Macatawa Bank, 616.394.0815
Mary Ann Sabo
Sabo Public Relations, 616.485.1432
Macatawa Bank Launches New Award Program to Encourage
Financial Literacy for High School Students
Holland, Michigan, February 4, 2013 – Recognizing the critical importance of financial literacy, Macatawa Bank has launched a new award program open to students at 61 West Michigan high schools.
The Holland-based community bank has unveiled the “Emergency Fund Grant” Essay Contest, which will provide more than $10,000 annually in awards to promote the benefit of savings. The program is open to students taking the Dave Ramsey Foundations in Personal Finance course, sponsored by Macatawa Bank, at public, charter and private high schools in Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties.
Students will be asked to write an essay of 300-600 words addressing one of three questions drawing from the principles learned in their Ramsey course: describing the most valuable thing they have learned, advice they would give to a younger brother or sister about money or how they are going to apply key principles learned in class to their future lives.
A selection committee that will include members of Ramsey’s curriculum team will select 10 students twice each year to receive $500 Macatawa Bank Emergency Fund Awards, allowing them to fulfill one of the main principles of the Ramsey philosophy by establishing an emergency fund. All students who submit an essay will receive a $10 iTunes® gift card.
“We are incredibly pleased to take the next step in our partnership with Dave Ramsey’s high school curriculum by establishing the Emergency Fund Grant Contest,” said Macatawa Bank President and CEO Ron Haan. “This contest is designed to bring to life the principles of money management that students are learning in the classroom and reward them by helping to establish an emergency fund.
“We recognize that a financially smart and healthy community is a strong community. Teachers, parents and students regularly tell us how much they appreciate having the Ramsey curriculum available at the high school level. We hope that all eligible students will join us for the Emergency Fund Grant contest.”
In 2009, Macatawa Bank was the first financial institution in Michigan to offer the curriculum to schools free of charge. The courses, which are aligned with state and national teaching standards, are designed to teach sound financial principles so students can avoid financial difficulties as they become adults.
Rachel Ramsey Cruze, daughter of financial guru Dave Ramsey, recorded a personal message of encouragement for West Michigan students in the course who are eligible to participate in the Emergency Fund Grant contest. The deadline for submissions to the spring program is March 31, 2013 at 5 p.m. Awards will be made June 1.
All essays will be evaluated by the Macatawa Bank Marketing and Compliance Department, along with industry professionals Archie Blood and Mary Ann Sabo. Blood is founder of Westshore Financial Services and an adjunct instructor for Davenport College. The principal and founder of Sabo Public Relations, Sabo has more than two decades of experience in public relations and journalism. The team will select 20 essays, which will then be evaluated by Ramsey’s curriculum team, who will select the final winners.
Essays can be submitted by the spring deadline either via e-mail to marketing @macatawa-bank.com, delivered to one of the 26 area Macatawa branch locations Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or mailed to: Macatawa Bank, Attn: Marketing, PO Box 3119, Holland, MI 49422-3119.
About Macatawa Bank
Headquartered in Holland, Mich., Macatawa Bank Corp. offers a full range of banking, investment and trust services to individuals, businesses and governmental entities from a network of 26 full-service branches located throughout communities in Kent, Ottawa and northern Allegan counties. Services include commercial, consumer and real estate financing; business and personal deposit services; ATMs and Internet banking services; trust and employee benefit plan services and various investment services. The Corporation emphasizes its local management team and decision making, along with providing customers excellent service and superior financial products.