The Frederick Community Bank has joined the list of area businesses and private donors participating in The PBL Education Foundation’s Pillar Campaign to jumpstart their endowment fund. This most recent gift brings the PBL Endowment Fund total to $616,000.

The Foundation distributes the income generated from this fund to the school district which in turn uses the monies to maintain and update technology within grades K-12.

Formerly, First National Bank in Paxton, The Frederick Community Bank has a long history of support for The Foundation and our communities.

Bank President and PBL Alumnus, Justin Swan, said he strongly encourages all area businesses to do what they can to support The Foundation. “The strength of our school district is the backbone of our community. As the Community Bank in town we hope this donation demonstrates how strongly we feel about supporting our local school district.”

And while Swan is an alumnus of the school district, the bank’s family also has strong ties and loyalties to our communities. In 1933 The First National Bank of Paxton was reorganized as the First National Bank in Paxton by a group of area business leaders: Sherman Frederick, David Arthur (Art) Frederick, G.M. Lundahl, A.R. Sheldon, C.G. Bobo, H. P. Larson and W. A Kreitzer.

Descendants of the Frederick Family continue to be active in the management of the bank. The late Philip Sweet, husband of 66 years to Nancy Frederick Sweet (a Paxton Alumna) and son-in- law of Art & Minnie Frederick of Paxton, served as the bank’s Board Chairman until his passing. Today, Art & Minnie Frederick’s grandsons Kirk and David Sweet, serve on the board of the Frederick Community Bank. In addition to their support of The Foundation through the bank Philip, Kirk and David Sweet have also honored their family legacy with their personal gift of $25,000 to the Pillar Campaign.

Niewold, Foundation Chairman commented that the bank has been a staunch supporter of The Foundation since it began 21 years ago. She teasingly added “they have always stepped up when asked – without any arm-twisting!”

The PBL Education Foundation’s Pillar Campaign will culminate this Fall during the High School’s homecoming celebration in September. At that time, a time capsule containing historical data

and pictures supplied by each of the donors will be buried at a location still to be decided under a boulder that has a plaque affixed to it with all donor names.

The PBL Endowment Fund was created in 2017 using gifts from Hall of Fame inductee Frank Drendel the estate of local businessman Nick Fiorillo but a minimum fund balance of $250,000 was necessary before The Foundation could distribute income from the invested funds to the district. In the fall of 2019, The Foundation received an anonymous donation of $250,000 to the endowment fund. At this time, the board decided to use this donation as a spring board for the ongoing Pillar Campaign. The goal of the Pillar Campaign is to jumpstart the endowment fund by acquiring as many gifts of $25,000 or more in a very short period of time (18 months) so distributions to the district can be started.

To date, the campaign continues to be a success with additional gifts being received monthly. Already The Foundation has distributed almost $25,000 to the district in the 2019-2020 school year.

The Foundation’s annual campaign is also wrapping up. The annual, direct-mail campaign gifts are placed in the Foundation’s general fund which supports literacy initiatives in grades k-5, staff grants and additional technology initiatives. This year’s annual campaign gifts, to date, total over $25,000. Niewold said, “We usually see a lot of donations come in during the month of January, especially from businesses. I don’t know if they are waiting to see how their yearends or if another factor is in play but we gladly accept gifts any time of the year!”

Other area loyal area businesses that chose to participate in the Pillar Campaign include Hudson Drug & Hallmark Shop and Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services.