reaching out to the township's Volunteer Baseball League for youngsters.
The bank donated the funds to purchase a state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard, which was the attraction of the recent overhaul of the Little League facility on 76th Street. Valley representatives would not reveal the actual cost of the scoreboard.
League officials would have been pleased if the generosity stopped there, but the bank continued its commitment by initiating a plan that will eventually enable the league to purchase a defibrillator, a lifesaving device for victims of heart attacks and other physical trauma.
With each new account opened at Valley's North Bergen branch, located at 8901 Kennedy Blvd., between now and July 31, the bank will donate
$10 toward the purchase of the defibrillator.
According to Gerald Lipkin, the president and chief executive officer of Valley National Bank, the defibrillator is a vital piece of equipment.
"Giving back to the communities we serve is an important part of Valley's community banking philosophy," Lipkin said. "So we are very
pleased to get involved in North Bergen's Volunteer Baseball. New research confirms that defibrillators are a valuable lifesaving resource and we hope that the community will support us in this effort."
Lawrence Flack, the senior vice president of the bank, agreed. "The commitment of the people involved with the league, like [President] Guy McCann and [Parks and Recreation Commissioner] Peter Perez, were very inspiring to me," Flack said. "They've shown an incredible amount of commitment to see this project through and to see the league flourish, so it made sense that we should become as committed. Considering the strong fondness I have to the sport, it made all perfect sense to get involved."
Flack said that the purchase of the scoreboard was the largest community commitment the bank has made in New Jersey.
According to spokesman Vince Baglivo, the bank has been involved in similar charitable campaigns in other communities, such as Nutley and
Lodi. "Over the years, Valley has been involved in hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the state," Baglivo said. "We're always looking for unique opportunities and this was a very unique opportunity for us. I think what inspired the bank was the commitment of the volunteers and they were impressed with the entire program."
McCann said that he was floored by the bank's commitment. "They came and met with me," said McCann, who has been involved with the
league for 32 years. "I didn't even know them. But they were sincere and were willing to do anything for the kids. We were talking and the next thing you know, we got a scoreboard. They've been fantastic. It's like a dream to us. They just keep giving."
Those interested in helping the program to purchase the defibrillator can open any type of account at Valley.
"If kids want to open savings accounts with us, that's fine," Flack said. "We would love to see that. We have savings accounts for children under 18 that they receive four percent interest. They can open the accounts themselves. They don't even need parental permission."
"Imagine if we're able to save just one kid with the defibrillator?" McCann asked. "That would be amazing. It's going to be a great thing for us."
For further information, contact Branch Manager Edwin Moro at 662-6020, or stop by and visit the branch.