First Resource Bank, Its Millennial Professional Board Raise Funds for Victims of Domestic Abuse

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From left: John Durso, Lorenzo Merino, Rob Whitlach, Dolly Wideman-Scott, Terry Moody, Matt Weiss, and Jack Ellis.

First Resource Bank and the Millennial Professional Board recently presented checks totaling $10,000 to charities that provide supportive services for those suffering from domestic violence and abuse.

The funds were raised at the first-ever Hog ’N Lager, a pig roast and live music festival held at the High Point in Malvern during the summer.

Hog ’N Lager was the first charitable effort by the Millennial Professional Board, an all-volunteer group of young professionals. The Board was created through the efforts of First Resource Bank, not only as a way to obtain valuable insight into the banking landscape and other issues from a millennial perspective, but also to provide them a platform from which to reject negative stereotypes often associated with that age group.

At the presentation, the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County received a $7,000 grant from the proceeds of the fundraiser. The group was founded in 1976 as part of an effort to provide safety, advocacy, and supportive services to victims of domestic abuse not otherwise available within Delaware County.

“The Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County would like to thank First Resource Bank’s Millennial Professionals fund of the Chester County Community Foundation for their generous award,” said Matthew Illich, Director of Housing and Operations. “This grant will be used to support our new Safe House project, enabling us to increase the number of women and children able to find a safe place to stay when fleeing domestic violence.”

Another grant in the amount of $3,000 was awarded to the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, which offers counseling, legal services, housing, and other resources to victims and survivors of domestic violence. CEO Dolly Wideman-Scott said her organization plans to use the funds to support its children’s programs and services, such as after-school homework assistance and recreational activities like a recent outing for children and parents to Dorney Park.

“We were really excited about the grant and thank the Millennial Board and First Resource Bank for thinking of us because there are so many worthy nonprofit organizations,” she said. “We appreciated it when our name came to the top of the list.”

Although weather affected the turnout at the fundraiser, the event was still a success for several reasons, according to Jack Ellis, Vice President and Market Manager at First Resource Bank and President of the Millennial Professional Board.

“It was one of those rainy summer days, which we had a lot of this year, but the vendors turned out and the people that were there had a really good time,” he said.

“The fact that the young professionals could come together and put on this event for such a great cause helped put our name out there. Millennials may have a bad stigma, but here we were showing that while any group of people can have a stigma, it doesn’t apply to everyone.”

The Millennial Professional Board granted the money through the First Resource Bank Millennial Professional Fund, set up by the Chester County Community Foundation as a 501(c)(3) entity. The Foundation also coordinated the grant proposal process for the group.

“We reviewed all the proposals from various organizations and, as a group, voted on the two we thought would be better recipients, based on what our goal was for the event and the stated goals and objectives in the proposals,” said Ellis. “Seeing the difference we can make with that check presentation and getting the gratitude from the leadership of those groups was a feel-good moment for me. That money is going to go a long way for them.”

Currently, the Millennial Professional Board is comprised of eight board members who oversee a broad base of volunteers. Though there has been no decision yet on next year’s fundraiser, plans are under way for various networking and motivational events over the next six to 12 months.

“We are having some speaking engagements where we will hear from millennials or younger professionals who have become successful or have unique approaches at life, in order to bring millennials together and talk about business issues and the future,” said Ellis.

An additional goal of these networking events is to serve as a call to action for area millennials to join and possibly take on a leadership role in this unique group, where the spirit and passion of young professionals for doing good works is encouraged.

“Part of the reason for these networking events is to find potential board members,” said Ellis. “We are in the process of formalizing things and getting our mission together, and we’re looking to grow.”

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