First National Bank announces Winner of the 2018 Blue Diamond Community Service Award

The First National Bank of Arenzville has announced the winner of the “Blue Diamond Community Service Award” for 2018. This is the fifth year for the award, created to recognize outstanding volunteers in the First National Bank service area and the work they’ve done throughout the past calendar year. The announcement was made by First National Bank President Kai Schnitker, “we are, once again this year, awarding a posthumous Blue Diamond Community Service Award. This year’s award will recognize the life-time service achievements of Mr. Ken Bradbury, longtime resident of Arenzville, who passed away in November of 2018 at the age of 69.” According to Schnitker, Mr. Bradbury was a longtime supporter of Arenzville and has had a huge impact on the West Central Illinois Community. Mr. Bradbury was born in Perry, IL. but counted Arenzville as his “other” hometown. Mr. Bradbury was a teacher at Triopia High School for 35 years and was the founder and longtime director of the Green Pastures Camp for the Performing Arts. He was a prolific playwright, penning dozens of plays. He also authored hundreds of short subjects to be used as performance pieces for high school forensic speech competitions. Mr. Bradbury often donated his time and talents to fundraising and civic organizations. He created plays and productions to mark milestones in the area and regularly donated hundreds of hours to making those productions reality. According to First National Bank Vice President and Branch Manager Kevin Heitz, “recognizing a lifetime of service with this year’s award seemed fitting. We’ve received nominations for some very deserving volunteers over the years, but Mr. Bradbury is definitely a notable standout. We hope that honoring him is an inspiration to others who give their time and expertise to the community.” Schnitker explains the origins of the award, “Blue Diamond Service is about being the best…it’s about doing more than what is expected and delivering a truly outstanding level of service. We felt there are people working in our communities who deserve some recognition for going above and beyond. That’s why we created the Blue Diamond Community Service Award.” Nominations for the annual award are open to anyone within the First National Bank Service Area. Nominees could be serving in a volunteer position or they might be delivering an outstanding level of service as a professional aid worker or caregiver. Virtually anyone doing their best to provide Blue Diamond Service to the community is eligible for the award. As recipient of the 2018 Blue Diamond Community Service Award, Mr. Bradbury’s brother, Keith Bradbury, will be presented with a commemorative award statuette in his brother’s name. Mr. Bradbury has also had his name placed on a perpetual plaque displayed at the First National Bank of Arenzville. Schnitker says he hopes to see the excitement about this recognition continue to grow. “We know that no one who is doing volunteer work is actively seeking an award. That’s what makes this so enjoyable…we get to shine a spotlight on great service and the people getting this recognition are sometimes almost surprised to be noticed. We look forward to celebrating volunteers and the work they are doing throughout our area for many years to come.”