The Bank of Hemet has provided financial services to its community since 1974. Being a true community establishment, though, isn’t just about being there when needed. It’s also about being actively involved with and investing back into those who believe in and keep the business going.
Thus, the Bank of Hemet helps support the Lane Kemper Softball Classic benefiting the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund. Its involvement began on the word of a friend.
“A very good friend of mine, Bill Bringas [LAFD Engineer and tournament organizer], brought this to my attention several years ago and not only was Bill very positive about the fund but also the gentleman who isn’t with us right now that it is in memory of,” says Bank of Hemet President and CEO, Kevin Farrenkopf. “Bill spoke the world of him, talked about his life and how positive he was so that was really the impetus behind [our involvement].”
The gentleman Farrenkopf refers to is Captain II Lane A. Kemper (1952-2006). A 31-year LAFD veteran, Kemper was a man who exemplified the spirit of comradeship by devoting his life to helping and teaching others. Now, his fellow firefighters gather annually for the softball tournament, which bears his name to celebrate camaraderie and community.
Kemper’s life wasn’t the only one to inspire such generosity, however. Based out of Riverside, Bank of Hemet’s own community has seen its fair share of fire-related devastation. Though the Bank of Hemet has always been so supportive of firefighters felled in L.A., the tragic deaths of several Riverside County firefighters inspired Farrenkopf to get more involved. He said, “From there I took an active participation in generating funds with the departments at the bank, where all the people contributed some money.”
The Bank of Hemet leaders say corporations are responsible for finding ways to improve the communities where they do business. The bank has prospered by being part of the Hemet and San Jacinto community and now takes pride in giving back. “That’s just a big piece of what we’re about,” said Farrenkopf, “I think it is a corporate responsibility. Given the state of the economy, there are some organizations that may have contributed in the past that don’t have the means to do so now. Fortunately things have worked out financially for us so we’re in a position to continue making contributions at a higher level.”
From the top down, Bank of Hemet is truly a bank by and for the community. They have a long history of contributing to many causes over the years. “We have a track record of saying yes as much as we can,” Farrenkopf comments, “I just think there are so many darned good causes out there!”
A hometown bank with national reach, the Bank of Hemet ranks among the top 2.5% of banks nationwide. Technology has enabled it to develop a Business e-Deposit system and expand lending programs into more than twenty states. Its leaders say their objective is to remain a safe bank, regardless of economic uncertainties, and to always offer the same services found at the largest banks, all while feeling like they are just around the bend from home and a part of your community.
To learn more about the Bank of Hemet, please visit bankofhemet.com.
By Emily Shuttleworth