In early January, Porter County Conference continued the 51 year tradition of their Sportsmanship Banquet. Every year they fundraise to provide student athletes with the tickets they need to attend the event, but even after raising money, many still needed tickets. That’s when 1st Source Bank stepped up and made it possible for 80 athletes to participate in the time honored tradition.
The Sportsmanship Banquet is a celebration of outstanding sportsmanship among the PCC’s student athletes, coaches and fans. It brings together students from schools across the region in a fun, non-competitive atmosphere where they can bond over love of the game. 1st Source Bank, with its branches across “PCC Country” in places like Hebron, Kouts, and Valparaiso always seeks to give back to the communities they serve, and knew that stepping in to help out these student athletes was essential.
“Our local banking center managers, who were familiar with the Sportsmanship Banquet and its rich history, suggested that we consider expanding out sponsorship to ensure that as many student athletes as possible could attend,” said Matt Vessely, Regional President of 1st Source Bank. “After learning more about the banquet … and realizing how much it meant to the student-athletes, their families, the schools, and the community; it was evident that stepping up was simply the right thing to do.”
In total, 305 students attended this year’s Banquet which featured guest speakers Steve and Lorri Zeller, parents to NBA players Luke, Tyler, and Cody Zeller. They also recognized their senior athletes, and honored graduates that have gone on to serve in the armed forces or as first responders.
PCC’s member schools include Boone Grove, Hebron, Kouts, LaCrosse, Morgan and Washington Townships, South Central, and Westville. 1st Source is a staple in in all of these communities, and regularly works with PCC. Andrea Overholt, PCC Executive Secretary, worked with Josh Birky of 1st Source Bank in Kouts to get the students the tickets, and Birky brought up the challenge to Vessely. Overholt later welcomed Vessely to the Banquet itself.
“1st Source Banks’ involvement this year means the world to us because it meant we were able to continue our tradition for another year,” said Overholt. “I work with Josh Birky throughout the year, and I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Vessely at our Banquet. We were so honored that he took the time to come be with us and attend our event. These two men are so kind, and truly care about community.”
Vessely gladly attended, as community is one of the pillars 1st Source is built on. When he saw the Banquet in person, everything just clicked.
“I had the pleasure of personally attending the banquet and after seeing it for myself, it all made sense,” said Vessely. “It’s truly a one-of-a-kind event. It’s a unique gathering of a close-knit community celebrating all that is good about local high school sports, competition, community, and sportsmanship.”
To learn more about 1st Source Bank, including its commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, please visit www.1stsource.com.