Bank Boosts Neighborhood Group

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An Indiana nonprofit is receiving one of the first grants from a $150,000 initiative by an Ohio-based bank. First Financial Bancorp in Cincinnati has announced a $10,000 donation to the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. The organization plans to use the money to support efforts to create homeownership opportunities. First Financial says it plans to make 15 similar donations to groups in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

January 6, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- First Financial Bank is celebrating 150 years by giving back to the communities it serves. To commemorate its anniversary, the bank is donating a total of $150,000 to local community groups making a difference across the bank's footprint.

Fifteen $10,000 donations will be made to local organizations in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Today, First Financial is proud to announce that one of the $10,000 grants has been awarded to Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP).

In October, First Financial associates had the opportunity to nominate local non-profit groups to be considered for a grant. The bank received more than 200 nominations from associates. Both Mary Jo Kennelly, senior vice president for First Financial Bank, and Jenny Stamm, a sales associate at Madison Avenue First Financial banking center, nominated INHP because of the organization's work to help local residents become and remain long-term, successful homeowners.

"First Financial has always been a proud supporter of INHP. We are a sponsor of their Living the Dream program and many of our associates enjoy volunteering for the organization," said Kennelly. "The work they do significantly impacts local families and neighborhoods throughout the city. We hope the grant from First Financial will help more local residents and families on their path to successful homeownership."

"We are grateful for First Financial Bank's support and generosity," said Moira Carlstedt, president of INHP. "This award reinforces the importance of INHP's mission to increase affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for individuals and families and serve as a catalyst for the development of and revitalization of neighborhoods."

An internal selection committee comprised of associates from all areas of the bank reviewed nominations and selected grant recipients. Selected groups have to be a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and must fall within one of the bank’s three areas of giving: economic development, financial literacy and neighborhood development. The funds for the donation were made available through the bank’s community development fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation.

For more information about First Financial and its 150 year history, visit www.bankatfirst.com/150 or www.facebook.com/firstfinancialbank.

About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of September 30, 2013, the Company had $6.3 billion in assets, $3.9 billion in loans, $4.7 billion in deposits and $692 million in shareholders’ equity. The Company's subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its four lines of business: commercial, consumer, wealth management and mortgage. The commercial, consumer and mortgage units provide traditional banking services to business and retail clients. First Financial Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.6 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2013. The Company’s strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky where it operates 110 banking centers. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com.

ABOUT INDIANAPOLIS NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING PARTNERSHIP (INHP)

Established in 1988, the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) is the leading nonprofit homeownership resource in Marion County, Indiana dedicated to neighborhood revitalization and helping working families and individuals become and remain long-term, successful homeowners. INHP is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and partners with dozens of local, state and federal government agencies, community organizations, civic groups, banks and lending institutions and corporations to achieve its mission. The organization offers US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified pre-purchase homeownership education and financial and mortgage advising as well as a variety of affordable mortgage, refinancing and home improvement loan options. As a trusted nonprofit, INHP has empowered thousands of homeowners to sustain their investment in their homes—ultimately helping to strengthen and encourage the growth of vibrant Indianapolis neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.inhp.org or call 317.610.HOME.

Source: First Financial Bancorp