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A little silliness for a good cause

Under a sweltering July sun, five Richland Bankers stood on two large wooden skis. Their task was to work together to plank walk across W.W. Skiles Field at Shelby High School, around a cone and back again. Do it fast enough, and they would earn points and possibly beat 17 other teams competing in the Shelby Bicycle Days, a fundraiser for Spokes4Kids that buys disadvantaged youth new bikes for Christmas. There were five competitive events in all.

Just how good was our banker quintet? If laughing at themselves was a sport, they would have been champions. We were still winners this day because our entry fee was among the $2,300 raised for the charity.

“It is an amazing experience to go out and compete with my colleagues,” said Richland president Chris Hiner, who was at the head of the plank. “The competition brings out the best in everyone, even when we hilariously fail. It also allows me to see a different side of my team and them to see a different side of me. As bankers we are more than just financial service providers.

“It also was great that so many of our colleagues’ families came to the event and supported them. We had three times as many volunteers at the event helping coordinate the efforts as we did participating in the competition, which was really rewarding to see.”

The summer silliness meant 50 kids would be riding in style. The Ontario Walmart kicked in $200 and discounted and assembled all the bikes purchased, which were then delivered to Crossroads Community Church for their Christmas arrival.

“Richland County was just named the #1 most philanthropic county in the state by the Columbus Dispatch,” Hiner said. “As a community pillar, we take our duty seriously. We do not want to be an organization that just writes a check. We want to volunteer, be a participant and help clean up – whatever is needed.”