Still Local, Still Solid, Still Finding the Bright Moments in Life: Our 2021 in Review

As 2021 winds down to its final hours, it can prove to be 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 couple of 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 2021, in hopes that this will cause a ripple effect in others to reflect on the positives in such a difficult year.

  1. We were thrilled to make a donation of $19,346.00 to the United Way of Rock River Valley towards their 2021 area-wide campaign in January. This monetary gift came from a variety of bank-wide initiatives including Casual Days, individual employee donations, and a corporate contribution. Collective employee donations were up 4% compared to the last year. Over the past 20+ years, Stillman Bank and its employees have contributed over $360,000 to United Way.
  2. In May, we became an official Little Free Library steward and have placed a Little Free Library just outside our Stillman Valley office. These book-sharing boxes started in 2009 in Hudson, WI to help inspire readers, build community, and expand book access throughout the world. Today, there are more than 100,000 of these free libraries spanning 100 countries.
  3. 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 $2,200 scholarships on behalf of the William E. Eickman Scholarship Trust. In its 26th 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.
  4. In July, we were honored to receive the United Way of Rock River Valley “Now More Than Ever” Award for our contribution to their area-wide campaign for 2020-2021.
  5. 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 $10,000. We were able to present checks for $2,000 to 5 non-profit organizations throughout the Rock River Valley. These organizations were Miss Carly’s, Rock River, Valley Pantry, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity, The Kitchen Table, and Habitat for Humanity of Ogle County.
  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. A total of $316 was raised for the organization.
  7. The results were tableted in late fall for Ogle County Life and Rochelle News Leader 2021 Best of Ogle County Reader’s Choice contest and for the second year in a row, we were honored to be voted Best Local Bank, Best Lender, and Best Financial Advisor! 
  8. The Byron Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual award ceremony at the end of October and we had the honor of being given the “Green Award” for 2021. As a financial institution, we take pride in offering various banking alternatives that allow our customers to save time, money, and environmental resources. From eStatements and online banking to embracing digital application platforms, we offer numerous services for our customers that are environmentally friendly. In addition to the above list, we also make it a point to shred all of our internal bank documents and hold shred days for our communities to stay safe and secure.
  9. Throughout 2021, we hosted 10 Casual Days in order to raise money for local non-profit organizations in our local communities. In total, we were able to raise $5,293 that was split between 13 organizations. These organizations were Miss Carly’s, United Way of Rock River Valley, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lifeline Food and Self-Help Project, Focus House, Serenity Hospice & Home, Rockford Rescue Mission, Live R.E.A.L. Foundation, People Helping People, Rochelle Christian Food Pantry, Rock River Valley Pantry, Old Stone Church Food Pantry, and Bread of Life.
  10. In December, we continued our 57-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 the continued support! In the end, at our core, we’re a hometown bank that for the past 139 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 2022!