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Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation Awards. (Arkansas Community Foundation).

First Security Bank Clarksville

Community involvement through volunteerism is an important part of First Security Bank's Clarksville operation.

During 2005, the 37-member bank staff served up more than 4,500 hours of volunteer labor valued at about $80,000 in addition to outright cash donations of $35,000.

"We have always felt that volunteering was a natural part of our job," said Cole Martin, bank president.

The bank has a long-term commitment of support for the Forrester-Davis Development Center, an agency serving children and adults with disabilities.

First Security organized major fundraisers for the center with more than $20,000 in contributions and donated 1,230 hours of service including "on-the-clock" hours worth more than $3,000 and equipment and furnishings valued at more than $10,000.

Work with nonprofits involves a wide range of groups, including youth sports teams, the Clarksville Education Foundation, Johnson County school systems and the Johnson County Leadership Training.

The bank provided professional sound and lighting equipment with technical staff for local events with an in-kind value of more than $11,000 and made available lines of credit to nonprofits at preferential rates.

Staffers serve on governing boards and committees at Johnson Regional Medical Center, University of the Ozarks and Johnson County Fair Association.

First Security personnel devoted 485 service hours (364 hours of which were on-the-clock) to the Clarksville-Johnson County Chamber of Commerce during 2005.

They also contribute three local firefighter volunteers, including a fire chief, who work on the clock when emergencies occur during banking hours.

The bank staff views philanthropy and service as vital components to enhancing the quality of life for Johnson County citizens.

Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard Little Rock

Taking time for others and giving back to the community has become just as much a part of Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard's 52-year history as its legal work.

"Our history of charitable endeavors is as long as the history of our firm and is an integral part of the firm and who we are," Managing Director Jack Grundfest said.

The Little Rock law firm donates its time, money and talent to more than 50 nonprofit organizations each year, including groups that promote the arts, regional theater and classical music; support wildlife conservation, youth sports, fitness and early childhood development; and fight diseases, prejudice, domestic violence and physical handicaps.

The firm organizes and sponsors various events and fundraisers, especially around the holidays. Since 1995 its attorneys have contributed money and canned goods for food baskets that go to needy families in Little Rock.

Even the attorneys' children get in on Christmas toy shopping for less fortunate children, Grundfest said. "The spirit of giving is alive and well in the children of our employees," he said. "Not one child questioned why none of the toys were for them."

In addition to helping the less fortunate, the firm also has lent support to those serving the country. The firm has sent calling cards and care packages to Arkansas soldiers in Iraq.

The firm also makes a habit of giving what it does best. Last year its lawyers worked more than 250 pro bono hours for various nonprofits and the needy.

"This does not include the hundreds of hours the lawyers spent volunteering as leaders, directors and volunteers of the many nonprofit organizations they are involved with," Grundfest said. "Our firm feels strongly that we should be of service to our community."

Weyerhaeuser Co. Hot Springs

Weyerhaeuser Co., an international forest products company, has proven to be a good corporate citizen in Arkansas for more than 35 years.

Since 2000, the company, through the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, has given out more than $1 million in grants to various organizations in the state.

The foundation was established in 1948 to support education, employee volunteer efforts and cultural programs, and health and human services grants. Since that time, more than $1 70 million has been contributed nationwide to various causes.

The company has an Arkansas Advisory Committee, made up of employees, that meets three times a year to review grant applications and make funding recommendations to the foundation. The three main areas of focus in Arkansas are education, environmental and support of communities.

Weyerhaeuser has provided product donations to build Habitat for Humanity homes at Fort Smith and Hot Springs and encourages employees to participate on various local, state and national not-for-profit organizations. It also has an association with Garvan Woodland Gardens at Hot Springs.

The foundation supports the Southern Schools Partnership to help school districts improve educational services and funds 10 grants each year for Excellence in Recycling in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Exclusive to Arkansas and in partnership with the Arkansas Community Foundation, it funds 20 mini-grants through the Weyerhaeuser Arkansas Mini-Grant Program for educational innovation each year.

In addition, Weyerhaeuser promotes community volunteerism and donates funds to support employee-initiated volunteer projects. More than 75,000 volunteer hours have been contributed since 2000. Through Weyerhaeuser's Matching Gifts Program, the foundation will match qualifying donations made by employees to public schools or colleges and universities.
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Title Annotation:First Security Bank (Searcy, Arkansas)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 6, 2006
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