Above photograph: German American Bank recently presented a $20,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.
By Nicholas Siegel | Photo by John Sodrel
ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS A LOCAL BUSINESS CAN MAKE IS IN THE COMMUNITY THEY’RE A PART OF. ON JUNE 16, MEMBERS OF GERMAN AMERICAN BANK DID JUST THAT BY PRESENTING A $20,000 CHECK TO THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN INDIANA AT THEIR JEFFERSONVILLE BRANCH OFFICE. THE FUNDS WILL BE MATCHED, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, BY THE LILLY ENDOWMENT, MAKING A TOTAL CONTRIBUTION OF $40,000.
The check was presented by German American Bank Chairman and CEO Mark Schroeder and President Clay Ewing – among other members of the team – to the Community Foundation.
Community Foundation President Linda Speed expressed her appreciation: “We as a community foundation really appreciate it when our local businesses invest in the community through us and use us as a vehicle to help raise the standard of living for all our residents – it’s one of the things we do with our grants – so this is a great investment for the bank and it’s a wonderful partnership for us to be able to help in this way.”
The check presentation was the start of an alliance that excites both organizations. “For us, it’s a great new partnership,” said Kenton Wooden, director of community outreach for the Community Foundation. “They’re really making an investment back in the community, because this is going into our community endowment fund which we use to make annual grants every year to support the most pressing needs of this region.”
For German American Bank, the donation is more than just a gesture. It’s an investment in a community they care about and want to be a special part of. “That’s just a core value of who we are at German American,” said German American Market President Adrian Brown. “We’ve supported several community foundations within the footprint of where we have our physical locations, and so coming here to the Clark and Floyd county area and supporting their community foundation is just a natural extension of who we are and what we’ve done in the past.”
Bob Kleehammer, German American Bank regional senior vice president, emphasized the importance of donations like this: “The bigger we get, the more grants we can make and the more organizations we can help. So it helps the whole community whenever that occurs—that we can give back to different organizations and help their budgets, and they can do more for the people of the community.”
“We as a community foundation really appreciate it when our local businesses invest in the community through us and use us as a vehicle to help raise the standard of living for all our residents—it’s one of the things we do with our grants,” said Speed. “So this is a great investment for the bank and it’s a wonderful partnership for us to be able to help in this way. And because it’s double through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment match, it means the impact is that much greater.”
When considering how to put their donation to best use for future generations, it was obvious to German American Bank that the community endowment fund was a wise investment. “The community foundation does outstanding work in the community and they do work that not only benefits the people today, but through the power of endowment it benefits further generations to come. So when you’re looking at making an investment in the community, I don’t know that there’s a better investment you can make,” said Brown.