Thursday, September 18, 2008

Merrimack Valley Hospice House

I just returned from the opening of the public phase of fundraising for the hospice house, which (hopefully) will open in Haverhill next spring.

It was no surprise to me to see Richie Eaton of the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank there. I know community banks have to give to non-profits as part of their charter, but everywhere I go, Richie Eaton is there as well (and most of the time so are Mark Welch and Charlie Cullen).

Also there was Robert Balletto, president/CEO of the Georgetown Savings Bank (also a community bank) and Janet Sheehan of the Newburyport Society for Relief of Aged Women.

Sheehan told me funds from her society were joined with those from a similar aid society for men (she couldn't recall off the top of her head which one) to fund one of the 14 rooms. That sponsorship guarantees that residents of Newburyport will always have one room in the house, if needed.

It was very inspiring and a little sad.


sds said...


i don't believe that is true anymore. the CRA was modified a bunch of times and small banks only have to provided loans to low & moderate income people. there is no requirement to "give money" or other services. things like the recent branch in Triton, free financial counseling and such is helpful when they get tested but not a required part of the test.

we are very lucky that we have the banks we do, and more important, the people that run them. the three gentlemen you mention are true assets to the community.

small banks are slowly going out of business or merging into larger entities. i was told once by a faculty member that he expected eventually there will be no more small banks.


Gillian Swart said...

sds, when I wrote a story for the Current last year about the community banks, someone who writes for financial publications pointed out to me that the banks had to give money back to the community.

Nevertheless, I agree 100% about the banks and the men running them.

If what you say is the case, then they are to be commended even more. I don't think they get the recognition they deserve.