FAIR LAWN – For the second consecutive year, Columbia Bank has been awarded the New Jersey Bankers Association Community Service Award in recognition of their charitable support and volunteer effort benefiting New Jersey communities. The award is part of a statewide program that recognizes outstanding community work by its member banks.
In accepting the award, Thomas J. Kemly, President and CEO of Columbia Bank noted, “As a true community bank, we pride ourselves in giving something back to the many towns we serve. Our corporate culture encourages donations, employee volunteerism and community grants issued by our Columbia Bank Foundation. It remains our initiative to proactively support local civic, community and charitable causes that encourage home ownership, economic development, financial literacy and local business prosperity.”
Many Columbia executives regularly serve on the boards of local hospitals, schools and charities, chambers of commerce, rotary clubs and other community service organizations. The bank’s volunteer crews also regularly assist local Habitat for Humanity affiliates build affordable housing in low-income areas. Within greater Paterson alone, for example, Columbia has supported the building of 127 Habitat housing units.
Recently, when heavy flooding devastated several North Jersey towns, the bank responded with a special effort to help affected homeowners. Working with local municipalities, they identified residents who were in immediate need of assistance and provided them with replacement home appliances. Columbia’s Annual Charity Golf Classic also raised more than $36,000 for the Family and Friends for Freedom Fund, a Pompton Plains charitable foundation the helps to ease the financial worries of local wounded servicemen and women and their families during the recovery process.
Other community support efforts include collecting supplies for local food pantries, sponsoring community events and hosting financial literacy, cyber security and identity fraud prevention classes. Columbia believes that vibrant communities foster both economic development and neighborhood pride.