With the music of trumpeter Marquis Hill and his combo playing softly in the background, a crowd of customers, stockholders, and downtown Evanston workers gathered in the lobby of First Bank & Trust on Church Street late Thursday afternoon with no apparent agenda except to socialize and have a good time.
“A community bank should be more than just a financial institution. We want to help foster and build a sense of local community” was the rationale expressed by the bank in invitations to the event.
A number of the bank’s customers were involved in the occasion, with food from BAT 17; beverages by Schaefer’s Wine, Food & Spirits; flowers by Saville Flowers, and a raffle of a six-month membership to the Evanston Athletic Club.
The locally-owned financial institution was chartered 20 years ago and has steadily grown to nearly $911 million in total assets and $825 million in deposits, as of the end of 2014.
Headquartered in Evanston, the bank has offices in Skokie, Winnetka, Naperville, and Itasca.