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The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will allocate $100,000 to 68 nonprofits statewide, based on votes cast by Maine residents

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BANGOR Bangor Savings Bank Foundation began its annual grant-making initiative, Community Matters More, on Feb. 1. Through this charitable program, one of Maine's largest independent banks offers all Maine residents the opportunity to weigh in on how best to allocate $100,000 the bank has pledged to give to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations across the state.

The voting period takes place during the month of February, and ending Monday, Feb. 29, with winners announced in April.

It is easy to vote online at www.bangor.com/cmm. Paper ballots are also available at any of the 57 Bangor Savings Bank branches statewide and at each of the participating nonprofits. In 2015, Mainers voted for 3,323 unique nonprofits, with every county in the state represented.

Since its inception, Community Matters More has provided nearly $800,000 in total grants to hundreds of Maine nonprofits. 'This is our ninth year of Community Matters More, a unique program that supports all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations in Maine. We continue to be impressed by the large number of Mainers who take the time to vote and share their enthusiastic support of community nonprofits,' said Bob Montgomery-Rice, president of Bangor Savings Bank.

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 top vote-getting organization in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) will receive $5,000.

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

Last year, the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program received a $5,000 grant as the top vote-getter in Cumberland County. 'Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program's mission is to provide hungry people with access to healthy food and work to improve the quality of their lives in a manner that recognizes their dignity. The Community Matters More grant helped us provide food to the families we serve. Thank you to those who voted for us and to Bangor Savings for being a great community partner,' said Karen Parker, executive director of Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

Montgomery-Rice acknowledges the essential role that the media sponsors play in promoting Community Matters More. 'For the past several years, 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,' said Montgomery-Rice.

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