Centier Bank reflects on long-standing partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana

Centier Bank reflects on long-standing partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana

Centier Bank has been a supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana for longer than most members of either organization can remember. Year after year, the family-owned and operated bank rallies their team members and the entire community together to support the incredible efforts of the Clubs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana Director of Marketing Stephanie Hamilton and Director of External Affairs Dylan McKee both shared their perspective on what it is like to feel the support and encouragement from Centier Bank and its team.

“Every year, they are one of our corporate donors and they are at the highest level of giving,” said Hamilton. “They’re always there when we need someone to go to or we’re looking for some creative ideas. I know they’re always a partner that we can reach out to, whether it’s for brainstorming things or matching gifts. They are just a really reliable supporter.”

McKee echoed Hamilton’s sentiments by emphasizing how both Centier Bank’s financial and personal involvement has such a beneficial impact on the Clubs’ efforts to inspire and empower the youth in our communities. 

“Obviously financially their involvement helps us in terms of general operations, but all the personal involvement of their team members is arguably more important because it helps us plan events and come up with strategic plans,” said McKee. “It speaks to their level of commitment to not only be financially involved, but for many of them to personally take time out of their day to volunteer for us.”

A few notable Centier Bank members who have had a constant, lasting impact on the organization over the years and who both Hamilton and McKee mentioned stand out in the partnership includes Chris Campbell, senior partner at Centier Bank, Amy Kezy, vice president of business banking at Centier Bank, and Leslie Berg, senior partner at Centier Bank.

Though the list of contributions that the bank has made to the Clubs is endless, Centier Bank most recently donated $75,000 to help fund the exciting new Boys & Girls Club that has already begun construction on Evans Avenue in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Anthony Contrucci, senior vice president of community relations at Centier Bank, discussed how important it is to the bank and its team that their partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs is reflected not only in their monetary gifts and encouragement of fundraising to support developments like the ongoing construction in Valparaiso, but also in tangible, active moments of support, such as volunteering.

“It’s important to note that support doesn’t just come in the form of corporate dollars,” said Contrucci. “So often, philanthropy is just dollars, and I think those dollars are extremely important because, obviously, those dollars are what help those organizations financially flourish from capital campaigns to the support those dollars provide with ongoing operating expenses and programming, but what truly excites me is the impact we are able to create with our volunteerism.”

Centier Bank is proud to be an organization that is constantly in search of volunteer opportunities. 

“I am proud to share that over the past five years – since 2016 – Centier Bank has recorded over 70,000 hours in volunteering,” Contrucci said. “Corporate giving is essential and I’m proud of that, but to see that we have that level of participation as engaged corporate citizens from the Centier family creating impact in the communities that we serve is what differentiates a community bank.” 

What makes Centier Bank and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s partnership even more special is that the priority of volunteerism is paralleled with one another. 

“45% of Boys & Girls Clubs’ teen members report that they volunteer monthly or more. That’s inspiring,” said Contrucci. “That is just one of many points that helps to tell the story of why Boys & Girls Clubs is such a phenomenal partner for us because there’s an alignment of values and mission.”

One of the many examples of Centier Bank’s involvement in fundraising was through Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s Return to Learn campaign. 

McKee explained how the campaign was part of the Clubs’ efforts to raise money as students were going back to school. Centier Bank, demonstrating their support yet again, stepped in with fun challenges to incentivize people to give what they could and adapt to the challenges that the pandemic presented to young people and their families.

“Last year was a rough year for everybody, so for Centier to help out during the Return to Learn campaign in a way where it’s not just giving donations, but coming up with ways to have those donations drive more donations and other ways to adapt to our current environment was great,” said McKee. 

“We have really been proud to partner with them for years,” said Contrucci. “Whether it’s a financial gift in support of a capital campaign or Centier volunteerism like serving on the board of directors, we always want to create a positive impact in the lives of the residents in our communities, and youth is so important to us because they’re our future leaders.”

One point of interest that really grabbed Contrucci’s attention when reflecting on Centier Bank’s partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs over the years was the percentage of members of the Clubs who report feeling welcome during their time with the organization: 88%.

“One of the most important issues we are facing as a society today is diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Contrucci. “For me, one of the key aspects of DE&I, is a sense of belongingness. That you feel you’re included and that you have opportunity. That is extremely important to Centier Bank and the entire Centier family. And the fact that these children feel a sense of belonging, that they have a safe place to be themselves and to grow is wonderful.”

Contrucci feels that Boys & Girls Clubs truly understands the demands that are currently placed on young people and appropriately responds to their needs in an effort to keep them comfortable, yet encouraged, to grow and develop. These ideals are exactly what reassures Centier Bank that their continued support is making a real difference.

“We’re a community bank and we really believe in being there for our communities,” said Contrucci. “Boys & Girls Clubs creates a really great environment across the continuum where kids feel like they belong, giving them a safe space to be themselves, to grow, to learn, to educate.” 

Hamilton rounded out the tokens of appreciation between the two organizations by emphasizing how proud Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana feels to have Centier as their long-time partner and supporter.

“We’re proud to have them as a partner,” said Hamilton. “We’re proud to put their logo on our event brochures and things like that, but we’re just very grateful for everything that they’ve done for us throughout the years.”

To learn more about Centier Bank, visit its website at www.centier.com. To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, visit its website at www.bgcgreaternwi.org.