TrustCo Bank announces donations to Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Schenectady

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Categories: News, Schenectady County, The Daily Gazette

Across from an almost 100-year-old location on the corner of Crane Street and Main Avenue, TrustCo Bank gave back again to a community that has served it well.

Robert McCormick, chairman, president and CEO of TrustCo Bank, announced the donation of 450 backpacks filled with school supplies, lunch bags, face masks and sanitizer for the students of Pleasant Valley Elementary School along with a $2,500 donation for extracurricular activities for the coming school year.

“We are truly a hometown bank, we become a part of the community, become engrossed in the community,” McCormick said. “Branches like Mount Pleasant are the foundation from which we’ve grown, so we can never forget where we came from and have the ability to grow off places like Mount Pleasant.”

The blue backpacks were emblazoned with the TrustCo Bank blue hound mascot, Trusty, on each one. 

“It’s really great that we see companies like TrustCo giving back to the community and that they’re really deeply rooted in the community,” said Aaron Bochniak, interim superintendent for the Schenectady City School District. “Clearly this is a community that’s also in need, so the fact that they’re giving back to one of the schools and helping parents come up with supplies that they need for every kid is absolutely wonderful.”

The donation will help Pleasant Valley meet one of its mission goals before the 2020-2021 school year starts.

“Our goal as a building, trying to support families through this pandemic, it’s huge,” Christina Howard, Pleasant Valley Elementary School principal, said. “Our goal was to help them by not asking them to provide a lot of the school supplies, but [for us] to provide those supplies for them.

“With the backpacks we can add to that what we’ve purchased, and I think that families are going to really appreciate that support and the ease of that burden during back to school shopping.”

The $2,500 monetary donation will also help extend the students’ day.

“It’s critical in this time to have safe spaces for kids to continue that learning opportunity, not just with academics, but with programs that spark student’s interests, get them excited to be a part of the building and part of our school,” Howard said. “It’s also a really great opportunity to look at when we’re provided with community support, what support in return can we provide.”

The donation was followed by a proclamation by Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the renovations to the TrustCo Bank location, built in 1924.

“We’ve had to put things on a pause because of COVID, but we’re still seeing projects that are coming to fruition,” McCarthy said. “TrustCo re-doing their branch here is a strong symbol to this neighborhood, some of the other projects we’re doing adjacent to it hopefully puts the message that it’s a an area people should look at for home ownership, business opportunities and maybe just stop in and do their banking or shop here.”

TrustCo Bank has plans to continue giving and encourages other business to follow its lead in Schenectady.

“We’ve always done a backpack program; we’ve done that for years,” McCormick said. “With Pleasant Valley in this community we thought it was very important and a real bonus. “I had a conversation with the principal about let’s not this become a one-time event. I hope that not only through the bank, but through other businesses will lend their support.”

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