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American Red Cross meets NBT Bank’s $10,000 match challenge

NBT Bank branch manager Sandy Walker, left, presents a check for $10,000 to Jeanie D. Roberts, executive director of the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross. NBT Bank challenged the chapter to raise $10,000 during the month of June, which the bank then matched in its own donation.

NBT Bank branch manager Sandy Walker, left, presents a check for $10,000 to Jeanie D. Roberts, executive director of the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross. NBT Bank challenged the chapter to raise $10,000 during the month of June, which the bank then matched in its own donation. Photo by Jeremiah S. Papineau.

— The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross has done it.

The chapter met a challenge by NBT Bank to raise $10,000 by the end of the month of June and, in doing so, has received an additional $10,000 from the local financial institution.

NBT Bank had originally considered giving a flat donation to the local American Red Cross in light of the chapter’s response to flooding that devastated the region earlier this year. However, it was decided to challenge the chapter to raise $10,000 which the branch would then match. And, it worked.

“We were happy, but we weren’t surprised,” local NBT Bank branch manager Sandy Walker said of the Red Cross meeting the challenge. “There were a lot of different activities held to raise the money — car washes, bake sales.”

Jeanie D. Roberts, executive director of the local American Red Cross, said the chapter not only met its goal, but exceeded it by $500 thanks to the generosity of people throughout the North Country.

“We had a lot of schools participate, businesses participated,” said Roberts, adding Della Auto Group and TNA Wrestling were among larger supporters of the effort.

The combined donations will go a long way in helping the American Red Cross with the expenses it incurred providing emergency shelter for those displaced by the flooding in the spring. The cost to operate the temporary shelter for five weeks — which helped 85 people — was approximately $20,000, said Roberts.

“[The donation] is a huge help because it was the longest disaster that this community’s ever seen, in terms of the number of days that people continued to be impacted,” said Roberts. “The cost of running a shelter is high. And, it grew continually.”

Helping the American Red Cross was something that makes Walker particularly proud to be an employee of NBT Bank, she said.

“NBT Bank is a community bank and we really like to help and be involved in the community so we just thought that by throwing out this challenge match, it would give the community an opportunity to step in and contribute as well,” said Walker. “The community was certainly hit hard by the flooding and we needed help ... and people responded.”

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