Hometown Bank concludes 11th annual “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign with record donation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2014

Hometown Bank concluded its 11th annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign to help support local food pantries on December 10th with a holiday breakfast at which a check in the amount of $2,500 was presented to each of seven participating agencies. This represents record collections of $7,500 from Bank customers and employees and a dollar for dollar match by Hometown Bank for a campaign total of $17,500.00.

Vice President of Communication Joe Klimavich welcomed the many volunteers representing the agencies and thanked them for their dedicated service to the communities served by Hometown Bank.

He explained how the program has grown with each new location and announced the addition of Ginny’s Helping Hand, a 30-year old agency selected by Hometown’s new Leominster office to participate in the program. In the 11 years Hometown Bank has been running the Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign, a total of $80,700.00 has been distributed to participating food pantries.

Each year, the Bank’s customers are invited to be a Hometown Hero for a $1 donation or a Hometown Superhero for a $5 donation. The Bank also sends a letter to business customers inviting their help and contributions. Then, Hometown Bank matches all donations, dollar for dollar and splits the funds among food pantries that serve the areas surrounding each of its eight offices. In addition to Ginny’s, participating food pantries include Auburn Youth & Family Services, Athol Salvation Army Emergency Food Pantry, Wheat Community Services of Clinton, Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf, Southbridge Food Share and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry of Webster.

“This is an event we look forward to every year,” said Klimavich, “because we have gotten to know these agencies and the good work they are doing so well. The need is great but their commitment is up to the challenge. Everyone here at Hometown Bank considers this collaboration with our customers to be an important expression of who we are as a community bank.”

Area businesses contributing to the 2014 Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign include:

Accord Elder Care Properties LLC
All Phase Dental Lab Service Inc.
All Star Incentive Marketing
Amark Communications, Inc.
Auburn Chamber of Commerce
Breezy Corner LLC
Car & Truck Wholesalers
Chapter Eleven Realty Corporation
Cohasse Country Club
Commercial Security Corp.
Country Meadows, LLC
Cowden Pest Control
Dan Amorello Services Inc.
DRL Corporaton
E & M Slater Street LLC
EPV Plastics Corporation
Floor Source Inc.
G R F Inc. General Rubber Fabrics
Galaxy Worcester LLC
Giguere Lumber Sales Inc.
Griffin And Company, PC
Guerin Plumbing LLC
Harrisville Golf Course
Holland Mail and Graphics LLC
Hub Block Inc
J.O.C. Inc.
Jezierski Plumbing & Heating Inc.
Kitchen Options, Inc.
KLMB Properties LLC
Knapik Builders Inc.
Liv Inc
Mac Joly Corp
Mike’s Laundry Corp.
Morin Jewelers
Nordic Shield Plastics Corporation
Northeast Merchant Systems Inc.
O’Connell & O’Connell , P.C.
Paradis-Givner Funeral Home Inc
Paul T. Bremer
Pete’s Tire & Oil
Precision Auto Rebuilders, Inc
Pro Automotive LLC
R.C. Rheault Construction
Rollie’s Variety LLC
S&S Contractors Supply Inc
Speedee Of Auburn Inc
Standard Source Inc.
Sun Stop Tanning LLC
T & S Inc.
Teddy G’s Pub & Grille Inc
Vandi Auto Supply, Inc.

Hometown Bank is a $400 million mutual bank with offices in Athol, Auburn, Leominster, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and two offices in Webster.

Photo Cutline: (Left to right) Paul Mina (United Way of Tri-Country), Oxford Branch Manager Karla Christiansen, Jerry LaFleche (Southbridge Food Share), South Lancaster Branch Manager Denise Fernald, Leominster Branch Manager Donna Daigle, Donna Jarvis (WHEAT), Athol Branch Manager Marc Ostberg, Richard Nolin (St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry), Lt. Elliott Higgins and Lt. Darlene Higgins (Athol Salvation Army Food Pantry), Sturbridge Branch Manager Kathryn Latour, Catalino Alicea (Southbridge Food Shelf), Sally D’Arcangelo (Auburn Youth & Family Services), Ed Wentland (St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry of Webster), Webster Branch Manager Sharon Dimopoulos, Lynn Ellis (Auburn Youth & Family Services), Susan Rheault, Senior VP Lending Michael Mahlert and Commercial Lender Paul Raffa.

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Skip & Judy Nielsen’s Volunteerism Knows No Boundaries

OXFORD, MA – Carl (aka “Skip”) and Judy Nielsen, Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Heroes for December have perfected the art of community building. Whether it involves creating a community garden so neighbors can enjoy fresh, organic vegetables, or trekking off to Africa to install a new community well pump, the Nielsens’ style of volunteerism knows no boundaries.

The Nielsens have called the eastern shore of Sturbridge’s Quacumquasit Lake home for the better part of 30 years. Both have a long legacy of serving in leadership positions for QQLA, the local lake association, and been strong advocates for preserving the region’s lakes – Quaboag and Quacumquasit – for the enjoyment of fishermen, boaters and all who enjoy these natural resources.

As a former nursing manager at U Mass Medical Center, Judy is quick to respond to respond to neighbors’ medical needs: dressings, transport, medical information and usually a hearty bowl of soup for nourishment.

10 years ago, Judy joined the Board of Directors of Growth Through Learning (GTL), a local charitable organization that provides a high school education to deserving girls living in East Africa. Nominator Louis Fazen says, “With charismatic charm, Judy has awakened our consciousness and helped raise funding to provide education for almost 800 young women in three African countries. On one remarkable trip to Uganda, Judy carried a much needed laptop computer while Skip packaged up solar panels and then installed them on site. The school’s headmistress could not believe her eyes!”

Skip is a self-professed tinkerer, with a reputation for being able to build or fix just about anything. Neighbors know they can count on him for advice and assistance. He spent a recent morning climbing the clock tower in nearby Brookfield to set back the hands on the large antique clock that graces the town hall. A few years ago, noticing that the clock was no longer working, he fabricated new gear teeth and got it working again. And then there was that trip to Africa to install a well pump that literally changed the lives of local villagers.

A donation has been made to Growth Through Learning (GTL) in honor of the Nielsens.


Photo Cut Line: Sturbridge Branch Manager Kathryn Latour (right) congratulates December’s Everyday Hometown Heroes, Skip and Judy Nielsen, of Sturbridge. Behind them is a photo display of daily life in one of the schools supported by Growth Through Learning, on display at the Sturbridge Coffee House through December 29th