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First State Bank will donate a total of $30,000 to five local charities who were selected by community vote as winners of the inaugural First State Banksgiving, a campaign designed to drive awareness of local non-profit organizations that are making a positive impact in local communities. The grand prize recipient will receive a $10,000 donation. Four additional organizations will each be awarded a $5,000 donation.
The program received more than 200 nominations which were narrowed to a field of 20 finalists in four categories. Over 10,000 votes were cast to determine the final award recipients.
First State Bank is pleased to honor LK St. Clair Soccer as the grand prize recipient of the First State Banksgiving $10,000 donation. The organization, selected by public vote, aims to allow soccer players in southeast Michigan to improve their skill, partake in competitive soccer against teams in one of the best leagues nationally and to continue their love of the game while enriching the local community. The donation will help them in their quest to rehabilitate a former baseball field into a useable soccer space.
The following organizations will each receive a $5,000 donation.
Goodbye Toys Charity – (Category: Arts/Education/Culture)
Goodbye Toys Charity is dedicated to improving youth education and supporting children from low-income families. The $5,000 prize will be used to benefit their 2020 Summer Learning Program which includes STEM activities including art, social-emotional learning, reading and engaging in athletic and outdoor activities.
Sandcastles – (Category: Children & Families)
SandCastles Grief Support Program provides a caring place for children, teens and their families who have experienced death. The number of children attending is dependent on the funds raised to cover their cost. The First State Banksgiving donation will help with these costs, as well as in developing future program sites.
HEAL – (Category: Environment/Community Improvement)
HEAL is an organization formed to help those suffering from addiction restore hope, gain courage and achieve recovery by providing services designed to foster healthy life changes. Part of recovery is giving back and the First State Banksgiving donation will help fund their HEALing Garden where people in recovery will assist in planting and maintaining a vegetable garden and give away the produce to people in need.
Michigan Abolitionist Project – (Category: Human Supportive Services)
Michigan Abolitionist Project is growing the movement of people and organizations working to prevent and end human trafficking in Michigan. They do this through education, awareness and working to protect Michigan communities. The donation reward will provide resources and programs aimed to reach vulnerable and at-risk youth, through workshops, printed materials and educational presentations and seminars.
"Inviting the public’s involvement brought a special element to Banksgiving,” says Amy Persyn, First State Bank’s Marketing Director, 1st Vice President. “As a community bank, we wanted to listen to our community, discover those organizations who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those who live here, and allow the public to cast the deciding votes. In the meantime, we’ve been honored to bring attention to these charitable organizations throughout the campaign and to shine a light on their contributions.”
“We are honored to award these organizations to further support their efforts,” states Gene Lovell, CEO of First State Bank. “Each of these charities has a strong mission to make a positive impact in our communities and we are excited to see their initiatives come to fruition as a result of Banksgiving.”