Still Local, Still Solid, Still Finding the Bright Moments in Life: Our 2022 in Review

As 2022 winds down to its final days, it is sometimes tough to find the good in the past 365 days. For us at Stillman Bank, the bright moments in our year will always come from serving our local communities. While these past few years have been unusual, to say the least, we are honored to have been able to support numerous community initiatives, especially when people needed it the most.

In the spirit of a new year, we have chosen to share 10 bright moments of our 2022, in hopes that this will cause a ripple effect in others to reflect on the positives of this past year.

1. 2022 marked our 140th anniversary as a local, community bank! We celebrated throughout the year with a variety of community initiatives including an Anniversary Giveaway in June where we gave away 3 pork halves and 3 beef quarters bank-wide. We also hosted a Community Food Drive in August to benefit local area pantries in need. We were excited to be featured in a two-page profile in the “Business Milestone” section of the Summer 2022 issue of the Northwest Quarterly. Stillman Bank Chairman and CEO Marty Larson and President Tom Hughes were interviewed for this profile, which details the history of the bank and provides a look at how we have been able to stay true to our community roots since 1882.

2. Our Stillman Trust & Wealth Management department was honored to present four area high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine with $2,300 scholarships on behalf of the William E. Eickman Scholarship Trust. In its 27th year, the scholarship fund was established by former Stillman Bank President, William E. Eickman as a way to give back to the Ogle County community. Eickman was always grateful to the people of Ogle County for their support, recognizing that they were the reason for the bank’s success since 1882.

3. We were proud to be a sponsor of the City of Byron’s first downtown mural. “Eye of the Tiger Lilly”, by acclaimed Rockford artist lisA fRosT, is located on Walnut St. on the side of the Radiance Salon building. The work features five tiger lilies, representing wealth, positivity, and pride. The mural also encompasses the wonders of nature as well as the river that runs through the city. Additionally, the vibrant orange hues are a nod to the community’s pride in the Byron Tigers. Fun fact: Byron High School art students also had a hand in bringing this mural to life!

4. At the end of July. we hosted a Back-to-School Supply Drive at all six of our office locations. With the help and generosity of our employees and customers, we were able to donate 9 totes full of various school supplies + 17 backpacks to Remedies Renewing Lives. These totes consisted of numerous school items including 119 folders, 98 notebooks, 78 packages of pencils, nearly 200 glue sticks, 77 boxes of crayons, and much more!

5. After two years, we were excited to participate in 4 area parades this summer/fall. We hope everyone enjoyed the candy and beach balls our employees handed out – and of course, the bubbles!

ByronFest | Festival Level Sponsor

Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival | Gold Level Sponsor

Stillman Valley Fall Festival | Presenting Sponsor

Autumn On Parade | Diamond Premium Sponsor

6. In honor of the start of the NFL season, we hosted a Jersey Day for United Way in September. Employees were encouraged to make a monetary donation in exchange for wearing jeans and jerseys of their favorite NFL team. All money raised went directly to the United Way of Rock River Valley.

7. The results were tableted in early fall for Ogle County Life and Rochelle News Leader 2022 Best of Ogle County Reader’s Choice contest and for the third year in a row, we were honored to be voted Best Local Bank, Best Lender, and Best Financial Advisor! 

8. We hosted our “Purchase with a Purpose” Debit Card campaign in which a $1.00 donation was made to local charities with every Stillman Bank Debit Card transaction up to $15,000. We were able to present checks for $2,500 to 6 non-profit organizations throughout the Rock River Valley. These organizations were Focus House, Habitat for Humanity of Ogle County, Habitat for Humanity of the Rockford Area, Rock River Valley Pantry, Veterans Drop-In Center, and Village of Progress.

9. Throughout 2022, we hosted 12 Casual Days to raise money for local non-profit organizations in our local communities. In total, we were able to raise nearly $5,000 to benefit the following organizations: Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Granny Rose Animal Shelter, Circle of Change, Byron High School Food Pantry, “Hoo” Haven Wildlife Center, NASR – Belvidere Park District, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Lifeline Food and Self-Help ProjectRochelle Christian Food Pantry, Byron Women’s Club, Rockford Rescue Mission, and One Glove, One Love: Chase Shott Memorial.

10. In December, we continued our almost 60-year tradition by giving away 3 pork halves and 3 beef quarters bank-wide with our annual Holiday Giveaway.

We thank each and every one of our employees for being such strong advocates and you, our customers, for your continued support! In the end, at our core, we’re a hometown bank that for the past 140 years has truly been living, working, and investing in the betterment of the place we all call home. Here’s to continuing to look at the bright side in 2023!