In Our Community, Smart Savings Tips

First County Bank Sponsors Financial Literacy Programs at Local High Schools

Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. First County Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to offer the completely free financial literacy curriculum available to eight schools in the New Canaan, Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and Wilton areas.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. “Kids have their own bank accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life. But because First County Bank is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it’s important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world. First County Bank realizes that, and they’re doing something about it.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it’s dedicated to helping Americans improve their financial well-being. We’re making an extra effort to spread awareness to teachers about this free financial literacy program available to them. First County Bank has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom.

Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit firstcountybank.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.

In Our Community

Another Successful Maple Sugar Festival Weekend

Mollie Herz - Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecake

Mollie Herz of Stamford, 2018 Winner of the Teen Chefs Challenge

The annual First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center took place this past weekend under stormy skies and high winds. The weather didn’t stop the many fans who braved the elements to come to sample this seasons maple syrup and to enjoy a visit with the First County Bank volunteers.

The highlight of the weekend was the Teen Chef Challenge on Saturday which was a great success. Eight highly talented Teen Chefs competed in an exciting competition to create the best tasting recipe using maple syrup, as judged by the public and celebrity judges—some from First County Bank.

Each Chef came up with creative food presentations and enticing recipes ranging from a healthy chopped Brussel Sprouts with Kale, Bacon and Maple syrup to the sweet Chocolate Bacon Cupcake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and assorted cookies and cheesecakes. The Homemade Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecake created by Mollie Herz, age 13 of Stamford was the ultimate overall winner in a very exciting competition.

Despite the less than favorable weather, First County Bank volunteers were on hand throughout the 2-day event to greet visitors and hand out the signature First County Bank popcorn. Other volunteers gave away teal goodies, including the First County Bank backpacks and tote bags as well as lip balm, pens and specialty kitchen item.

In Our Community

Save the Date: Maple Sugar Festival Weekend

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.47.18 AMCelebrate the sweetness of maple sugaring season as this annual family favorite returns to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center Saturday, March 3rd and Sunday, March 4th. The Maple Sugar Festival weekend is a fun filled family weekend which includes maple sugar and tree tapping demonstrations, sweet maple treats, face painting, a scavenger hunt and much more!

The first of two main events taking place over the weekend is our 5th Annual First County Bank Teen Chef Challenge. This event takes place Saturday, March 3rd from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The other main event is the Sunday, Pancake Brunch taking place March 4th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We invite you all to join the fun and come out to the little red sugarhouse on Heckscher Farm.

For more event information click here. For admission information or to purchase tickets to the Sunday Brunch visit the Stamford Museum Maple Sugar Sunday website.

Bank News, In Our Community

First County Bank Announces Expansion Into the Town of Fairfield

We are proud to announce we are expanding our footprint and opening a full service branch in the Town of Fairfield. This will allow the bank to provide more convenient full-service banking services to its customers within Lower Fairfield County. The new First County Bank branch is located in downtown Fairfield at 1312 Post Road, diagonally across from the Fairfield Library, steps away from the train station, and it provides plenty of on-site parking. It will be open for business in early February, after some renovations are completed.

Benedict "Ben" Peter, Branch Manager

Benedict “Ben” Peter, Branch Manager

“First County Bank is excited to bring our community banking to the Town of Fairfield,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “This expansion provides more convenient local banking to our customers in Fairfield and surrounding communities. We have been delivering personalized banking services to Fairfield County customers for over 165 years, and expanding our footprint into Fairfield confirms our commitment to this area. We are conveniently located in the heart of town, close to the train station.”

The new Fairfield branch will offer a full-service team of bankers.  The retail branch staff will be led by Benedict “Ben” Peter, as branch manager and Iliana Nikolova, as assistant branch manager.  Also on site will be bankers specializing in business banking and residential lending.  Investment and trust services will be provided by First County Advisors, the wealth management division of First County Bank.

First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

Roosevelt Simmons: One of the World’s Ten Nicest People

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Pictured (left to right): Hank Herman & Roosevelt Simmons

In November, Hank Herman of the Westport News wrote an article, The Home Team / The world’s 10 nicest people (Part 2). In the article, Herman lists ten of the world’s nicest people living in Westport, from “Joe the Italian Mailman” to “Sam at Mobil”; and in the mix our very own, “Roosevelt at First County Bank”.

“Roosevelt at First County Bank: Our youngest son Robby thinks Roosevelt, Assistant Branch Manager at our local First County on the Post Road, is the coolest person on the planet. He’s also one of the nicest. You know those commercials where they try to make banking seem fun and friendly? Roosevelt actually does that. Except that I have to figure on a 20-minute visit, so we can dissect and solve the problems of the Jets, Mets, and Knicks.”

We couldn’t agree more – next time you’re in Westport be sure to stop by the branch and meet one of the ten nicest people in the world – you won’t be disappointed.

For the full article, click here or visit: http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/The-Home-Team-The-world-s-10-nicest-people-12329097.php

In Our Community

Support Local Businesses – Small Business Saturday is Tomorrow!

smallbizsaturday

In 2010 American Express launched the first Small Business Saturday, encouraging shoppers nationwide to support local business. Since then, billions of dollars are spent on this Saturday at small and local businesses by tens of millions of people.

We are now encouraging you to do the same! Don’t do all your shopping at big retailers today or online on Monday, plan to spend some time shopping tomorrow and support our local businesses.

In Our Community

First County Bank & Palmer’s Market Donate Turkeys to The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County

Pictured (Left to Right): Steve Ferguson, AVP, Business Development Officer, First County Bank, Aitza Cabrera, AVP, Branch Manager, Mortgage Loan Originator, First County Bank, Greg Palmer, Owner, Palmer’s Market,  Amzad Latiff, Director of Operations, Palmer’s Market, Tashi Tsering, Meat & Seafood Manager, Palmer’s Market, Richard Evanko, VP, Business Banking Manager, First County Bank.

Pictured (Left to Right): Steve Ferguson, AVP, Business Development Officer, First County Bank, Aitza Cabrera, AVP, Branch Manager, Mortgage Loan Originator, First County Bank, Greg Palmer, Owner, Palmer’s Market, Amzad Latiff, Director of Operations, Palmer’s Market, Tashi Tsering, Meat & Seafood Manager, Palmer’s Market, Richard Evanko, VP, Business Banking Manager, First County Bank.

First County Bank teamed up with Palmer’s Market to donate 100 turkeys, a $1,500 donation, to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Weighing in at over 1,200 pounds, these turkeys will be provided to local nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Wilton.

First County Bank is collecting food donations for The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County at all Branches through the end of the year. For branch locations, go to: https://firstcountybank.com/branch-hours-locations-and-directions. Every donation is greatly appreciated.

 

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular

atlanticJoin us for this fun filled event as First County Bank volunteers navigate the streets of downtown Stamford handling the Paddington Bear helium balloon. Come out with the whole family and cheer us on as we hand out spin signs.

One of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, this event features everyone’s favorite giant balloon characters, award winning marching bands and fabulous floats. Fun for the whole family!

For event details or contact information, click here.

First County Bank Foundation, In Our Community

Celebrate World Teacher’s Day

World Teacher’s Day was established October 5th, 1994. World Teacher’s Day commemorates the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) actions of setting international standards for teacher organizations. The standards set by UNESCO help to recognize the great contributions teachers make to their students through education and development.

Ms. Kuehn Big Check

We also recognize the great contributions that teachers make in our community, which is why we developed the FirstClass Grant for Teachers. Through this program, we hope to help fund creative educational programs for teachers inside the classroom. You too can show your appreciation of teachers by spreading the word about this opportunity. For more information or to apply for the FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers, click here or visit: http://firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant.

Bank News, In Our Community

Westport Library and First County Bank Announce Mutual Support of Library’s Transformation Project

The Westport Library and First County Bank are pleased to announce mutual support of the Library’s long-awaited Transformation Project. The Transformation Project is a $19.5 million-dollar sweeping renovation of the existing 1986 facility that kicked off earlier this month. First County Bank is providing bridge financing for the project’s capital campaign through a competitively priced customized financial solution.

Rey Giallongo, Chairman and CEO, First County Bank speaking at the Westport Library's Transformation Project ground-breaking.

Rey Giallongo, Chairman and CEO, First County Bank speaking at the Westport Library’s Transformation Project ground-breaking.

“A project of this nature is simply not possible without the strong support of many community partners,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “We are proud and grateful to have First County Bank as one of those key partners. Their belief in the mission and vision for the new Library and what it will mean for the community we serve has been critical in finally getting the shovel in the ground on this exciting transformation.”

“Having been in Westport for 21 years and an independent community bank for 167 years, we, like the Library, have learned about staying relevant in our communities. We understand the changing landscape in library science, education and the plan put forward by the Library team is nothing short of visionary,” said First County Bank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rey Giallongo. “We are proud to support this transformation and invest in such a community treasure.” First County Bank is also providing full banking services to the Library, as a result of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process initiated by The Library.

In addition to the bridge financing from First County Bank, funding for the Transformation Project is being provided by a variety of sources. Public dollars from the Town of Westport were approved in January of 2017 when the Town’s RTM unanimously approved the allocation of $5 million for the initiative. The town’s funding will cover the cost to replace the dated and inefficient mechanical systems – the HVAC, plumbing and elevator – which are original to the 1986 facility. The Library also applied for and received a $1 million dollar grant from the Connecticut State Library. The bulk of the funding is being raised by private donors. To date, the Library has raised $17 million for the project.