Community Spotlight

Chemical Bank employees are actively involved in their communities and showed their community spirit by volunteering more than 2,500 hours of time during 2011 in the West Michigan area. We greatly appreciate the time our employees give to our community partners such as Community Action House, Kent County Tax and Credit Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, Steepletown Neighborhood Services, Renucci Hospitality House as well as many other community partners and events.

We celebrated winter with several community events throughout the region in 2011-12. We wrapped up 2011 with our Friday Holiday Music Series in December at our Byron Center office. It was a great event to celebrate the holiday season and a wonderful opportunity for us to show appreciation to our customers. In February, our South Haven offices took part in the South Haven Ice Breaker Festival and offered up free wagon rides to festivalgoers. Our Gun Lake office also participated in their local Winterfest. It was a great event that included a Polar Bear Dip, comedy show, a 5K run and much more.

As the temperatures warm and the flowers begin to bloom, we look forward to a spring and summer filled with exciting activities. Come and visit us for the Tulip Time Run on May 5 – the race begins at 8 a.m. and we will be there to cheer you on! After the Tulip Time Run, come celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Latin Americans United for Progress Fiesta taking place at the Holland Civic Center. The fiesta will include a carnival, car show, King and Queen Contest, an expo, great food and much more. Come and check it out!


The 8th annual 5K Walk/Run and Kids Fun Run, presented by Chemical Bank in Byron Center, will be Saturday, July 28, 2012.

Last year we hosted more than 1,200 walkers and runners! All proceeds from the race are donated back to charitable organizations in our community. You can visit for more details, including a training guide and online registration as the event nears.

With spring approaching we didn’t want to overlook the volunteer and community efforts our Chemical Bank teams put forth during the last portion of 2011. We would like to highlight just a few of the events and activities that we were proud to be a part of in Northern Michigan.


For the past several years the Big Rapids, Evart, Reed City and Stanwood branches have been “Living United” by raising awareness among their employees and raising funds for the local United Way campaign. The employees held multiple potlucks, craft/baked good auctions, Sweatshirt Saturdays and a Pie in the Face contest to raise money. After all of the pledge cards, fundraisers and a corporate match donation were added up, the Big Rapids Community Bank had a total of $15,392 to donate to the Mecosta-Osceola United Way.


The Festival of Trees was held on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Fox Hill Event Center in Cadillac featuring a dinner, dance and auction. Chemical Bank was well represented as a major sponsor of the event. Several of our staff members attended, but the highlight was our Community Bank Board Member, Bill Rzepka, who once again donated his time and auctioneer skills for more than 26 live auction items. Rzepka has a way of engaging the audience and making it a fun event for all. The Festival of Trees raised more than $30,000 to help fund Habitat’s mission and help finish their 25th house in Wexford County.


On Saturday, Dec. 3, Gladwin’s “Main Street” was lit up by the Gladwin Business and Professional Association’s (GBPA) Festival of Lights Christmas Parade. It was estimated that more than 7,000 people lined Cedar Avenue to watch the parade, which included more than 80 lighted entries along with marching bands and several giant balloons. Not only did Chemical Bank sponsor the parade monetarily, but our team members put in countless volunteer hours to make this parade happen, including decorating the streetscape, city park, floats and judging the parade entries. If you missed the parade in 2011, we hope you can join us on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at 6 p.m. for what’s guaranteed to be a great parade in Northern Michigan.

The Chemical Bank team believes it’s important to be active participants in helping the communities we serve. Our Senior Management Team recently hosted a regional sales meeting where employees were asked to contribute non-perishable items for those in need. More than 44 boxes of food were collected and donated to four local organizations: Branch Area Food Pantry, Niles Salvation Army, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and Benton Harbor Salvation Army.

In December, Chemical Bankers participated in several holiday parades in the area. During the Hunter Ice Festival in January, Chemical Bank provided free sleigh rides to festival-goers and opened our Downtown Niles Branch to serve as a warming station while people enjoyed the sculptures. We also participated in the 45th Annual Farmer’s Day on Feb. 20 at the Branch Area Careers Center in Coldwater.

Watch for us volunteering at upcoming events such as the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Kalamazoo’s Home Expo, Tri-County Head Start Fun Fair, Coloma St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Run for the Gardens benefiting the Niles Community Gardens, the 73rd Senior PGA Championships and at numerous elementary schools during Teach Children to Save Week in April.


We will partner with the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph YMCA for a 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run on Saturday, July 21, 2012, in St. Joseph. You can visit for more details as the event nears.


We would like to introduce to you the Chairwoman of our Marshall Community Bank Board of Directors, Joyce J. Spicer. Joyce is the Executive Director for Albion Health Care Alliance and has been so since its inception in 2002. A resident of Albion, she serves as the Board Chair for the Albion Community Foundation and is a Board Member for the Albion Economic Development Corporation, the Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation, Summit Pointe, Community Health Care Connection, Calhoun County Department of Human Service and the Albion NAACP, where she was recently the recipient of the 2011 Community Service Award. Joyce also volunteers her time with the Rotary Club of Albion, Bethel Baptist Church and the Battle Creek Community Foundation. Joyce will be retiring from the Board in April and we would like to extend our appreciation for her 19 years of service.

Previously, we mentioned many of the holiday parades we would be participating in. In Cass City our Chemical Bank team brought Dr. Suess’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” to life with miniature houses, a giant Christmas tree and of course, the Grinch and his faithful companion Max. As the Grinch looked down on Whoville, the Whoville melody could be heard as our float traveled the parade route. Congratulations to our Chemical Bank Team for their creative vision and hard work. We were very proud to be awarded First Place for best Commercial Entry. Well done, team!

Dec. 31, 2011, was an evening to remember as Downtown Midland launched the inaugural event Midnight on Main! The event included activities for young and old alike. Children’s activities began at 3 p.m. with live entertainment, caricature drawings, crafts and games all centered on celebrating New Year’s Eve with the family. The children’s portion of the evening ended as the New Year’s ball was dropped for their “New Year.” At 8 p.m. the street opened up for adults and Chemical Bank was right there as the Sponsor of the VIP Tent. Our guests were given VIP treatment with great food, beverages and entertainment. The entire evening culminated with a light show as the ball made its descent at midnight followed by a spectacular fireworks display. What a great way to bring in the New Year!

On Jan. 28, 2012, Chemical Bank took part in Show Me the Money Day in Flint and Saginaw. The day consisted of Financial Literacy Presentations with a Housing Panel – discussing Healthy Homes through home maintenance and repair, Repairing Credit and Preventing Identity Theft, Finding Money and Hidden Cash through Budgeting and Using Coupons. Chemical Bankers presented a budgeting program and provided children who accompanied parents with savings activities.

There is a lot in store as March approaches. Visit us at our booth at one of the many Homebuilders Shows we will be participating in.

  • Home Show Lifestyle and Leisure – CMU – March 9-11
  • Shiawassee Chamber Home Garden Business Expo – March 13-14
  • Saginaw Homebuilders Home and Lifestyle – SVSU – March 24-25

We look forward to seeing you there!