Courtesy Frank Frigo

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that The Peace Corner is the recipient of Community Bank’s Champion Grant.

The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals. The mission of the Peace Corner is to provide a safe haven and neutral center for youth and young adults living on Chicago’s west side Austin community, an area that is plagued by gangs, drugs, crime and violence. They strive to provide this area’s most vulnerable youth with an alternative place to complete their class work and improve their study skills and subject comprehension, complete their education, learn valuable life skills, and be positively engaged in various recreational and educational programs. The Peace Corner serves over 300 youth each year in their after-school and summer programs. They have also successfully trained and placed over 100 young adults into jobs through their Employment Preparation and Placement Program.

A grant in the amount of $2,000 was presented to The Peace Corner by Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank. Accepting the Grant on behalf of The Peace Corner was Duane Wilson, Executive Director. The Peace Corner will use the Champion Grant to support their Employment Preparation and Placement Program. The Employment Preparation and Place Program seeks to fulfill two missions. First, they want to provide the young adults in the Austin community with a safe, viable way to earn money and to build their resume with work experience and credentials while learning work ethics, communication skills and other values necessary to find and keep a job. Second, they want to reduce the recidivism among ex-offenders by actively engaging and helping them develop marketable skills. More information about The Peace Corner is available on their website at

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities. Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year. The Champion Grant application is available on the Community Bank website at

Community Bank has been a frequent facilitator of financial literacy events, and during its sixteen year history the Bank has donated over $2 million to various local civic and charitable organizations. Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest was organized in 1996 as a locally owned bank focused on creating financial solutions for individuals, professionals, owners of closely-held businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities. Community Bank, which had assets of $300 million as of December 31, 2012, has two locations: 1001 Lake Street, Oak Park and 7777 Lake Street, River Forest.

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