Friday, March 05, 2021

Freedom Bank launches Hometown Hero Award

Daily Inter Lake | January 24, 2021 12:00 AM

In stark contrast to a lot of contests featuring a cash prize, Freedom Bank’s new Hometown Hero Award is designed to bring out the best in people. The new campaign from the Columbia Falls bank is intended to recognize “unsung heroes” throughout the Flathead for their work in making the community a better place to live.

“We just feel like at this time with our nation… there’s just a lot of people out there that are just unrecognized heroes in our community,” said Don Bennett, president of Freedom Bank.

“It’s an opportunity to nominate others in the community that they feel are making a difference that they feel aren’t recognized for it,” Bennett added.

Freedom Bank plans to give out The Hometown Hero Award to a community member every month.

Awardees can be nominated online at

Members of the public are welcome to cast votes for the most deserving recipient each month, and the winner will receive a $500 donation to a charity of their choice. The nominator also will be given a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.

Bennett said he hopes the gift card might be used for nominators and nominees to share a meal together.

“We need to start to heal at the dinner table and from there out to the community,” he said.

The first Hometown Hero will be selected during the first week of March.

Bennett said Hometown Heroes could be any individual or group in the Flathead that is working to improve their local area.

“It’s wide open,” he said. “We just want hometown heroes, people that are kind of the underdogs.”

Bennett hopes the local contest will become part of something bigger and broader.

“What I’m hoping to get out of it is that we can help set a new mindset of cooperation and pulling together, regardless of what political views we might have,” he said. “We need to get back together as America and do the right thing for one another…I just think a community like the Flathead is a great place to start.”

To nominate a Hometown Hero, go to