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ICBA Begins Fourth Annual National Community Bank Service Awards

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 19, 2004) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the only national association that exclusively serves community banks, is taking nominations for its annual National Community Bank Service Awards.

ICBA founded the awards program four years ago to recognize the many outstanding volunteer service efforts of community banks across the country. Nearly 5,000 member community banks are eligible to participate in the awards. "The National Community Bank Service Awards provide a great opportunity for individual community banks, as well as the community banking industry in general, to highlight all the many effective and creative ways they continually strive to build a better quality of life all across the country," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine.

One grand-national award winner and four national award recipients will be recognized at the 2005 ICBA Joint Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. In addition, the winning banks will have their service programs profiled in a special feature in the Independent Banker magazine. All applicants will receive honorable mention in Independent Banker and on the ICBA Web site.

Capital Bank, of Oglethorpe, Ga., won the 2004 grand national award. Over the course of one year, the bank's employees volunteered over 2,100 hours of service and raised $145,000 for local schools, community activities and charities. All this was accomplished with only 46 employees, in a county of 53,000 people. The bank has received honors from both state and local organizations for its innovative and comprehensive approach to community service.

National Community Bank Service Award nominations are being accepted through Friday, December 31, 2004. Nomination forms are available on the association's Web site at www.icba.org.