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Farmers Bank donates $150,000 to Prairie Creek Park

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BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

The Farmers Bank has announced a $150,000 donation to the City of Frankfort for the Prairie Creek Park project.

Karen F. Gregerson, President and CEO, and R. Kent Ryan Jr., chairman of the board of directors, of The Farmers Bank, along with Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes announced the gift Wednesday at the City-County Leadership Summit featuring Dr. John Crompton of Texas A&M University, a leading authority on parks, recreation and tourism sciences, according to the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce.

“The Farmers Bank believes that giving back is an essential part of being a good corporate neighbor. Building relationships and supporting our neighborhoods with funds, time, and talent are a big part of our heritage that dates back to 1876 and makes us who we are today,” said Ryan. “We’re excited about all the possibilities Prairie Creek Park will bring to the Clinton County community.”

The park is proposed for the north side of Washington Street a half block east of Jackson Street.

President and CEO Karen Gregerson reflected on the opportunity the bank has to give a percentage of their profits back to the communities they serve as well as challenged those in attendance to think like-mindedly when it comes to giving back to the communities of which they are a part, according to the Chamber. “The culture, the attitude, the awareness of making a difference in the world can become exponential,” the Chamber reported. “This celebration isn’t just about the past and legacy, it’s about the future. We’re in it for the long haul. We think and believe that this community and the communities we serve have enormous potential.”

“President Karen Gregerson and her team’s dedication and forward-thinking involvement in the City’s many projects and programs are built upon the foundation that a rising tide lifts all ships,” McBarnes said, in the Chamber’s release. “The bank’s financial support of Prairie Creek Park will go a long way in boosting our economic development health, supporting our small businesses and enhancing Frankfort’s appeal to potential new homeowners and businesses looking to make our community their home.”

The Mayor expressed his gratitude to Gregerson and The Farmers Bank Board of Directors for their shared partnership with the City’s leadership as Prairie Creek Park is built within the next several months.

“The momentum continues!” McBarnes said.

At a special City Council meeting Thursday devoted to presenting the design, financing and bond details for the project, McBarnes told the council members and citizens attending about The Farmers Bank’s gift. 

He noted that Ryan credited the new federal tax bill for providing the bank with more funds to disburse for community projects.

With the bank’s gift of $150,000 and $250,000 donated Feb. 28 by the Clinton County Community Foundation, more than 10 percent of Prairie Creek Park’s estimated cost of $3.97 million already has been donated. According to McBarnes, more private gifts will be announced this week.

To be located directly north of Nickel Plate Flats, Prairie Creek Park will provide space for the performing arts, interactive water features such as a splash pad, state-of-the-art vendor areas, playground equipment and a dog park, among other recreational elements.