First Bankers and Employees Give Back

First Bankers Trust Services and employees believe in the importance of giving back to the community.

We are proud to give back through volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, charity or other means to help those in need and contribute to the common good.

First Bankers gives each full-time employee 8 paid hours to volunteer to their communities through local business group events, civic duty, and other volunteerism.

The following are annual contributions given by First Bankers and employees:

United Way
Blessing Breast Cancer Awareness
American Red Cross
Annual Food Drive
Annual School Supplies Drive

In addition, First Bankers offers a monthly “Jeans Day”

Our blue jeans day help support local charities. Every month a charity is nominated by one of our employees that is close to their heart. In exchange for donations, employees are given permission to dress in jeans on a Friday or selected day.

Following is information on the wonderful organizations of which donations were given over the last 12 months:

March 2018: Ethan’s Rodeo

 Ethan Weiman was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma in July 2007. Ethan fought an amazing battle for 2 years. Ethan’s cancer was treated primarily at St. Louis Children Hospital, where he underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries to place central lines and remove tumors, a stem cell transplant followed by isolation, and radiation. The treatment also required hospital visits for scans, checkups, labs, and treatment of infections. During his initial hospital stay, a combination of watching the movie “Dreamer” and losing his hair prompted Ethan to ask for a cowboy hat.

Ethan was declared disease-free in May 2008, but the disease resurfaced by August. August was consumed by a barn raising effort and a journey to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which specializes in NB research. Ethan’s horse, Sodador, was waiting to greet him after the first Philadelphia trip. Ethan and Sonador became immediate friends. Ethan liked to go on trail rides, feed him horse treats, and play him songs on his harmonica. Ethan eventually traded his red cowboy hat for a black one, which he wore with pride.

Shortly after, Ethan returned to Philadelphia for radioactive injection treatments that involved several days in isolation. These treatments kept the disease in check for a while, but it continued to spread. Ethan returned to St Louis for multiple drugs that were highly experimental and offered limited hope.

A family trip to Fort Worth, TX in February 2009 fulfilled another wish for Ethan. Ethan got to stay in a cabin, go to rodeos, take train rides, see lots of wild animals, ride a longhorn, and see lots of cowboys. In spite of the treatments and his positive attitude, Ethan’s cancer continued to spread. In June, 2009, Ethan went home to heaven.

Ethan’s Rodeo is a celebration of the cowboy spirit and our way of continuing the fight against neuroblastoma. All proceeds from Ethan’s Rodeo were donated to research of neuroblastoma, which is responsible for approximately 15% of all childhood cancer deaths. The treatment of this disease currently involves harsh doses of drugs with severe side effects and marginal results. Our goal is to fund research that will increase survival rates and offer treatments with more tolerable side effects.

There are approximately 75 volunteers that help with Ethan’s Rodeo. All funds raised go to a specific doctor in Michigan for research.  Last year roughly $30k was raised with over $230k that has been raised since the start of Ethan’s Rodeo back in 2010!  Some of the funds raised have come from matching donors the last few years.

All proceeds from Ethan’s Rodeo will be donated to research of neuroblastoma, which is responsible for approximately 15% of all childhood cancer deaths. The treatment of this disease currently involves harsh doses of drugs with severe side effects and marginal results.  Our goal is to fund research that will increase survival rates and offer treatments with more tolerable side effects.

The rodeo will be held Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th, 2018. There will be a band on both nights.  Included will be pony rides, a petting zoo, a sanctioned mounted shooting contest, cowboy photography, and many more games, rides and family activities.

 February 2018: Canton RV High School, Canton, MO –After Prom Committee

After Prom is a big thing in many high schools and chaperoned. It gives the Junior and Senior Class students an event to attend after the Dance that will keep them off the streets and away from temptation of drinking and drugs.  They have to sign in and once they are there they cannot leave unless a parent has given them permission to leave early (or has been notified that their child wishes to leave and permission is granted).  It usually is handled with fund raisers and donations from area businesses-responsibility of the Junior Class.  However, the Junior class this year at Canton RV is about ½ the size (#of students) than of a typical class so they are having a difficult time this year.  Funds are used to purchase entertainment (some years they hire hypnotists, etc…) and to purchase prizes for games played and random drawings throughout the evening.

January 2018: 14U River City Dirtbags

The 14U River City Dirtbags are a traveling baseball team from Quincy, IL and surrounding area. There are 12 players on the team, 2 of which are First Bankers employee’s sons.

The team participates in the Palmyra and Hannibal 14U Competitive Baseball league during the week. They have been champions of the Hannibal and Palmyra Competitive league each year they have participated. The Dirtbags travel on the weekends to participate in tournaments which are generally held in the St. Louis area.

The Dirtbags have won 30 plus tournaments including 2 World Series, multiple State Championships, and are currently the defending Illinois/Missouri State champions. The boys have also competed on the national and world level and brought home the Championship in 2013 and 2014. They boast a .927 winning percentage since 2012. They recently took second place in the World Series in Panama City, Florida this summer.

Donations made to the 14U River City Dirtbags helped the team with league and tournament fees.

December 2017: Junior Achievement

There are young people in our community who lack an understanding of what is possible in the future. These young people have no idea of the endless potential they possess. That is why Junior Achievement is here. JA volunteers enter classrooms and educate young people on how to be successful in the world of work, how to spend money wisely, and all about business. Students are inspired and motivated. They stay in school, apply themselves, and succeed. These students create a better future for themselves, their future families, and our entire community because of Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement is blessed to have First Bankers as a supporter. Each year First Bankers employees enter local classrooms and deliver JA’s programs. They make the program come to life. Though there is no cost to schools when JA is implemented, the cost is $20 per student.

November 2017: Blessing Breast Center

The Blessing Breast Center’s financial assistance program helps women pay for breast imaging, including annual screening and diagnostic mammograms. The program assists women without health insurance and those who have health insurance with a high deductible of $250 per person or more and meet certain guidelines.

October 2017:  The Blue Wolverine Foundation

The Blue Wolverine Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, publicly launched July 9. All donations made to the foundation will assist families in Clark, Knox, Lewis, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Ralls, Scotland and Shelby counties who have children under the age of 17 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The Blue Wolverine Foundation will assist families by providing them with gas and food gift cards and giving the child an activity book for when the family travels out of Northeast Missouri for doctor appointments related to type 1 diabetes.

September 2017: Eugene Field School Playground Fundraiser

Eugene Field Elementary in Hannibal, MO raised money for a Playground Project at the school. Their goal is to provide a playground area for their students and the neighborhood area so that the children can engage in age-appropriate play and be active with friends and family.

August 2017:  Quincy K-9 Connections

Quincy K-9 Connections was founded in 2002 by Anne Heckle.  However, rescue efforts among the group have continued for the past 20 years in an informal setting.  QKC has rescued and transported thousands of animals since its inception. In 2010, QKC rescued more than 1600 animals.

Our mission is to save unwanted shelter pets in the tri-state area from needless euthanasia by providing rescue, behavior rehabilitation, and rehoming services; educate the public about responsible pet ownership; advocate for low-cost spay/neuter programs and raise awareness about the pet overpopulation problem plaguing our region.

July 2017:  Special Olympics Illinois – Area 11/West Central

Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics in changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face. Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 22,000 athletes, more than 20,000 Young Athletes, 45,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 Area programs in all 102 counties of the state.

Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics is financially sound with diverse revenue streams, a thorough annual budget process and increasing organizational revenue streams. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.

MISSION: Provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type ports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Area 11 was founded in 1978 and provides programming for people in the counties of Adams, Brown, Cass, Greene, Hancock, Pike, Schuyler and Scott.

June 2017: Quincy Neighborhood Federation

The Quincy Neighborhood Federation (QNF) is a very low key organization in the fact that they do not have a website, they do not advertise, and promote their activities within the neighborhoods they serve. QNF only has a Facebook page that can be followed for upcoming activities.

QNF maintains three youth centers in Quincy; the George Parsons Center near 8th and Payson Ave, the Jefferson Center at 5th & Cedar, and the Harrison Hills center. These centers offer a safe environment to keep youth off the streets. There is also an after-school program with computers to assist with homework. During the summer they offer breakfast and lunch as well as activities throughout the day.

You may have heard of the Theda Jansen Award which is named for a Quincy Police Department juvenile officer who passed away in 1983. Jansen was well known for her work with the Neighborhood Federation and on behalf of children from humble beginnings. Every year the Quincy Neighborhood Federation names a recipient for the award that has impacted Quincy youth in a positive way.

One facet that we have been involved in as a company the last several years is the school supply distribution that QNF holds every year in August just before school starts. With June being charitable jeans day month for QNF; the funds collected will be used by QNF to assist with purchasing school supplies for Quincy youth this year.

May 2017: QUANADA

QUANADA works to empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing comprehensive services in an atmosphere of respect and confidentiality. They are committed to the elimination of violence through prevention, education and advocacy in the community.

Their free and confidential services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • 24-hour crisis hotline
  • Shelter
  • Counseling
  • Court and medical advocacy
  • Referrals
  • Educational and violence prevention services
  • Food pantry
  • Assistance with clothing and household necessities

QUANADA provides qualified counseling 24 hours a day for the following counties:

  • Adams
  • Brown
  • Hancock
  • Schuyler
  • Pike

April 2017: Plainville Lions Club

Lions Clubs International Purpose:

  • To Organize, charter and supervise service clubs to be known as Lions clubs.
  • To Coordinate the activities and standardize the administration of Lions clubs.
  • To Create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
  • To Promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
  • To Take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
  • To Unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
  • To Provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.
  • To Encourage service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.

Jeans Day total amount donated in 2017: $3,679
Jeans Day total amount donated in 2016: $4,535
Jeans Day total amount donated in 2015: $3,968