Liberty Bank, rotary Clubs raise record $281,8000 for food baskets

The 2016 Liberty Bank/Rotary Club Thanksgiving Drive, families living in Liberty Bank’s service area will benefit from over $281,800 raised to supply that food—a record for the 13-year-old partnership between the bank and 40 local Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Clubs of Derby/Shelton, Seymour/Oxford, and Ansonia, all of which participated in the drive for the first time this year, accounted for over $13,775 of that total.

The Derby/Shelton Rotary Club distinguished itself as the seventh highest fundraiser in the drive this year. It partnered with its local Liberty branch to raise $10,207 and received $2,552 in matching funds from the Liberty Bank Foundation, for a total of $12,759. The club received major contributions from The Fred A. Russ Fund, employees of PerkinElmer, and Living Springs Christian Fellowship in Seymour. Beneficiaries of the funds will be Spooner House and St. Vincent DePaul in Derby.

40 Rotary Clubs and the East Haddam Community Lions Club teamed up with the 55 Liberty Bank offices to raise $225,446 during the weeks after Columbus Day. At the end of the drive, the Liberty Bank Foundation added 25 cents for each dollar raised, totaling $56,362. Rotarians either use the funds to purchase and deliver Thanksgiving food to needy families, or donate the money to a local nonprofit organization that provides Thanksgiving baskets. All donations are used to provide food in the communities where they were given.

Since it began in 2004, the Liberty Bank/Rotary Club Thanksgiving Dinner Drive has raised almost $1.7 million to supply holiday meals to residents of the towns served by the bank. Last year’s drive raised almost $214,000, including over $53,000 in matching funds from the Liberty Bank Foundation, for a record-breaking year totaling $267,456.

The following Rotary Clubs participated in the 2016 Liberty Bank/Rotary Club Thanksgiving Dinner Drive: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Branford, Bristol, Cheshire, Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, Derby/Shelton, East Hampton, Essex, Groton, Haddam/Killingworth, Hamden, Kensington/Berlin, Madison, Meriden, Middletown, Mystic, Naugatuck*, New Britain/Berlin, New Haven, New London, Newington, Niantic, North Haven, Norwich, Old Saybrook, Plainville, Seymour/Oxford*, Southington, Stonington, Tribury of Woodbury/Southbury/Middlebury*, Wallingford, Waterbury*, Waterford, West Hartford, Wethersfield/Rocky Hill, and Willimantic. The East Haddam Community Lions Club also participated.

Each Liberty Bank office collected contributions for its local Rotary, so the funds remain in the communities where they were donated. Some Rotaries collected and distributed funds for nearby towns as well as their own, so that every town with a Liberty Bank office was included.

Liberty Bank branches participated in the fundraising by selling paper “turkey legs” to customers, and raised a portion of the total. The bank provided an incentive of free lunches to the staffs of the three branches that raised the most money through turkey leg sales.

Rotary is a global network of more than 1.2 million volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.