LEOMINSTER, MA--(Marketwired - Feb 19, 2014) - As part of its long-term mission to help improve the quality of life of its clients, communities, and employees, Fidelity Bank has announced creation of the LifeDesign Community Dividend, a new program that has distributed more than $250,000 in support of nearly 50 local community organizations, events, and causes during 2013.

As a result of a record number of clients embracing LifeDesign Banking, Fidelity Bank continues to grow and thrive. The bank, in turn, shares in its success through the LifeDesign Community Dividend. Unlike a publicly owned company that pays dividends to its shareholders, the mutually owned Fidelity Bank instead pays dividends to the community.

The Community Dividend is comprised of contributions and sponsorships that are meaningful investments in Central Massachusetts' future in areas such as education, health initiatives, youth and senior organizations, all in support of the overall well-being of communities in Central Massachusetts.

"The LifeDesign Community Dividend is the natural extension of our LifeDesign Promise, the essence of which is that because we care deeply about the well being of our clients, communities, and employees we strive and try to do the right thing for all of them 100 percent of the time. The Community Dividend brings this promise to life," said Chairman Ed Manzi.

Fidelity Bank will regularly announce some of the nonprofit organizations and causes that will benefit from the Community Dividend, such as local schools and colleges, health organizations, children's organizations, cultural centers, chambers of commerce, and other not-for-profit groups that are critical to the region's quality of life.

"We have been supporting important local causes for a long, long time. Our Board thought it would be helpful to formalize it, so the LifeDesign Community Dividend was created," Manzi said. "It's our way of showing local people that it really matters where they do their banking business. Not only can we provide all the products and services they need and try to do the right thing for them every day, but also because of their business, we are able to give strong financial support to the cities, towns, and neighborhoods that they all care so deeply about. It's truly a virtuous cycle."

One of the organizations that will continue to receive ongoing support through the Community Dividend is The SHINE Initiative, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Fidelity employees, who decided that they wanted to have the bank support a major cause. The SHINE Initiative leads the fight to raise awareness that mental illness in children and young adults is a mainstream health issue.

Other organizations that have benefitted recently from the Community Dividend include Fitchburg State University, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Vietnam Veterans of America, City of Gardner Summer Concert Series, Worcester Economic Development Advancement Fund, Shirley Friendship Fund, Mount Wachusett Community College, The Boys and Girls Club, Community HealthLink, HealthAlliance Hospital, Heywood Hospital, Montachusett Home Care, Millbury Bicentennial Committee, and Loaves and Fishes. 

Fidelity will announce other beneficiaries of the Community Dividend on an ongoing basis.

About Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank -- one of the oldest and continually growing independent, local community banks in Central Massachusetts -- offers a full range of banking, investment and insurance products and programs, and has full-service offices in Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Millbury, Shirley, and Worcester.

Fidelity has received a "5-Star" rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation's leading independent bank rating and research firm. Fidelity earned this rating by excelling in the areas of capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality. In addition, Fidelity has been named one of the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe for three years in a row.

Since 1888, the bank has remained committed to businesses, families and individuals in the communities it serves; in turn, loyalty demonstrated by members of those cities and towns has allowed the bank to become one of the strongest financial institutions in the region.

Today, Fidelity Bank is well capitalized and has total assets of $565 million. The FDIC and the Share Insurance Fund insure 100% of all deposits.

For further information, visit www.fidelitybankonline.com or call 800.581.5363.

Contact Information:

Catherine Dillon