Five Star Bank Launches New Progress in Action Initiative to Empower Economically Vulnerable City Neighborhoods

Rochester Chamber Partner member Five Star Bank, which offers a wide range of consumer and commercial banking services in 50-plus offices in Western and Central New York State,

has announced the launch of a new grassroots initiative called Progress in Action to bring people of our community together to help low-income families in economically vulnerable neighborhoods, one block at a time.

“Every neighborhood deserves the chance to succeed, every family the opportunity to grow, and every child the ability to dream,” said Five Star Bank President and CEO Marty Birmingham. “Rochester is part of our home in Western NY and the Finger Lakes and we are dedicated to its revitalization and making it a better place in which to live and work and play.”

“Progress in Action gives neighbors the opportunity to help neighbors and empowers residents – giving them the voice to determine what they feel is most important to their neighborhood. We will be promoting this important initiative at the many community events we support throughout the year.”

People in the community are encouraged to donate to the Progress in Action initiative. Five Star Bank will match every dollar donated to the program in 2019, up to $50,000, and is committed to a minimum contribution of $25,000, regardless of community donations generated.

Funds will support any number of needs that residents identify – perhaps a neighborhood renovation project, financial literacy workshop, local daycare, job transportation program or healthcare visits – whatever the neighborhood determines to be of greatest service to its residents.”

Five Star is launching the program at the Lilac Festival on May 10, where Five Star Bank employees will be providing information at its booth. Five Star Bank will also promote the Progress in Action initiative at the other events it sponsors and supports including Party in the Park, Rochester Red Wings and Roc Holiday Village in December.

Joe Dugan, Chief Experience and Go to Market Officer to Five Star Bank, who is spearheading the program, said, “Funds raised through Progress in Action will initially be provided to projects in City of Rochester neighborhoods comprised of low to moderate income census tracts. As the initiative expands, the program will expand to help even more low to moderate income neighborhoods in other communities Five Star Bank serves.”

“We know there is no shortage of challenges for some neighborhoods,” added Dugan. “But we also know that Rochester is a generous and caring community where neighbors help their neighbors in need to advance the common good of the entire community. Every dollar raised and matched has the potential to make a big difference.”

To implement this program, Five Star Bank has partnered with the United Way of Greater Rochester to serve as the nonprofit partner and community connector to provide fiscal support and grant distribution. United Way is a trusted and experienced organization that has existing partnerships with numerous regional nonprofit organizations. It also has a secure fully digital and mobile donation service, MobileCause, through which people can donate. It will manage the gifts and work directly with neighborhood groups to accept grant applications, track progress and outcomes.

“Our goal,” said Dugan, “is to make the process as easy and quick as possible for those who wish to contribute and those who want to apply for funds so that needs can be fulfilled as quickly as possible. It is in everyone’s interest – whether we live in the city or suburbs – to have a strong core city. The more people contribute, the more we can match, and the more we as a community can make a difference.”

Progress in Action Information

• Visit https://uwrochester.org/ProgressInAction(Opens in a new Window) for information on the program.
• Visit the Five Star Bank booth at Lilac Festival May 10-19, Five Star Bank employees will be there from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

How to Apply for Funds

• Guidelines and applications for funding will be accepted online at UWRochester.org/ProgressinAction(Opens in a new Window) starting on August 1st.