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ICBA Celebrates Community Banking Month

Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2005) - April is Community Banking Month, and members of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) across the country are gearing up to celebrate the unique spirit that makes independent community banks so special.

ICBA, working with community banking state associations, is leading the charge into the month-long celebration of community banking. The association provides tools and tips for member banks to use during the month, and touting the special qualities that exemplify community banks.

"Our community banks are passionately committed to serving their communities," said David E. Hayes, chairman of ICBA and president and CEO of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tenn. "They spend countless amounts of time and resources throughout the year making their communities better places to live while offering quality financial products and services to their customers. Community Banking Month is our time to celebrate that dedication."

Thousands of community banks participate in the national industry celebration every year, often stepping up their already hectic community service plans. Whether they participate in special events with local charities, teach students about financial issues, decorate their branches, serve their customers refreshments or offer free car washes at the drive-through, community banks ensure that their customers and the community are the center of attention.

"Community banks are an integral part of the economic and civic fabric of thousands of towns and cities across America," said Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of ICBA. "They work hard to improve the quality of life in their communities. That's what makes community banks special."

ICBA recognizes the year-round service of community banks in April with the National Community Bank Service Awards, awarding member banks for exemplary service to their communities.