Community Matters at First Financial Bank

Events Gallery

United Way Day of Caring
Washington, Indiana

A team of volunteers from our Washington Banking Center took part in the 23rd annual United Way of Daviess County Day of Caring. They took turns throughout the day painting at Four Rivers Resource Services in Washington, a nonprofit organization that assists people with disabilities and other life challenges. Participants included Jennifer Lyon, Branch Operations Coordinator; Carol Grannan, Teller/CSR; Emma McBride, Teller/CSR; Kelly Reel, Manager of the Washington and Worthington banking centers; and Bethany Tooley, Teller/CSR. The experience was so rewarding, they decided to donate $100 of their Jeans Day funds to Four Rivers.

It was a record year for the Day of Caring, with 582 volunteers donating over 2,767 hours to local service projects. The event demonstrates how a community working together can make a huge impact, even in one day.

Sullivan County Salvation Army
Back to School Blitz
Sullivan, Indiana

Associates from the Sullivan Banking Center gave their time to the Salvation Army’s annual Back to School Blitz, where local children in need received backpacks, school supplies, new shoes, socks and other basics. The staff donated their January and February Jeans Day funds to help buy shoes for the Blitz. They decided to get personally involved when they learned it was not easy to find volunteers to help the kids with their new shoes by kneeling down and putting them on their feet in an act of kindness and humility. “It was a very humbling but great experience, and we hope to do it again next year,” said Dave Wright, Manager, Sullivan Banking Center.

Participating associates from the Sullivan Banking Center included Kelly Thrasher, Commercial Loan Assistant; Dave Wright, Manager; Lori McKain, Teller/CSR; Kerry Monroe, Senior Teller/CSR; Heather Thacker, Teller Supervisor with her son Ty Jackson; Ashley Arnett, Teller; and Courtney Chickadaunce, Teller.

Sullivan County Salvation Army
Back to School Blitz
Sullivan, Indiana

Volunteer Emily Wright, daughter of Dave Wright, helps a child with his new shoes at the Back to School Blitz.

Threshermen’s Parade
Pontiac, Illinois

Pontiac Main Banking Center associates Danielle Coyne, Assistant Manager; Gabby Bartolotta, Teller; Kyle Sporrer, Teller; and Jenny Heinrich, Manager, handed out popcorn during the annual Threshermen’s Parade in downtown Pontiac. Presented by the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce, the parade is part of the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion, a three-day exhibition of steam and early gasoline-powered tractors and farm implements.

First held in 1949, the Reunion brings together collectors of antique farm machinery and people interested in the bygone days of agriculture and country living. Among its many attractions are tractor pulls, draft horse pulls, a working sawmill and blacksmith shop, a country schoolhouse, a daily “parade of power” tractor display, rock crushing and threshing demonstrations, live music and a huge flea market.

First Financial Bank
Gibson County Fair

County fairs are a highlight of the summer in many communities around our service area and we like to be part of the fun! Our Princeton Banking Center sponsored Kiddie Day at the Gibson County Fair, which featured special activities, rides, games and prizes for youngsters. First Financial Southern Regional Manager Diane Buss, Teller/CSR Allyssa Culp and Banking Center Manager Jessica Marvel gave away First fans, Koozies and popcorn to fair-goers who stopped by their table.

The Gibson County Fair can trace its roots to 1852, when a group of civic leaders founded an agricultural society and started a fair to promote local farm products. It is one of the oldest county fairs in Indiana.

Ernie Pyle Fireman’s Festival Parade
Dana, Indiana

Associates from our Newport, Cayuga and Clinton banking centers took part in the Ernie Pyle Fireman’s Festival Parade in Dana, Indiana. Participants included Bill Hartman, Manager, Cayuga Banking Center; Cathy Ringwald, Manager, Newport and Ridge Farm banking centers; Leslie Werner, Assistant Manager, Clinton Banking Center; Hillari Falls and Megan Mills, Tellers, Clinton Banking Center; Jessi Purcell, Manager, Clinton Banking Center; Nicole Davis, Teller, Clinton Banking Center; Jenny Sloan, Branch Operations Coordinator, Newport Banking Center, with her daughter Kaylee Holmes; and Chris Olds, First Financial Northern Regional Manager. The parade is part of the three-day festival that raises funds for the Dana volunteer fire department and honors Dana native Ernie Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and World War II correspondent.

Known for covering the war from the viewpoint of the average soldier, Pyle’s down-to-earth, heartfelt stories were widely read both by members of the military and their families at home. President Harry Truman praised him as a writer who “told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told.” Pyle was killed by enemy fire on April 18, 1945 while covering the Battle of Okinawa in Japan. In 2018, the U.S. Senate designated August 3 as National Ernie Pyle Day.

First Financial Bank
Vigo County Fair

First Financial Bank has a long history of supporting the 4-H livestock auction at the Vigo County Fair, where kids in the 4-H program show and sell the animals they’ve raised. Completing a livestock project helps youngsters learn responsibility, increase self-confidence and gain practical skills that last a lifetime. For some, the money they earn helps to build their college funds.

First volunteers track sales and generally keep the auction running smoothly for buyers and sellers. This year our volunteers included Connie Cusick and Kim Stephenson, both Customer Service Representatives at the Springhill Banking Center, and Courtney Buchanan, Bookkeeping. Cusick has been an auction volunteer for 17 years. Extension Educator Sara Haag (right) of Purdue Extension-Vigo County is pictured with them.

First Financial Bank
Daviess County Fair

County fairs offer one-time-a-year experiences — like watching 4-H kids show their animals, surveying the scenery from the top of a Ferris wheel and sampling deep-fried treats you won’t find anywhere else. With food, fun and entertainment for people of all ages, fairs are a tradition that First Financial is proud to be involved in.

Our Washington Banking Center in Daviess County, Indiana was a Platinum Sponsor of the 2018 Daviess County Fair. Jaimie Hottel, Assistant Banking Center Manager, and Jennifer Lyon, Branch Operations Coordinator, helped to give out First fans, Koozies and water to people who stopped by the bank’s table.

First Financial Bank
Sullivan County Fair

Our Sullivan County Banking Centers in Indiana were among the sponsors of the 2018 Sullivan County 4-H Fair. For two days during fair week, First associates staffed the Sponsor of the Day booth in the exhibition building, where they handed out popcorn and talked to fair-goers about the bank.

Sullivan Banking Center Manager Dave Wright snapped this photo of Sean Mickey, Sullivan Mortgage Loan Originator; Natalie McKinney, Customer Service Representative; Ashley Arnett, Teller; Maria Vonfeldt, Customer Service Representative; and Mike Mix, Assistant Banking Center Manager.

Union Hospital Clinton Foundation
Golf Tourney

Associates from First Financial Bank turned out to support the 34th annual Union Hospital Clinton Foundation Golf Tournament at Geneva Hills Golf Course in Clinton, Indiana.

Foundation board member Leslie Werner (center), Assistant Manager, Clinton Banking Center, is pictured with a foursome representing the bank’s Commercial Lending department: Eric Nicholas, Thom Frantz (retired), Jeff Kissick and Brandon Bennett. Proceeds from the event helped to purchase cardiac equipment for Union Hospital Clinton.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Champaign County, Illinois

A food collection truck from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank rolled up to the First Financial Philo Road Banking Center in Urbana to pick up the donations from our “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive.

Banking Center Managers Pamela Young, Champaign South Prospect; Ashley Evans, Champaign Neil Street; and Joyce Remesch, Urbana Philo Road, presented the food and funds to Molly Delaney, Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s Vice President of Development.

The foodbank serves an 18-county area in Eastern Illinois and is a primary source of food for 167 agencies that feed hungry children, families, seniors and veterans. In the past year, it distributed 10.7 million pounds of food, including 2 million pounds of fresh produce, to its network of partner agencies.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Crawford County, Illinois

The Robinson Area Food Pantry was the beneficiary of our “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive in Crawford County, Illinois.

Food pantry representatives Ray Stevens and Ed Sandlin (2nd and 3rd from left) accepted the food and funds donated at First Financial’s Robinson and Robinson Motor banking centers from associates at the Robinson Banking Center: Glenna Manship (left), Manager; Tami Mendenhall, CSR; Donna Blevins, Personal Banker; and Debbie Nichols, Assistant Manager.

The food pantry works to address hunger in the community as well as engage area residents in the fight to end hunger.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Richland County, Illinois

Megan Ankrom, Teller/CSR, Olney Main Banking Center, welcomes Rose Ann Schwartz from Good Samaritan of Richland County, the nonprofit organization selected to receive the cash and food donations collected at the First Financial Olney Main and Olney Route 130 banking centers during our May food drive.

Good Samaritan was founded in 1983 to provide the needy with food, clothing, spiritual support and other services. Schwartz has served as Treasurer for 35 years.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Vanderburgh County, Illinois

Development Director Alison Nicholson and Executive Director Glenn Roberts of the Tri-State Food Bank in Evansville accept the proceeds of our “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive from First Financial Evansville Banking Center representatives Patti Connaway, Assistant Manager (now retired), and Meghan Jones, Teller/CSR.

The Tri-State Food Bank collects and distributes over 8 million pounds of food annually in a 33-county service area to more than 125 non-profit organizations, including food panties, soup kitchens, hot meal programs for seniors, days care centers, emergency and disaster relief programs, and more. The food bank also operates a Mobile Pantry that brings healthy foods and fresh produce to “food deserts” —low-income areas without access to full-service grocery stores.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Clay County, Indiana

Volunteers from the Clay County Food Pantry in Brazil gathered to accept the donations made at First Financial’s Clay County banking centers to the “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive.

Presenting the checks are (standing) Kim Stearley (4th from left), Manager, Brazil 59 South Banking Center; Theresa McCain (3rd from right), Branch Operations Coordinator, Brazil Eastside Banking Center; and Alicia Jacobs (2nd from right), Manager, Clay City Banking Center. Food Pantry volunteers include (front, seated) Joan Feckete, Carol Mountjoy, (back, standing) Arlene Tribble, Gary Light, Ruth Haas, Mike Robinson and Amanda Krantz.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
 Gibson County, Indiana

Captain Aimee Norton (right) of The Salvation Army in Princeton visited our Princeton Banking Center to accept the donations from First Financial’s May food drive. Julia Banks, Assistant Manager, welcomed her. Aimee and her husband Alex are officers at the The Salvation Army Princeton Church and Community Center, which serves both Gibson and Pike counties.

In addition to a food pantry and kitchen, the center offers many types of help and support for people in need, including a Thrift Store, emergency assistance with rent and utilities, and ministry to the elderly, sick and disabled.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Sullivan County, Indiana

Israel Brewer (right), President of the Sullivan County Brown Baggers School Food Program, accepts the proceeds from the bank’s May food drive from Maria VonFeldt (left), CSR, and Kerry Monroe, Senior Teller/CSR, at the First Financial Sullivan Banking Center. In addition to Sullivan, donations were collected at our Dugger, Farmersburg and Hymera locations.

Volunteers for the Brown Baggers meet weekly to fill bags with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food for food-insecure Sullivan County school children to take home on weekends and during vacations when they might not otherwise have food available.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Lawrence County, Illinois

Branch Operations Coordinator Krystina Guess (left), Teller Amy Stork and Teller/CSR Madison Long greeted Birgit Volk (second from right), who heads the Fish & Loaves program in Lawrence County, Illinois. She accepted the food and cash collected at our Lawrenceville Banking Center during First Financial’s “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive.

Fish & Loaves is a faith-based group that works with local schools to identify students who depend on school meal programs to get enough to eat. Volunteers prepare, bag and deliver food to local schools for hungry kids to take home on the weekends.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Knox County, Indiana

Backpacks of Love for VCSC (Vincennes Community School Corporation) was the beneficiary of our “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive. Jill Kerins (center), Manager of the First Financial Vincennes Sixth Street and Main Street Banking Centers, presented the cash and food donations from the drive to Backpacks of Love representatives Kathy Clinkenbeard (left) and Brenda Sutton.

The organization’s volunteers pack and deliver food to the schools, where it is distributed to students in need. For some, it may be the only nutritious food they have access to when school is not in session.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Wayne County, Illinois

At our Fairfield Banking Center, Mary Bradley (left), Manager, and Donna Lewis (right), Branch Operations Coordinator, welcomed Elizabeth Gonzales, Communications Coordinator/Youth Director at First United Methodist Church in Fairfield, who accepted the donations from our May food drive on behalf of the Fairfield Area Ministerial Alliance.

Churches in the Alliance care for their communities through ministries such as the Kids Summer Lunch Program that provides free sack lunches for children and youth in the Fairfield area.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Franklin County, Illinois

Debbie Jackanicz (center), Executive Director of the Crosswalk Community Action Agency in West Frankfort, Illinois, accepts the proceeds from the First Financial “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive from Debra Cain (left), Manager of the West Frankfort Banking Center and Rebecca Mitchell, Manager of the Benton Banking Center in Franklin County, Illinois.

Crosswalk offers programs that address the day-to-day needs of low-income and/or disadvantaged people, including utility bill assistance, home weatherization services, and home repair and rehabilitation. The Crosswalk Food Pantry helps those unable to provide sufficient food for themselves and their families.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Marion County, Illinois

On behalf of the Salem Ministerial Alliance, Doug Meyer (center), Pastor of the Salem Lutheran Church, visited the First Financial Salem Banking Center to accept the food and money raised in Marion County, Illinois during the bank’s food drive in May. Bryce Soger, Banking Center Manager, and Cheryl Lane, Teller, welcomed him.

Pastor Meyer is immediate past president of the Alliance, a group of local churches that work together to provide for people in need. The Alliance holds a food pantry distribution on the first and third Thursday of every month that serves 300 to 400 people.

First Financial Bank Food Drive
Parke County, Indiana

Betty Jones (right), Senior Branch Operations Coordinator at the First Financial Montezuma Banking Center, delivered the donations from the bank’s May food drive to the Parke County Food Pantry. Cash and non-perishable food were collected at the Rockville Main, Rockville Downtown, Marshall and Montezuma banking centers in Parke County, Indiana.

Pantry volunteers preparing food for distribution that day included (front) Carol Deere, Mary Everidge, Vicki Kremer, Linda Newlin, Lucille Seward, Wanetta Harmon, Eldon Everidge, (back) Carl Redemske, Jim Blickenstaff, Dave Market and Andy Allen.

First Financial Bank
“1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive

Kim Stearley (right), Manager of the Brazil 59 Banking Center, accepts a contribution from customer Kenda Dierdorf for First Financial’s “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive.

Every Friday in May was drive-up donation day, when First associates headed out to the drive-ups to make it easy for customers to give. The drive far exceeded its goal, collecting food and funds equivalent to 144,514 nutritious meals for kids and adults in our service area who struggle to get enough to eat.

Learn more about the impact of the “1000 Meals a Day in May” food drive

Free Saturday Shred Days

First Financial offered free secure shredding on Saturday mornings at 20 banking centers throughout our service area. The shred days are a community service aimed at preventing identity theft that can occur when personal papers are discarded in the trash, where they can easily be accessed.

In addition to documents for shredding and recycling, we also accepted worn-out American flags for respectful disposal by VFW Post 972. During these events, 27,908 pounds of documents and several hundred flags were collected. Teller John Harris was among the First associates helping the many people who took advantage of the events.

Autumn Fest
Marshall, Illinois

Troy Hendricks, First Financial Agricultural Lending Officer and lifelong farmer, took part in the Marshall Autumn Fest parade, driving his John Deere 4020 tractor with his wife Darla riding alongside.

The three-day festival attracts hundreds of visitors and is a signature event for the Clark County area.

Red Skelton Museum
Vincennes, Indiana

Jill Kerins (right), Manager of First Financial’s Vincennes Sixth Street and Main Street Banking Centers, and Craig Kirk, Senior Commercial Lending Executive, present a $1,000 check to Anne Pratt of the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy in support of A Tribute to Bob Hope and the Radio Stars of the 1940s, a stage show bringing to life the radio programs of World War II.

Presenting live theater is one of many ways the museum preserves and celebrates the legacy of Richard “Red” Skelton, who was born in Vincennes in 1913 and went on to become a star of the stage, movies, radio and television. “The Red Skelton Show,” which premiered on network television 1951 and aired for 20 years, made Skelton a beloved household name. When he passed away in 1997, many items from his estate were donated to Vincennes University and now reside at the Red Skelton Museum. 

Terre Haute Police Department
2017 Police Officer of the Year

Officer Ivan Walker (fourth from right), a K-9 handler in the uniform division, was named 2017 Police Officer of the Year at the 27th annual Terre Haute Police Department Officers Recognition and Commendation Dinner sponsored by First Financial Bank.

With him are Jon Swaner, news anchor at WTHI-TV/MyFOX10; Matt Wayt, First Financial; Tom McClanahan, news anchor at WTWO-TV/NBC2; Pat Ralston, First Financial; Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett; Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse; and Jamie Amodeo and Jason Ernst, First Financial.

Day of Giving
Bloomington, Illinois

The First Financial Brickyard Banking Center in Bloomington served as a donation site for the annual Operation Honor Guard Day of Giving. Founded in Danville, Illinois, the nonprofit organization provides charitable assistance to outfit Honor Guard units, made up of VFW and American Legion volunteers who perform military rites at funerals for service members and veterans.

Don Judd (right), age 82, a 50-year member of VFW Post 6190 in Farmer City, Illinois, was among the many veterans who turned out on the Day of Giving to collect donations. Judd is a founder of Post 6190’s Honor Guard and is still active with them. He and his fellow veterans helped to raise more than $164,000 for Operation Honor Guard in Central Illinois.

Banking Center Manager Nick Lurkins, Assistant Manager Taylor Hish (in the First Duck costume) and the Brickyard staff shared in the fundraising efforts.

Terre Haute Fire Department
2017 Firefighter of the Year

Kevin Price (center), was honored as 2017 Firefighter of the Year at the 13th annual Terre Haute Firefighters Recognition and Commendation Dinner sponsored by First Financial Bank.

Joining in the celebration are Jamie Amodeo, First Financial; Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher; Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett; and Jason Ernest, First Financial.

First Financial Bank
Holiday Joy Drive

“Give a Toy — Feel the Joy” was the theme for our Holiday Joy Drive, a bank-wide event that collects new toys and cash to provide gifts to kids whose families can’t afford Christmas presents. Donations went to local nonprofit organizations selected by associates in each county the bank serves.

In Vanderburgh County, Bob Reutter, Coordinator of the Toys for Tots program, accepted donations made at our Evansville Banking Center, along with an additional cash contribution from First Financial Corporation. Danielle Mutz, CSR/Teller, and Patti Connaway, Assistant Banking Center Manager, made the presentation.

Terre Haute Police Department
2017 Michael Dinkel Memorial Award

Chrissy John (third from right), a member of the THPD Spouse Auxiliary, received the 2017 Michael Dinkel Memorial Award at the 27th annual Terre Haute Police Department Officers Recognition and Commendation Dinner sponsored by First Financial Bank.

With her from First Financial are Jamie Amodeo, Pat Ralston, Jason Ernst, and Matt Wayt.

Summer Reading Program Kickoff
Clinton Public Library

First Financial associates in Vermillion County, Indiana gave their time to serve food at the kickoff of the Clinton Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Program. Debbe McFall, Manager, Crown Hill Banking Center, along with Clinton Banking Center associates Leslie Werner, Assistant Manager; Michelle Thomas, CSR/Teller; and Jessi Purcell, Manager, handed out hotdogs, chips and popsicles to a big crowd of kids and parents.

The event featured fire trucks and police cars for kids to see up close and a live band to highlight the program theme, “Libraries Rock!” Some 200 people, from preschoolers to adults, participate in the library’s Summer Reading Program each year. For students, reading during the summer can help to reduce the “summer slide” — a loss of some of the material they learned during the previous school year.

Nonprofit organizations share $100,000 in funds from Benson, Baur, Young and Swope trusts

Each year, First Financial Bank Trust & Asset Management distributes funds to area nonprofit organizations from the Frederick R. Benson, Oscar Baur, Mary Smith Young and Sheldon Swope trusts. These four prominent Terre Haute citizens established trusts through their wills at the bank, providing for the ongoing charitable gifts.

At the bank’s check distribution reception with IRA Administrator Brandi Hanson (2nd row, left) of Trust & Asset Management are (front) Kayla Sweet and Brenda Tryon, Mosaic; (center) Carolyn Small and Aaron Craig, Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America; (back) Jennifer Buell, Catholic Charities; Carlos Montanez, St. Rose of Viterbo Fraternity; and John Etling, Catholic Charities.

Balloons Over Vermilion
Vermilion County, Illinois

First Financial was a sponsor of the second-annual Balloons Over Vermilion festival at the Vermilion Regional Airport. More than 20,000 visitors attended the two-day festival, which brought both tourism dollars and family-centered entertainment to the Danville area. The bank presented the Balloon Glow, a one-of-a-kind event where tethered hot air balloons create a massive synchronized light display that illuminates the night sky. Breathtaking!

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