SANTA ROSA – The Washington D.C.-based banking industry group, the American Bankers Association, has awarded Santa Rosa-based Summit State Bank (NASDAQ: SSBI) with its national Community Bank Award for Fundraising for Foundations and Local Groups.Elaina Hunt of Summit State Bank (right) accepts the Community Bank Award for Fundraising for Foundations and Local Groups from the American Bankers Association (credit: Summit State Bank)

Summit State Bank was the only bank in California to receive the award, one of 10 community banks selected out of 200 nominations. The award evaluated criteria including the bank’s innovativeness, creativity and effectiveness in supporting community groups, and was presented during the National Conference for Community Bankers on Feb. 21.

“Being a community bank, we are committed, above all, to do for the greater good of the community,” said bank President and CEO Tom Duryea, in a written statement. “Finding creative ways to reinvest in our community is an integral part of our culture and why we are performing well in this economy.”

More than $43,500 went to 74 local nonprofits in the first part of this year through the bank’s Nonprofit Partner Program. Through the program, started in August 2009, the bank delivers an automatic donation to nonprofit customers based on their average annual account balances.

The selection from the American Bankers Association focused on Summit State Bank’s fundraising initiatives in support of the Elsie Allen High School drama program, enabling nine students to perform for an international audience at the Edinburgh Theater Festival in Scotland, according to the bank.

The American Bankers Association established the Community Bank Awards program in 2005.