First State Bank Southwest kicks off Community Banking Month

WORTHINGTON -- A "cash mob" filled the Java Nau coffee shop on Oxford Street on two occasions Monday morning, marking the start of a local financial institution's observance of Community Banking Month.

Java Nau employee Jill Raboin (center) is surrounded by a group of First State Bank Southwest employees Monday morning following a surprise "cash mob" visit to the business on Worthington's Oxford Street. (Special to the Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - A “cash mob” filled the Java Nau coffee shop on Oxford Street on two occasions Monday morning, marking the start of a local financial institution’s observance of Community Banking Month.


First State Bank Southwest had two groups of its employees (32 in all) visit the locally owned business Monday as part of what will be a weekly effort throughout the month of April. The businesses won’t be notified ahead of time each Monday; they’ll instead be surprised by groups of people ready to spend money locally.


“With our cash mobs, First State Bank Southwest gives our employees some money to spend at a locally owned business that doesn’t know they’re coming,” bank president and CEO Grey Raymo said Monday. “Local businesses are the key to the success of the bank, and they’re the catalyst to making the community successful.”



There’s more that Raymo and First State Bank Southwest staff has in mind for Community Banking Month, a national event coordinated by the Independent Community Bankers of America.


“Every April we emphasize Community Banking Month to try to tell our story about why we support local business,” Raymo said.


“From 5 to 7 p.m. (tonight), we’ll be hosting our Chamber Mixer event,” he added. “We’ll have a program starting at about 5:45 p.m. during which we’ll announce the winner of this year’s Community Pride Award. We’ve given out this award since 1995, and this is the second year we used a Chamber mixer to present the award. We’re excited to be a part of that.”


The First State Bank Southwest location at the corner of Oxford Street and Burlington Avenue in Worthington was nearly filled to capacity last year, and Raymo expects another strong turnout tonight. The Community Pride Award is given to someone who is “respected, dedicated and passionate about helping people in our community.” Additionally, the award’s recipient is the beneficiary of $1,000 from First State Bank Southwest to be donated to a non-profit organization of their choice.



Also in April, Raymo said he plans to give two separate presentations as part of Financial Literacy Month. The bank will purchase lunch for all in attendance at Senior Dining on April 12, with Raymo to offer a talk on financial literacy during the meal. He’ll also do a presentation on financial planning for widows at 2 p.m. next Monday at American Lutheran Church.


Another component of the bank’s commitment to the community - this month and year-round - is the ongoing work of the First State Bank Southwest Charitable Program, which distributes fund to a variety of local entities.


“They want to make sure we’re investing our profits back into the community,” Raymo said of the program. “That helps make continued growth possible.


“We’re excited about April, and we’re excited about being a part of this community.”



Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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