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First Community Bank gives back

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Skip Brown

Skip Brown

Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The March of Dimes Chili Championship received $12,500, while the Hanes Park Classic benefiting CycleSafe.org and the Chris Paul Foundation each received $10,000, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation received $5,000 and the North Carolina Stroke Association’s Cycle for Life event received $2,500.

And the Forsyth Medical Center Foundation will receive $10,000 over several years.

Supporting all those charitable causes was First Community Bank, a $2.4 billion-asset company based in Bluefield, Va., that earlier this year acquired Winston-Salem-based Tri-Stone Community Bank in a $10 million deal.

With 55 branches in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, First Community Bank encourages giving and volunteering by its employees, says Skip Brown, president of the bank’s Triad region.

The bank, for example, offers each employee up to two hours a month of paid time to volunteer, and provides a dollar-for-dollar match for employee contributions to United Way, says Brown, who served as president and CEO of TriStone and also is president of the Tennessee region for First Community.

The bank’s giving in the Triad region, which runs from Statesville east to the coast, totaled roughly $50,000 through late November, says Keith Tolbert, marketing communications manager for the bank.

In the region, the bank operates five branches, all of them in Forsyth County, and employs about 55 people.

It also operates a Carolinas region that runs from Statesville west to the mountains.

Overall giving by First Community through November totaled roughly $250,000, Tolbert says.

And the bank typically gives a lot during the year-end holidays, he says.

The bank’s executives and managers also are encouraged to volunteer, with First Community paying their memberships at local civic groups, for example.

The bank also offers to pay employees to attend charity fundraising events, Tolbert says.

Brown says the bank takes the “community” part of its name seriously.

“We believe we’re here to be a part of, and embedded into, our communities where we live and work,” he says. “We want to improve the quality of life in every town in which we have financial centers.”

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