Premier Bank Gives United Way Campaign $60,000 Jump Start

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley got a head start on its 2021 fundraising campaign Thursday when it received a $60,000 donation from Premier Bank.

Bob Hannon, president of the chapter, says the 2021 goal is $3 million. Fundraising won’t begin until July, and the Premier Bank gift will go toward it.

“It’s nice to get in early and start the funding,” said Josh Toot, Premier Bank’s senior vice president of commercial banking. “I think this will probably help bridge that gap.”

Toot sits on the United Way’s board of directors. He saw firsthand last year the amount of work the United Way put into assisting those in need. Last year, Hannon said, the agency recruited 400 new volunteers and launched several new programs, including the Satur-Day of Caring food distribution and delivery.

Premier Bank’s donation will be used for several programs offered by the United Way, says Roxann Sebest, the United Way’s director of marketing and communications. It will help fund Women United, Success After 6, Promising Men, Young Women’s Mentorship, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

“Those big gifts, sometimes, can make or break us,” Sebest says. “The fact that they believe in the work that we do at that level is incredible and we want to be good stewards of their money.

“I believe they see that because so many [Premier Bank employees] are volunteering in the actual programs.”

Sebest says Premier Bank volunteers have assisted with the tax preparation assistance program and the Imagination Library. The connection between the United Way and Premier Bank helps the bank see where its donation money is going and how the organization gives back to the community.

“It helps them feel confident that they can give these big gifts to us,” she says.

The mentorship programs, which the donation will help fund, operated remotely due to COVID-19 in 2020. Volunteers had to meet with students and others digitally to continue the programs.

Toot says Premier Bank will continue to work with the United Way and plans to contribute more time and resources to the United Way throughout the year.

“This year, we’re looking to get back to a sense of normalcy,” Toot says. “And it’s really good to help fund the programs we’re looking at.”

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley recently wrapped up its 2020 campaign, raising $3.3 million.

Pictured: Premier Bank vice president of commercial banking Josh Toot (center) presents the bank’s $60,000 gift to United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, represented by PResident Bob Hannon and director of workforce campaigns Tina Chance.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.