November 3, 2014 | News
Riverbend Growth Association Awards Cope for Community Involvement
GODFREY — The 2014 Riverbend Growth Association’s State of the Riverbend luncheon was held Thursday morning and afternoon at The Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College and those in attendance saw three area businesses and two municipalities named Captains of the Riverbend.
CNB Bank & Trust, Cope Plastics, Inc., Scott Credit Union, the Village of East Alton and the Village of Godfrey were each presented their awards in front of a large crowd gathered to celebrate efforts that have enhanced the Riverbend region.
The Captain of the Riverbend Awards were created by the RBGA to identify and honor the many ways in which local businesses or governments have enhanced the Riverbend region. The awards are presented to businesses and government that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to public enhancement, community involvement and/or economic enhancement of the region.
The award comes in two categories, Community Involvement and Government and Public Enhancement.
CNB Bank & Trust took home one of the three Community Involvement Captain’s awards. CNB gives nearly $100,000 in cash and in-kind donations contributions to many Riverbend non-profit organizations such as the Riverbender.com Community Center, NAGC, Alton Main Street, Boys and Girls Club of Alton, Senior Services Plus and many more.
“On behalf of CNB Bank & Trust, it is certainly my honor to accept this award,” Larry Franklin of CNB said.
The second winner of for Community Involvement was Cope Plastics, Inc., which sponsors blood drives and has a United Way agency fair each year for their employees to learn about the various agencies in the Riverbend. Local management serves on the boards of the Southwestern Illinois Employers Association (SIEA), Pride, Inc., the International Association of Plastics Distribution, United Way, the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the RBGA. Cash contributions total nearly $60,000 annually with in-kind donations totaling nearly $15,000 in the Riverbend.
“I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of Cope Plastics,” Cindy Smalley of Cope Plastics said. “We should all be very proud of our community as it has the unusual gift of compassion and generosity.”
Scott Credit Union was awarded the third Community Involvement Captain’s hat, which has developed an employee volunteer incentive program for their involvement in their communities. In just a year, SCU employees volunteered a total of 2,136 hours off-the-lock. SCU has donated more than $55,000 cash to more than 40 local non-profit organizations and in-kind donations in the form of raffle baskets and giveaways to more than 20 local organizations and events.
“Our employee volunteer program is something we are very proud of. Our employees put forth more than 2,400 hours to the community last year and we are very proud of that,” Jennifer Hess of Scott Trade Union said. “We are relatively new here to the Riverbend, so our story has just begun and we look forward to working with you guys in the future.”
The first of the two Government and Public Enhancement awards went to the Village of East Alton. RBGA Chairman John Keller cited East Alton’s Emerald Ridge development as one of the several reasons the village earned a captain’s hat. The Emerald Ridge project is the culmination of more than a decade’s work by village leadership to replace blighted housing in the “Defense Area” neighborhood. The Emerald Ridge development and coupled efforts by the village cost $15.7 million.
“Make no mistake this is the mayor’s captain’s hat,” East Alton Treasurer Joe Silkwood said as he accepted the award. “There are a lot of people here who had a hand in the (Emerald Ridge) project.”
The Village of Godfrey was awarded a Government and Public Enhancement award because of its securing of several grants to improve Glazebrook Park. A $1.7 million project, the Glazebrook improvements included new restroom facilities, ball fields, trails, playgrounds and other site amenities. As a result of this work, additional seasonal and part-time jobs were created.
Mayor Mike McCormick said brought two Godfrey officials on stage to recognize the work they had done on Glazebrook.
“I brought up Kimberly Caughran and Jim Lewis. They are the people who do the work,” McCormick said. “Kimberly is our parks and recreation director, Jim Lewis is our director of maintenance. He is responsible for keeping the parks looking nice and Kimberly is responsible for filling the parks. They do a heck of a job.”
McCormick thanked the Godfrey Board of Trustees and told those in attendance, “there is more to come” with Godfrey.
Near the closing of Thursday’s luncheon, RBGA President Monica Bristow reviewed the lengths the Riverbend region has come in just a year. Bristow cited $6 million in investments in Lewis and Clark Community College and the $7.8 million Wood River Police Station project.
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