Firstbank is dedicated to the communities that we represent. During the holidays our West Michigan branches showed just that by once again by collecting donations for Toys for Tots. It was a true team effort this year, with our branches serving as a drop off location for toys, food and monetary donations; we were able to collect enough items to adopt 15 families received a Christmas meal which consisted of turkey, vegetables mashed potatoes, stuffing and pie. We were also able to collect 2 gifts for each of the 34 children. We greatly appreciate the generosity of our staff and customers for their help in making this possible and an extra special thank you to McCord’s Farm Market in Ionia for providing the turkey and frozen pies.
Our Ionia Main office as well as our Southside office also held their annual Mitten Tree event which collects hats, mittens, and scarves to donate to the Ionia Public Elementary Schools. One of our customers knitted several pairs of mittens and generously donated them all.
Firstbank West Michigan and Ionia Public Schools’ Transportation Department had great fun with the “Pack the Bus” theme for Firstbank’s annual school supply drive. The extraordinary collection of backpacks and other school essentials donated by Firstbank customers and staff as well as community members was presented to IPS principals for distribution to students and teachers. Pictured are, from left, Rather Principal Darin Magley, Bus Driver Mary Ellen Groom, Jefferson Principal Matt Vogel, Twin Rivers Principal Dayna Ellis, Bus Driver Sharon Blanchard, Firstbank Southside Office Manager Sandy Brands, Firstbank Vice President/Main Office Manager Debrann Hausserman, and Boyce Principal Stacey Bovee.
Firstbank-West Michigan is a proud sponsor of the Pack the Bus School Supply drive this year! Look for the Ionia Public Schools Activity bus at Firstbank locations throughout the area and stop in to donate school supplies to local children. Whether you donate a little bit or a lot, together we can make a difference! Click here to find a location near you to make your donation!
This spring our team members distributed blue spruce seedlings to promote going green with our estatement services. On April 26th, Deb Hausserman and Carol Hoppes traveled to Rather Elementary school to deliver 30 of those seedling to the students in Mrs. Braun's kindergarten class. The students were learning about Earth Day and how to help care for the environment. Thanks for helping us spread the word about going green!
Each year Firstbank is proud to participate in the National Teach a Child to Save program, and this year was no exception! Our very own Fortune Freddy along with Belding branch manager Michele Krick visited the 4th grade class at St. Charles Catholic School in Greenville. The class learned all about the value of saving and budgeting, The kids had a great time while learning this valuable lesson! Helping young people become wise savers is just one way that we can help our communities grow and prosper.
We want to congratulate Amanda Malik on being named the new Branch Manager of our Firstbank, Hastings Office. Amanda is a native of Hastings and has worked for us since December 2000 when she began her career as a full time Customer Service Representative. Amanda is a valued member of the Firstbank team and we are so happy for her in this new role! Way to go Amanda and keep up the good work!
On April 9, Firstbank-West Michigan held a drawing to decide their lucky winner of an iPad 2. The entries were gathered during the "My Bank Loves Me" promotion, which spanned from Monday, February 13th until Saturday, March 31st. We are happy to congratulate Dan Bennett on his new iPad!
Kevin Meade (left) and Deb Hausserman (right) present an iPad 2 to
Firstbank-West Michigan's winner, Dan Bennett (center).
On March 1st, Linda Stewart, Assistant Branch Manager in our Main Office, and Fortune Freddy visited the first graders at Emerson Elementary to kick off Reading Month.
Each year, the Ionia County Literacy gives one book and bookmark to each first grader throughout Ionia County and invites community members to read to the classrooms during "March is Reading Month."
The Ionia County Literacy is a non-profit organization and has been active since 1987. Their mission is to increase literacy in Ionia County by recruiting and training volunteer tutors and networking with community and business organizations. The volunteer tutors teach adults how to read or improve their reading skills. They work closely with the office of Michigan Works to ensure that those job seekers who are deficient in reading and/or math acquire the necessary skills to obtain or retain employment, as well as to help inmates improve their reading skills by recording books on tape for their children.
Colleen Lance, Darcie McKendry, Linda Steele, and Dan Mitchell also volunteered at Rather, Jefferson, and Woodland Elementary Schools.
Linda Stewart reading "The Magic Bus, Arctic Adventure"
Fortune Freddy with Mrs. Gifford's 1st grade
Here is another great example of how our staff is the best in the business! The front line staff at our Ionia, Southside office helped to protect one of our customers from losing money in a scam. Because they took the time to listen to her when she came in to withdraw $2700 to send to her "grandson" who called her from Peru to say that he was in an accident and needed money to pay the deductible, they explained to her that it was most likely a scam and she should verify her grandson's whereabouts before she sent the money. As it turned out, we were right; her grandson was not in Peru but at work in Yplisanti. She was so relieved that our staff helped her avoid a potentially devastating situation that she wrote a commentary and submitted it to the local paper; The Sentinel-Standard thanking our staff for caring that much about her.
Congratulations to our Southside office and thank you for continually demonstrating to our customers that at Firstbank, we really are all about you!
Chili Dawg Challenge Tops off Spirit Week in Ionia
October 27th was the night we put Sheila Ransom’s favorite chili up against all of the best chili cookers in Ionia. We didn’t win, but we had fun and we donated over $700 to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization to assist them in the cause of providing adult mentors for kids who don’t have a significant adult in their life.
To quote our favorite sports teams: We’ll be back next year!
Thank you all for your help this year.
Sheila Ransom won the internal chili dawg cook-off, then went on
to compete in the IBC Chili Dawg Challenge.