Victims, Inc. founder wins chamber's coveted Citizen of Year award

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Pat Rainboth, Founder of Victims, Inc., accept the Citizen of the Year Award from Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Laura Ring and Anne Brown, the Chamber's Chairman of the Board (GRCC photo)

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine - The highly coveted Citizen of the Year award was presented to Pat Rainboth, who founded Victims, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization that provides free, immediate service to those impacted by trauma. Originally from Oneida, New York, she moved to Rochester in 1969 with her husband, Paul.

The award was given as part of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce's Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet held in South Berwick on Friday night.

For those that know Rainboth, she never does just one job. From the mid-1970s until the mid-80s, Pat was employed as the Community School Coordinator for Rochester Schools. During that same time, she also served as the G.E.D. and Life Skills teacher for Dover Adult Learning Center, was an instructor of the Dr. Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training and served as a columnist for the former Rochester Courier newspaper.

Rainboth went on to serve as the Assistant Director of the New Hampshire DWI Prevention Council for five years. Although she played a key role in a variety of positive developments while working in the Rochester school district, it was February 3, 1986, that changed her life and brought her a new purpose. She was on her way home from work and came upon a serious crash. It was there she met 15-year-old Connie Lynn Meredith. Connie was lying in a snowbank, dying from injuries she suffered when she was struck by a vehicle. Pat held Connie's hand, providing every ounce of comfort she could until Connie passed. Connie is the reason Pat works tirelessly at the state level to effect change for victims. The driver was drinking behind the wheel and although the driver blew a .04 blood-alcohol level, laws at the time didn't allow for them to be charged in connection with her death.
In 1991, she founded Victims, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization that provides free, immediate service to those impacted by trauma. Trained volunteers provide assistance to people during the worst moments of their lives. The mission of Victims, Inc. is to complete the circle of services for victims, from onset of trauma through healing. Since the program began, Pat has been called to assist victims or family members through a number of traumas including fires, explosions, fatal and serious crashes, suicides and other untimely deaths, robberies, drownings, missing persons, industrial and recreational accidents, sudden infant deaths, among others.

Rainboth and the volunteers that she trains, sit in the hospital with the injured or with family members. They are called to scenes by fire officials as well as local and state police. Volunteers go with the police to provide notification of tragedies and are prepared to stay until the family support system is in place. They are also trained to make referrals to other agencies and services.

Many of the volunteers of Victims, Inc. have found their way to the organization through their own personal losses. Trauma volunteers have para-professional status. The 60-hour training program is designed with the aid of hospital personnel, lawyers, police and fire officials, clergy, media, funeral directors, professors, and counselors.

Rainboth also advocates on their behalf during court and legislative proceedings throughout the state. She accompanies people through the court process, as they attend hearings, trials, sentencings, and other legal proceedings. She has become greatly trusted and respected by people on all sides of cases. Through Pat's efforts, Victims, Inc. also provides the Grieving Assistance Program or GAP, to help serve the emotional needs and support to members of families whose loved one has died. In Pat's office, located in Shoreyville Plaza in East Rochester, hang 20 quilts. Each of the squares on these quilts is personalized, representing one of her cases.

The squares are made by family members to honor their deceased loved ones. Pat believes these quilts bring comfort and physically represent one of the many ways Victims, Inc. empowers the people they serve. Pat and Victims, Inc. is a member of many national and state organizations. Local affiliations include Frisbie Memorial Hospital Disaster & Trauma Committee, Rochester Coalition for Youth Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Rochester Area Family Support Team, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, SeaCare Community Response Team and many more. Rainboth has received many awards and honors for her work including: Rochester's Outstanding Woman, State of NH Champion for Children Award, Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Management, National Award for Crime Victim Advocacy, Rochester Jaycees Distinguished Citizen Award, UNH Granite State Award as well as other honors. According to Ann McCluskey, Pat gives countless hours to helping anyone in need and most of her work is on a volunteer basis. Pat resides in Rochester and is an active member of St. Mary's Church.

Business of the Year

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year award is one of the Chamber's most prestigious awards celebrating excellence in a business' industry and in their community. This award recognizes a Chamber member who has demonstrated leadership and involvement for the betterment of the business community and the greater Rochester area.

The Business of the Year award was accepted by Sharla Rollins, assistant vice president and branch administrator of Federal Savings Bank. Looking on are Laura Ring, chamber president and Anne Brown, chairman of the chamber's Board of Directors.

Federal Savings Bank's mission is to fulfill the financial service expectations of individuals, families and businesses in the communities that they serve. They offer a wide range of products, services and technology including; personal and business checking and savings depository accounts; ATM, debit and credit cards; certificates of deposit, personal and business loan products, robust online and mobile banking products, wealth management and investment services.

Federal Savings Bank has four additional locations with branches in Barrington, Durham, Portsmouth and Rochester.

Throughout its history, Federal Savings Bank has remained a mutual commercial bank, committed to providing prudent financial services, and dedicated to positively impacting the communities it serves by reinvesting its profits into the local economy. Combined with local management and local decision making, the Bank has built a reputation of quality that has lasted for nearly 129-years.

The Bank opened its 5th office at 17 Wakefield Street in Rochester in 2009. This branch was designed to provide its team with the best environment in which to engage their customers and offer the most personal and efficient service. In its first year of business, during a challenging economy, the branch far exceeded growth expectations, achieving nearly $10 million in new deposits. Ten years later, it has nearly tripled its growth. Federal Savings Bank was welcomed to Rochester with warm, open arms. The City, the Chamber of Commerce, and Rochester Main Street were integral partners and a support system.

The Bank's community commitment sets them apart. Federal Savings Bank employs a dedicated team who work hard to fulfill their mission of service. Through their 'Eagles In Action' program, the Bank provides paid time off for employees to become actively involved by volunteering.

In Rochester, Sharla Rollins leads an amazing team, including Cheryl Thompson, Karen Barker, Cindy Ward and board members T.J. Jean and Mark Boulanger.

They give their time, talent and treasure, to support the community. In addition to attending countless events and fundraisers, the Rochester team collectively contributes over 100 hours per month to numerous civic and nonprofit organizations including the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Rotary Club, Rochester Rotary Charities, Rochester Crimeline, Homeless Shelter of Strafford County, Bridging the Gaps, Cornerstone VNA, Rochester Schools Extended Learning Opportunities Advisory Board and Rochester Main Street.

Federal Savings Bank has benefited immensely from the loyalty of the greater Rochester community and in turn, they gave back by increasing their support of organizations and projects that enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Rochester. Each year, the Bank and its charitable foundation contribute nearly $200,000 to over 100 local nonprofit organizations.

Community banks play a critical role in keeping their local economies vibrant and Federal Savings Bank remains committed to helping others achieve success.

They offer Financial Literacy classes to groups of all ages, from schools to nonprofits and first-time home buyers.

In addition, during the recent government shutdown and the previous shutdown in 2013, the Bank offered customers flexibility with loan payments, fee coverage, and even made a loan to a local business who relied heavily on government funding facing crisis.

Federal Savings Bank has been a longtime member of the New Hampshire Bankers Association who works to promote the banking industry for the betterment of the State's economy.

The bank has received many awards and honors including:

  • City of Rochester Most Improved Building Award;
  • Good Scout Award;
  • Portsmouth Chamber Collaborative Business of the Year;
  • Dover Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year;
  • Dover Main Street Sponsor of the Year;
  • Spirit of the Seacoast Award; and
  • Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

Federal Savings Bank has achieved much success in just 10 years in Rochester, and they continue to make a positive impact on the businesses, organizations and community vitality.

They are more than a financial institution. Federal Savings Bank has shown an unwavering commitment to the communities they serve and continue to create products and offer services that will improve the quality of lives today and for years to come. This commitment fueled by the dedication of their employees and their efforts, well represent a compassionate and community-minded business.

For these reasons, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce was proud to present its 2019 Business of the Year award to Federal Savings Bank.

Nonprofit of the Year

The Nonprofit of the Year award is also one of the Chamber's most prestigious business awards. This year it went to the The Elks, a fraternal order with nearly one million members. The Elks is a generous charitable foundation that gives millions of dollars in scholarships, is an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans, and more.

Accepting the award for the Rochester Elks Lodge #1393 was Exalted Ruler Jim Clark and other officers.

The fraternal order was founded "to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members, to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; and cultivate good fellowship. The Rochester Elks Lodge, located on Columbus Avenue in Rochester, was founded/chartered in 1920 and has been an integral part of the City for over 97 years. One of 14 Lodges in New Hampshire, the Rochester Lodge carries the second largest membership in the state with 15 officers and over 850 members. In addition to their events center and social lounge for members, the Rochester Elks administer many national programs at the local level, which make a difference in our city.

The Elks are strongly committed to charity. The Lodge has received Elks National Foundation grants based on member donations and, since 2006, has donated almost $25,000 to local community charities and projects. The Lodge donates and participates in local Food Bank activities and has put on complimentary meals for the homeless in the local area. They are involved in Veterans Programs and Patriotic Programs - with multiple visits to the NH Veterans Home for Bingo Nights, a Cookout, and an annual Christmas Party with the residents.

Complimentary meals are provided to Rochester Veterans and they participate in programs honoring Veterans, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They conduct an annual Flag Day Ceremony in June and participate in Veterans Flag Retirement Ceremonies on July 4th with the Knights of Columbus.

The Rochester Lodge of Elks No. 1393 is likewise very involved in the community. They sponsor many youth athletic teams in the city - baseball, football, hockey, soccer and softball as well as other youth-related events, including the Kids Fishing Derby, Children's Christmas Party, Scout Night, Basketball Hoop Shoot, Drug Awareness Programs and Youth Scholarships.

For decades, the Rochester Lodge of Elks has recognized and honored exceptional Rochester Athletes and Contributors with their annual Rochester Elks Sports Hall of Fame, an event that consists of a formal dinner and awards held in the Lodge. Each year, the Lodge sends underprivileged children to their State Elks Major Project, Copper Cannon, a summer camp in the White Mountains. These children get to spend a week at the camp, with all expenses paid for by the Elks.

The Rochester Lodge conducts many social activities including Friday Night Suppers and Breakfasts on Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter. They conduct themed-dinner dances and do some trips to casinos and "Elk Hunts", where they visit other lodges. They offer a Dart League, Pool League, Cribbage League, Card Games and a Golf Tournament. The Rochester Elks Lodge also has an Auxiliary, known as the Rochester Emblem Club #40.

Members of this auxiliary assist the Elks with many of their activities as well as conduct their own meetings. Rochester Elks serve their community with true commitment to their core mission. They maintain a broad perspective of community needs that helps kids, families, veterans, seniors and more. And in the region, the Rochester Elks provide assistance to programs including Community Toolbox, Pease Greeters, End 68 Hours of Hunger, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other worthy causes.

For their efforts, Rochester Elks Lodge leaders have received numerous awards including the State of New Hampshire's Outstanding Volunteer Administrator and the NH Governor's Award. The Rochester Elks Lodge No. 1393 is dedicated to excellence in their programming. The Elks' impact is made possible through the volunteer power of its members. They enhance the quality of life in the City and beyond. Their members are receptive to community needs and what they do makes a difference in Rochester.

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the efforts, programs and community-wide support the Elks consistently provide by presenting its 2019 Nonprofit of the Year award to the Rochester Elks Lodge No. 1393.

The chamber's Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet was held at The Red Barn at Outlook Farm in South Berwick.

The event's major underwriters were Eversource and Service Credit Union.

Laura Ring is the President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

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