CEO Adam Roseman. “And while the CARES Act has addressed near-term financial challenges of many, but certainly not all, many workers will face significantly enhanced turbulence after expanded unemployment insurance payouts expire on July 31. That’s why solid partnerships between financial institutions like Fifth Third Bank and Steady’s income enhancing tools are critical in helping workers deal with economic uncertainties.”

In addition to the Steady partnership, Fifth Third is also making its NextJobs Job Seekers Toolkit available to the public through January 2021, and Operation HOPE’s financial coaching services to individuals and small businesses. Fifth Third initiated its partnership with NextJobs in 2012. Its Toolkit is an educational resource for those looking to enter the job market or to secure a better job opportunity. It offers lessons and video advice from job-search experts, hiring managers and job seekers, as well as additional tools and activities. Operation HOPE offers financial wellbeing coaches provide advice on financial recovery, such as assistance with CARES Act qualifications, debt deferment, credit counseling, recovery budgets, and guidance obtaining small business loans and referrals for recovery support.

Horizon Bank Donates to Midland Area Flood Relief

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Horizon Bank announced a donation in the amount of $25,000 to The Flood Relief Project Fund to assist with the flood relief and recovery efforts due to the recent extreme flooding in Midland and surrounding communities.

Midland Area Community Foundation established the #ReliefMidland Flood Relief Project Fund to provide flood relief to all Midland County populations, including Sanford, Bullock Creek, and the City of Midland. The fund was initially established with a $250,000 contribution from the Midland Area Community Foundation and an additional $250K in matching funds.

The mission of The Flood Relief Project Fund is to provide disaster relief in Midland County with use determined by the Midland County long-term recovery group in consultation with the Midland County Emergency Manager. They are considering immediate needs including places for showers, washing clothes and food distribution as well as intermediate and long-term necessities.

“The widespread damage and pure devastation caused by extensive rain and dam failure is just unthinkable and we knew we had provide financial assistance. Seeing the entire community come together to help those in need makes me proud to call this area home to my family. We encourage others to donate as relief efforts will be ongoing for months to come,” stated Russ Mathews, Market President for Great Lakes Bay Area.

“Midland Area Community Foundation is humbled by Horizon Bank’s donation of $25,000 towards our Flood Relief Project Fund,” said Sharon Mortensen, President & CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation. “We so appreciate the community coming together to help our neighbors devastated by the damage and we will continue to use funds for rebuilding efforts in the upcoming months,” continued Mortensen.

This fund will be there as long as people are willing to give, knowing that the rebuilding effort is going to take months if not years.