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:

December 2018: St. James Lutheran School

About St. James Lutheran School

Established in 1851 by St. James Lutheran Church, St. James Lutheran School continues to serve the Quincy community and provide a quality education from its location on south 17th Street. St. James is a private, non-profit, Christian school with classes ranging from 3 year old preschool through 8th grade.

St. James provides an excellent primary education to the students that attend. In addition to class room studies, St. James offers its students a variety of extra curricular activities and community service opportunities. In the interests of providing these services affordably to the families it services, St. James heavily subsidizes the cost of tuition and provides tuition assistance for families of limited means.

The costs of providing these services are not getting any cheaper and St. James is always looking for new supporters to help fund its mission. So let’s help them keep it going for at least another 168 years.

November 2018: African Impact Group

Our very own, Merri Ash, will be joining a group of nursing students from the University of Pennsylvania as a chaperone and volunteering in the orphanages in 2019. The money that we raise along with other money will be used to purchase stethoscopes and supplies that the students will use to help the people in need in Africa.

About African Impact Group

The year was 2004 and a handful of well-traveled people sat around a table in the heart of the Zimbabwean wilderness. With backgrounds in tourism, development and conservation, they knew they wanted to do something great. They wanted to use their passion and skills to start a travel company that made a difference. They wanted to introduce people to the Africa they knew. The people. The wildlife. The magic.

When we opened our doors to our first batch of international volunteers, we were a small, family-run organization with big dreams.

It didn’t take long to see that there were a lot more people like us. People who wanted to travel while truly experiencing a country at its best, and worst. People who wanted to genuinely connect with the local people and to leave a place better than they found it. We grew and opened new volunteer projects in new countries across southern Africa.

We eventually set up home in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. As the industry grew we recognized that doing the right thing, being responsible, doing good, and still providing travel experiences was, at times, complicated. We grappled with what we were… a travel company? A tourism company? How was the volunteer experience related to the impact they made? The industry was evolving, and so were we.

We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing team of people behind African Impact, most who started as volunteers and have been on this journey since the beginning. This is our strength and what has allowed us, over the years, to go beyond volunteering, to focus on what it does best; provide an exchange of ideas and mindsets. We’ve learned that if a community has total buy-in and ownership of a project – and a volunteer is truly informed about their own role and contribution to this – volunteering has the power to transform both a community and a volunteer. That is a beautiful thing and what we witness every day on our projects.

Ultimately, our goal is to take volunteering, internships and group travel as far as it can go, combining genuine impacts with extraordinary experiences. Our story isn’t over, we haven’t even scratched the surface. So, learn more about us, ask the right questions and if we’re the right organization for you, we’re excited to welcome you on our journey

October 2018: advocacy network for children

About advocacy network for children

Our goal is really quite simple – to protect and uphold the rights of children when wrongs have been committed against them, to help abused or neglected children have safe permanent homes where they can thrive, to act as a powerful voice in these children’s best interests and to educate the public about the plight of abused children.

Brief History

Advocacy Network for Children, formerly known as Children’s Action Network, is a not for profit organization. Established in 1990 as a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Adams County, the agency focused on the recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers who speak in the best interest of abused or neglected children in the court system. As the agency broadened its mission to serve abused children in the community, it opened its doors of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Adams County in 1999 and the Children’s Advocacy Center in Pike County in 2002. The agency officially changed its name in 2002 to Children’s Action Network in an effort to better reflect all the services of the organization provides.

Two additional Children’s Advocacy Centers were opened in 2004. A CAC in Rushville provides services to abused children and their non-offending families in Brown, Cass and Schuyler Counties, and is referred to as Tri-County CAC. A CAC in Carthage was opened to serve Hancock County.

In 2005, Scott County was added to the Pike County CAC office and Morgan County was added in 2006. The most recent expansion was in April of 2007 with the addition of McDonough County to the Hancock County CAC. There are now interview sites in each of the counties to serve child victims of severe physical and sexual abuse and their non-offending families. We are now the largest service CAC in Illinois serving nine counties in the west central part of the state between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

All of the Children’s Advocacy Centers are fully accredited through the National Children’s Alliance. The CASA program of Adams County is a member in good standing of National CASA Association.

The agency changed its name again in March 2008 to Advocacy Network for Children. The focus on advocacy better describes the mission and programs of the agency.

The newest program addition to the agency is the Prevention Program, “P.S. It’s My Body/Happy Bear”. This research-based curriculum teaches children safety strategies and is designed to decrease children’s risk of being abused. Children will learn to recognize welcome and unwelcome touches, practice saying “No” and moving away, and identify trusted adults they can report unwelcome touches to. Children will be reminded that they have the right to say “No” and that abuse is never their fault. The program includes a teacher and parent component that provides safety tips, strategies for talking to children about personal safety, and what to do if a child discloses abuse.

September 2018: Quincy Symphony Orchestra

Mr. George M. Irwin founded the “Quincy Little Symphony” in 1947. The Orchestra was expanded in 1952 and re-named the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, presenting five concerts annually. Music Director Bruce Briney is the seventh conductor, and has led the QSO since 2007.

Dr. Briney strives to craft a season of diverse musical styles and performers. His commitment to the creation of new music by collaborating with and supporting living composers has led the QSO to commission and perform four world premieres since 2007, and to the introduction of several composers to our community through pre-concert lectures. The QSO seeks collaborative programs with area arts and non-arts organizations, recently receiving the statewide 2011 Community Relations of the Year Award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras.

Approximately 75 musicians from all walks of life from Quincy and the surrounding region rehearse with the QSO Weekly from September to April. Most are volunteers, and many have been loyal members of the symphony for 25 years or more. Students and music faculty from several area colleges and high schools participate regularly. The QSO prepares five concerts each season, including a joint performance with the Quincy Symphony Chorus and a special day of concerts for elementary school students in March.

Auditions are held once a year in late August for open positions and for the substitute musicians list. String players who are new to the community may audition throughout the year by special arrangement.

Since the founding of the organization in 1947, the performing groups of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association have performed countless outstanding orchestral & chorus concerts. We are growing, and in the last few seasons have drawn over 1,000 attendees to several concerts. People like what we are doing! However, that is just one part of the story – the QSOA also introduces children to the joy and rewards of high quality music through our youth orchestra, youth chorus, and educational outreach. The QSOA is an integral part of the fine arts culture that enriches our community and quality of life in ways that last a lifetime.

To achieve our mission of bringing quality music to a wide-range of audience members, we keep our ticket prices very low, and offer free admission to all children 18 and under. Yet, presenting concerts and educational programs is an expensive endeavor. The result is that admission revenues cover only a very small portion of our costs. We rely on donations from people like you who are passionate about the programs we provide. All donations of $25 or more will be recognized in next season’s program booklets.

The QSOA is a 501(c)3 organization.

August 2018: Durham Community Center & Ball Park

The Durham Community Center was formed late in 1963, after the Durham Consolidated School burnt to the ground in 1962. Several local area men and women got together and bought the ground and formed The Durham Community Center.

Over the years many improvements were made including the building of the ball park in 1993 at a cost of over $45,000.00 and a half mile walking path in 2000.

This along with new bathrooms in 2009 has been paid off all with the hard work of volunteers and the support of area businesses.

Baseball and Softball is an important part of what we offer the children of the area. Our teams are part of the Mississippi Valley Youth League.

Each year we also sponsor several events for the children of the area. An Easter Egg Hunt is held for kids of all ages. We also have a kids carnival along with the annual Fish Fry which this year celebrated their 55th year. In December there is a visit with Santa where the kids can do crafts, get a picture with Santa all of which is free.

We are a Not for Profit 501c3 Organization. We do not receive any tax money or government grants.

The building which was built in 1965 is now in need of updating and major repairs which plans to start this fall.

July 2018: Horizons Soup Kitchen and Pantry

Our Mission

Helping those in need in Quincy, IL

Motivated by the love of Jesus Christ, our mission is to feed the poor and hungry in our community.

We accomplish this mission through our daily soup kitchen and our free choice food pantry, all of which are offered in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment. We meet the immediate needs of individuals and families who lack access to enough food to sustain an active, healthy life.

We offer the hope of a better life by promoting self-reliance and encouraging a relationship with Jesus Christ. Hope is as essential as food and water. Take away our hope, and our world is reduced to something between depression and despair… hope is more than wishful thinking… hope is a vital necessity of life. We don’t see the complete answer to all of earth’s problems, but we have hope in God’s promises.

We believe in the power of community as we collaborate and build strong relationships with our partners, who share our vision. We serve our community as a strategic coordinator and communication facilitator as we unite area churches, businesses and community organizations in pursuit of our mission. God’s grace in Jesus Christ moves us to help our neighbors.

We believe it is important to educate our volunteers and the community about the cycle of poverty and the issues faced by people living in poverty. This education equips us to better serve these individuals and helps deepen our compassion. The entire community benefits when the cycle of poverty can be broken.

Anyone can make a gift to any fund at any time to help it grow

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.

Jeans Day total amount donated in 2018: $3,547
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