story & photo
by Maren Schober
As customers walk into the festively decorated lobby of the Putnam Bank in Norwich before the holidays, they wonder if they are in the right place and just what is going on!
The lobby is dressed out in seasonal cheer, and the bank is filled with Putnam professionals, town officials, community workers, and media. A table offers tasty breakfast pastries and warming beverages as part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of Putnam Bank, bank officials, the community and the Norwich Chamber of Commerce members are on hand to pay tribute to the St. Vincent de Paul Place of Norwich.
Lynn Bourque, Putnam Bank’s Senior Vice President and Branch Administrator, explains. “In celebration of our 150th Anniversary, each week of the year an employee of Putnam bank chooses a nonprofit agency to support through local contributions. This week Putnam bank is applauding St. Vincent de Paul Place of Norwich, which was founded in 1979. The staff and local community members are collecting non-perishable food staples over the month of November to donate to the kitchen. This event is sponsored by The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce.”
Putnam Bank was founded in 1862 and today has seven branch locations in addition to the main office in Putnam.
Two official presentations are made this December 6 morning. One is by Ben Lathrop, Executive Director of the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce; he presents Thomas Borner, President and CEO of Putnam Bank, with a plaque commending Putnam Bank for its longevity, leadership, and commitment to people and businesses in the greater Norwich area.
Thomas then made a presentation of his own: three checks were awarded to Jillian Corbin, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Place, along with the donations of collected canned goods for their food pantry. Jillian received more than she expected—a $1000 check that will pay for a clothes dryer for clients at St. Vincent de Paul Place; $100 from the employees of Norwich Putnam Bank in lieu of exchanging gifts this year; and $750 that is a combination of $250 in celebration of December’s Open House event, plus a $500 donation from Thomas Borner and his wife, Kathy.
“I am overwhelmed!” exclaimed Jillian. “Overwhelmed!”
Jillian relates, “We served over 82,000 hot meals this past year. Our Care and Advocacy programs include counseling, the use of laundry appliances and showers for our patrons. We strive to motivate our clients to self-sufficiency and a better life.”