EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Florence Bank celebrated its 150th anniversary Tuesday night during the Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program.
It was a night of celebration and recognition for dozens of nonprofits Tuesday evening in Florence. It’s part of the Choice Community Grants Program, where $150,000 was awarded to 46 area non-profits.
The non-profits included animal shelters, survival centers, and schools, for their work in the community. “It’s important to lift them up and put a spotlight on them, as well as to support them financially,” said Matt Garrity, president and CEO of Florence Bank.
Florence Bank customers were the reason behind the event, as the bank celebrates its 150th anniversary. About 7,000 people voted last year, to pick which non-profits would get a portion of the biggest grant, in 21 years.
“There were 3,784 to be exact winning votes that were cast. So what that represented was each vote, was really worth about $48 on average,” explained Jim Hickey, Senior Vice President and Marketing Director of Florence Bank.
A total of 13 non-profit leaders received gifts worth $5,000 each. 22News spoke with the businesses that were awarded money and how it supports their needs.
“A lot of different ways in which this will be helpful…in getting us to grow, we’d love to do more in-person things,” expressed Larry Steinhauser, Amherst Neighbors Boards of Directors, Vice President.
“We’re going to buy a rescue jack, it’s going to help stabilize the car if we’re going to have to do an extraction,” adds Vouk Wahallon, Volunteer Firefighter with Goshen Fire Department.
Florence Bank is hopeful, this ceremony will continue to be an honorary tradition for many years to come.