Before we begin to write our story for 2023, I’d like to take a moment to reflect with gratitude all that 2022 brought to Bank of Charles Town (BCT) and our communities. In a year where the lingering effects of the pandemic brought new financial challenges, I am proud of the efforts of our BCT team rising to new levels of service to our community. One such effort involves our BCTCares Foundation.1
In 2020, the BCTCares Foundation team developed the Pack the ‘Pack program raising funds for our four local charity partners who provide weekend food backpacks for children. This effort was a result of the dedicated leaders of these wonderful community-driven nonprofits who shared with us the growing need. Personally experiencing the impact of rising grocery costs, the BCTCares team embraced the second annual Pack the ‘Pack program with gusto. Through the generosity of our clients and colleagues, we exceeded our goal of $45,000 to raise $56,000, providing each program with $14,000. Since Fall 2019, BCTCares Foundation has provided our local food-insecure partner nonprofits a total of approximately $185,000.
To further enable our communities to support food-insecure families, BCTCares Foundation has become an AmazonSmile Charity participant. On your next order from Amazon please designate BCTCares Foundation as your AmazonSmile Charity. We will ensure all donations are directed to our local nonprofit partners.2
Our founding shareholders were entrepreneurs, intent on fostering a strong local economy. Through BCT’s collaboration with two other community banks, our innovative Banking On Diversity Minority Loan Fund was formed to provide better access to capital within the minority community. Through concerted outreach and word-of-mouth, we supported 16 minority businesses with $518,900 in business loans. BCT is proud to be the first recipient of Federal Home Loan Bank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Membership Award.
We know education opens the door to opportunities. In 2018, we honored my predecessor by establishing a college scholarship in his name. Through the BCT Robert F. Baronner Jr. Memorial Scholarship, we now have four students each receiving a $10,000 scholarship commitment of $2,500 per year. In addition, it is an honor to have BCT Wealth Advisors serve as Trustee for four other scholarship funds that awarded $257,750 to 22 students in 2022 alone. With over 85 students currently receiving at least one scholarship over the three prior years, they have become like family as we celebrate their achievements and coach them on fiscal responsibility. If you are looking to leave a legacy that makes an impact on our youth, our BCT Wealth Advisors team welcome the opportunity to discuss your vision.
I would venture to say that very few bankers planned on banking as a career. Nor did many realize the joy that can come from serving others and helping local communities prosper. Thus, we were eager to host nine student interns this past Summer connecting them with real experiences of the power of community banking. If you have a student that is exploring career options, please have them consider community banking and an internship at BCT. Applications will be available February 1, 2023. Visit our Careers page for more information.
As we close the books on 2022, our balance sheet has grown because you trusted us to simplify your financial lives. Additionally, through your votes we proudly received local recognition as Best Bank, Best Loan Services, and Best Financial Advisors. More importantly though, our hearts have grown even more as we continue being rooted in the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors, growing our communities.
Cheers to a New Year. Make 2023 the best yet!
President & CEO
1 BCTCares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) accepting monetary donations which will be directed towards local food insecure nonprofits.
2 AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to BCTCares Foundation.