By Thomas J. Shara, President and Chief Executive Officer
You’ll see us at our branches in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. You’ll also find Lakeland Bank colleagues investing in these communities by supporting causes such as building homes, collecting food, raising funds for college scholarships, and helping charitable and nonprofits. That’s because Lakeland Bank has a strong tradition of giving back to the community. It started nearly 45 years ago and continues to be at the forefront of our daily activity.
The Grand Totals: Hours and Dollars
In 2013, Lakeland Bank colleagues devoted over 15,000 hours to community service, the equivalent of 1.7 years of nonstop work. Lakeland Bank also donated nearly $474,000 to charities and nonprofits and raised $118,000 for college scholarships to be awarded in 2014.
The Highlights: Giving Back in 2013
There were so many memorable moments last year. Here are some highlights, but for a more detailed list, see our press release
- Lakeland Bank Annual Scholarship Golf Outing: We raised $118,000 to be distributed in 2014 to high school seniors at 52 high schools in the 8 counties we serve.32nd Sussex County
- Golf Classic, Newton, N.J.: Over $50,000 was raised to support local charities in Sussex County and the surrounding area.
- Wiegand Farm Golf Classic: As the the 2013 Event Sponsor, we worked with The Department of Persons with Disabilities (DPD) to raise funds to support their programs, which include residential and vocational support for adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Montville UNICO San Gennaro Festival: As the official sponsor, we helped raise funds to help neighbors in need.
- Push to Walk NJ Annual Golf Outing: As a gift bag sponsor, we helped this nonprofit raise funds for exercise programs for people with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and other neurological conditions.
- Girl Scouts of Northern NJ—Women of Achievement: As a Connect sponsor, the Bank supported the Girl Scouts signature fundraising event in April 2013, which paid tribute to five women who personally and professionally made the world a better place for girls.
- Jeans Day Program: Our colleagues donated a minimum of $10 a month to wear jeans for charity, resulting in nearly $42,000 for these worthy causes! Charities included Meals on Wheels, American Cancer Society, Make A Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks, SCARC of Sussex & ARC, Wounded Warriors Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and area animal shelters.
- Food Drive: We collected 3,700 items for the United Way Food Drive.
- Share A Gift: We collected 1,570 gifts for the Bank’s Share A Gift program. For a full list of local organizations that benefitted, see our press release.
- Coat Drive: We collected 280 coats for the United Way Gift of Warmth drive.
- The Campaign for Chilton Hospital: Lakeland Bank pledged $25,000 over five years for an initiative to modernize patient care areas, purchase advanced technologies and create a more personalized experience.
- New Home for Hospice: As a longtime supporter of the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice Foundation, Lakeland Bank pledged $25,000 toward the Foundation’s new home for hospice patients.
- Affordable Housing Program: We assisted Allendale Housing, Inc., a not-for-profit entity that provides housing for developmentally disabled individuals.
A Final Word on Corporate Responsibility
- Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA): We awarded $500 each to two students to cover travel costs to the national competition.
- Reward for Honest Deed: We awarded $500 scholarships to four William Paterson University students who showed their honesty by paying for goods purchased at a retail store when no clerk was present.
At Lakeland Bank we strongly believe it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen. We have made a commitment to our colleagues, our customers and our neighbors to be a vital part of the community, and are proud of the philanthropic work we have achieved together. When corporations take the initiative and demonstrate the value of generosity…then others follow.
Stay tuned as we post information on this blog and our Facebook Page
about our annual golf outings and other community events we will sponsor.