Toast to Our Towns Gala

Organizations Helping the Heartland

When an organization goes above and beyond for their community, it is only fitting that their service to be recognized by us. For that reason, the Community Partner Award was created – as a special award in recognition of the board, staff and volunteers of the organization and their years of service to their community. 

Our 2018 Community Partner is Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co.

Blue Ridge Bank and Trust has been a frequent contributor to charitable efforts in Eastern Jackson County for the last 60 years. Founded by brothers William, Robert, and Walter Reich in 1958, the Bank opened with six employees and has now become one of the largest locally run banks in the area.

Blue Ridge Bank honors its historical roots by serving the needs of individuals and businesses and focusing their impact in the communities through two equally important strategies: financial support and community activism. 

Responding to hundreds of requests for support each year, Blue Ridge Bank financially contributes to projects and events that benefit the community. Recent involvement includes the Rotary Club of Independence Carnival for polio eradication. In 2018 the funds from the Carnival were allocated to the Independence Farmer’s Market. The Bank also contributed to Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity for the Hiram Young School renovation.

Blue Ridge Bank takes a personal interest in community betterment. In the early 1990's Bank employees established the Associates Charity Fund. The Fund’s purpose is to contribute time and financial support to help those in need. 

Associates of the Bank are encouraged to pursue volunteer leadership roles and many serve on boards and committees for local non-profits. The Bank provides flexible schedules to allow staff to attend meetings and events and volunteer their time. Bank employees are active and visible in service clubs such as Scouts, local chambers of commerce, and many other organizations.

In 2018 Blue Ridge Bank and Trust has supported organizations such as the Blue Springs and Raytown Main Street Associations, John Knox Village Foundation, Community Services League, Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), Missouri Colleges Fund, Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Cancer Action, Inc., United Way, and The Salvation Army.

Today, the spirit of the Reich brothers is alive in the culture of the Bank, which continues its mission: to enable people to acquire the financial resources to realize their dreams. The Bank honors the legacy of its founders by fostering volunteerism, philanthropic giving, and leading by example to set the standard for community partnerships.

Past Recipients of Special Awards

2016 – Community Services League, Heartland Service Award
2015 – Independence Young Matrons, Heartland Service Award
2012 – Carol Sue Bass, Kyle Conway, Lloyd Uptegrove, Carole Roper Park Vaughan, and Luva Vaughan, Founder’s Recognition
2012 – Community of Christ, Community Partner Award
2011 – Rotary District 6040, Heartland Service Award,
2007 – Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Silver Legacy Award



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