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Community Matters More

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BANGOR Bangor Savings Bank Foundation began its annual grant-making initiative, Community Matters More, on Jan. 28. Through this charitable program, Maine's largest independent bank asks Maine residents to weigh in on how best to allocate $100,000 the bank has pledged to give to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations.

This year's effort is expected to result in tens of thousands of Maine citizens participating and casting their votes over the next six weeks. Last year, Mainers cast over 100,000 votes for hundreds of nonprofits, resulting in 68 grants.

Since its inception in 2007, Community Matters More has provided $500,000 in total grants to hundreds of Maine nonprofits. 'Community Matters More gets broader in its reach and more successful every year, with new Maine nonprofits appearing on the ballot and receiving write-in votes and significant community attention,' said Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president at Bangor Savings Bank. 'The number of Maine people taking the time to participate and vote for their favorite causes also grows each year. Their understanding of the importance of supporting communities is what makes this effort so successful.'

Each of the 48 nonprofits listed on the ballot will receive at least a $1,000 grant for participating in the program, and the top 20 write-ins that get the most public support will also receive a grant from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The organizations with the most votes in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) will receive $5,000 each.

It is easy to vote online at Paper ballots are also available at Bangor Savings Bank branches statewide and at each of the participating nonprofits. Any Maine resident is eligible to vote for up to three (3) nonprofits. The voting period begins Jan. 28 and ends March 11, with winners announced in early April.

Community Matters More not only provides financial support to 48 nonprofits, it also generates substantial exposure and community awareness for the work these organizations do to enhance the quality of life in Maine.

Last year, LifeFlight of Maine, an organization that provides emergency care and transport services for critical patients throughout the State of Maine, was one of the top winners.

Breen acknowledges the essential role that the media sponsors play in promoting Community Matters More. 'For the past several years, the media has really stepped up and done their part,' he said. 'We've been fortunate to partner with WLBZ-TV/ Channel 2; WCSH-TV/Channel 6; WGAN 560 Newsradio and Blueberry Broadcasting. With their support, the public has been made aware of this program and the importance of giving back to the community.'


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