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:

June 2018: Great River Honor Flight

Donations helped transport veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials. Our top priority is our nation’s most senior heroes. World War II veterans waited patiently for over 60 years for a memorial that recognizes their service and accomplishments. The World War II Memorial also recognizes the ultimate sacrifices of their friends who never made it home. They all deserve this one last opportunity to visit America’s “Thank You.”

Trips are simply not possible without public support. Prior to Honor Flight Network, our veterans had given up all hope of ever seeing the World War II Memorial. Now they have hope… but time is not on our side. The time to act is now!

Approximately 1,200 World War II veterans die each day.

In another 5-7 years almost all of our World War II veterans will be gone. This trip is their “last hurrah,” the last time they will be recognized as the conquering victors that collectively and literally saved the world. To this day Europe is free, the Pacific is free and America is free. This freedom came at a very high cost. We can never repay them for what they’ve done. An “Honor Flight” is simply a small token of our appreciation for everything they’ve done. Throughout their Honor Flight Network trip, the World War II veterans are thanked, recognized and admired for their service. They come home personally knowing how much their country loves them and respects them. Veterans will never forget this gratitude and adoration.

Equal priority is given to any terminally ill veteran who has never visited their Korean War or Vietnam War Memorials. If America thought it was important to build a memorial to their service and sacrifice, Honor Flight Network believes it’s important for them to visit their memorial before it’s too late.

Terminally ill veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were also invited to travel. Perhaps they too will some day have a memorial, but today they need to see how America honors our wonderful fighting men and women.

Honor Flight Network are extremely proud of responsible stewardship of donated funds. 92.7% of monies received directly supports efforts to safely transport veterans to their memorials. Only 7.3% is spent on administrative costs.

May 2018: American Heart Association

American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all they do. This is why the American Heart Association has spent billions of dollars since 1949 on research and programs to combat heart disease and stroke. They also support programs to improve patient care and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

  • Research 20.7%
  • Public Health Education 35%
  • Professional Education and Training 18%
  • Community Services 8.3%
  • Management and General 6.6%
  • Fund Raising 11.4%

April 2018: Fishing for Freedom

The Fishing For Freedom – Quincy event was a great way for us to honor our Wounded Warriors and Global War on Terrorism Veterans and to show them our thanks and appreciation.

It is made possible by our patriotic American sponsors and sportsmen from the Tri-state area and from across the country.

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) will soon be entering its 17th year and many of our troops have served on multiple combat deployments. The stress of combat and high operational tempo has strained our military and their families to no end. We have seen and heard the stories of these heroes as many have returned home with physical injuries, but a tremendous psychological toll is also being paid by our warriors.

By their very nature, outdoor recreational activities are extremely therapeutic and have been shown through recent examples to make a difference in our returning warrior’s lives. Although angling is only one of those outdoor activities, it is one that can help our returning heroes escape the hardships of combat deployments and begin the process of assimilation back into everyday life.

Every deployment has its cost. One of the small costs, but still an important one, is the time lost from enjoying the great outdoors. There is an entire fishing and hunting season that is lost to every deployment. Fishing for Freedom cannot give back that entire season, but we can give back a weekend.

We do that by taking wounded warriors and GWOT veterans out for a day of tournament fishing fun and providing them with a weekend of entertainment and enjoyment of the great outdoors.

With the assistance from a network of anglers throughout the region, as well as caring local and corporate sponsors, we hosted the 8th annual Fishing for Freedom – Quincy event.

This event is designed to provide our GWOT veterans as well as active duty troops with a weekend of events that range from fish frys and trapshooting, a Heroes Banquet, and fishing on the mighty Mississippi River or Mark Twain Lake.

It is about showing the troops a good time with Midwestern hospitality in an area that supports its veterans. But most important, it is about saying THANKS!

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.

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 is 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 sports 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.

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