Skip Navigation
We can volunteer together - male hand cupped by a female hand making the V of VOLUNTEER surrounded by a word cloud

First Bank Philanthropy

Together, we make life better.

First Bank is more than just banking. Our motto, Make Life Better, aligns with our belief that giving back is an essential part of being a local business in rural communities. As part of those beliefs, we are proud to organize and support philanthropic activities in our neighborhoods.

In addition to supporting local schools, civic and community organizations, we also organize and execute events of our own.


First Bank worked with the Sterling College Capital Campaign, processing the transaction of a $7.9 million (60% of his stock) bequest from the bank's late chairman, Carl Dudrey. The remainder was bequeathed to the Rice County Community Foundation to be used to strengthen and preserve the quality of life in local communities. Mr. Dudrey's estate gifts came directly from his bank stock which was sold to local investors. Every bit of gain from his 25 years of bank ownership was given back to the community. 

A few years ago, First Bank ran #500forGood and gave back $3,300 in Rice County. With the help of Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, President Jeff Laudermilk answered their question of "If given $500 to spend in your community, what would you do?" His response stated that First Bank would match the $500 with funds and then disperse it within the community to allow the $500 to go farther. The idea was selected as a Kansas recipient from FHLB and after internal conversations, we asked other local businesses to participate. Together, we gave a total of $3,300 to six local non-profit organizations.

After Head Start closed its doors in Rice County, First Bank was sought out to organize and run the Rice County Giving Tree. Each year, First Bank employees work with local schools and day cares to ensure that no child goes without gifts during the Christmas season. An ornament tag is built for each child with a list of their needs and wants and the tags are distributed throughout the county at local partnership banks. Community members can stop by a Giving Tree and select a child in need to shop for and drop their gifts back off at the participant bank. Prior to the holidays, the gifts are wrapped and delivered to the appropriate school or daycare where they can be discreetly taken home by a parent or legal guardian and left under the tree for Christmas. Approximately 70 children are served each year through the Giving Tree program.


Partnering with other local organizations is key to elevating our message and abilities to give back locally. We've partnered with the Rice County Community Foundation on their Rice County Job Fair to be a donation site for gently used professional clothing. These clothes were used to build a Career Closet, a resource to Rice County folks who need interview apparel. 

In honor of Veterans Day, we collect winter hats, gloves and scarves for veterans in need as part of the Warm Up War. These items are collected in partnership with the Central Kansas Veteran Community Partnership and other organizations and packaged with care kits and distributed to needy veterans. 


Throughout each year, we support local organizations and their community events by hosting booths and activities or sponsoring the overall event. Our employees volunteer their time through countless local organizations including: Rotary, Main Street Sterling, Sterling Chamber, Rice County Extension Council, Central Kansas Veteran Community Partnership, Kids Cove, local recreation commission as coaches, Sterling College Community Fair and Love Sterling, Rice County Community Foundation board and church boards, just to name a few. 

Back to Top