First Bank celebrates campaign contribution

First Bank CEO Scott Harvard got a surprise faceful of pie at the quarterly lobby meeting celebrating a United Way contribution of more than $45,000. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

WINCHESTER – Giving charitable donations can sometimes mean getting a pie to the face for employees at First Bank.

The bank continued its tradition of quirky and playful recognition in honor of their campaign for United Way at a quarterly lobby meeting on Wednesday. Employees elected three of their fellows to have this year’s honor delivered by coworkers close to them with a big splat.

Jamie Lam, Greg Hoover and Lee Leonard were the lucky recipients chosen to receive a faceful of pie. First Bank CEO and United Way First Vice Chair Scott Harvard got a taste of a surprise fourth pie, saved especially for him by his assistant, Kathleen Shannon. Unlike the other pie recipients, Harvard chose not to don the protective shower cap and T-shirt overtop of his clothes.

Around 70 percent of First Bank employees contributed to surpass the company’s $40,000 goal. The bank will be giving a total of $46,500, which Harvard presented to United Way President and CEO Nadine Pottinga at the meeting in the form of a giant check. Last year, Harvard and President Dennis Dysart shaved their heads to commemorate a contribution of more than $35,000.

“My hair has grown back, I’m pleased to say … and I’m delighted that they decided not to shave heads this year,” Harvard said in an interview.

Pottinga later thanked those at First Bank for their contributions and volunteer efforts during the Sep. 9 Day of Caring event that kicked off the year’s campaign.

“You guys are truly just an amazing group of people,” she said. “It’s just incredible; every year you step up and have such a commitment to serving your community through United Way.”

Besides employee pledges that contribute regular paycheck deductions, First Bank itself made a corporate contribution and special events collected extra money to reach the goal. Some of those events included selling sandwiches for sandwich day, “flamingo flocking” volunteer employee’s yards and holding a silent auction for donated items.

During the quarterly meeting, Harvard recognized Martha Breeden for “One Powerful Action” in helping out a coworker during a time of trial, handing her a flower arrangement, certificate, award and $500 check.

“She stepped in and held her employee’s hands through really a very dramatic process,” he said. “It’s another indication of the culture we have here at First Bank of being service oriented, being family oriented, serving each other and serving our customers.”

Another incentive for employees who started a pledge or increased their pledge amount was a drawing for a TV, which Jacqueline Hensley won.

First Bank is one of several pacesetter companies that starts a month ahead of time on the year’s campaign. United Way will hold its first public meeting on Friday before the second meeting and campaign finale in December.

Debbie Bly, the internal campaign leader, said the First Bank participants are always ready and eager for whatever creative new fundraising ideas she and the campaign committee come up with.

“Bottom line; it’s all about supporting the United Way and we had fun doing it,” she said. “I think any time we can make it fun for the employees, they step up. This bank is like a big family anyway, they have a heart to reach out to people in need.”

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com