Bonnie L. Eckenrode, Branch Manager, Ambler Savings Bank
Beyond community banking, tell us what you are involved with in your community.
Bonnie: I am currently the District Chair for the Rotary Grant Committee for our district. I am also Secretary for The Central Perkiomen Rotary Club as well as a past president of the club. I also was a member of the Schwenksville Borough Activities Committee. Another organization that I am very involved with is Cat Angel Network (a volunteer cat rescue and spay program).
Can you share with us the reason you are so passionate about the organization(s) with which you are involved?
Bonnie: I am involved with The Rotary Club because they do such good work in the Schwenksville Community. Central Perkiomen Rotary Club (CPRC) donates time and money to provide a baseball complex in the community, which is used by thousands of local and non-local children to play ball and be part of a team. CPRC also sponsors the Schwenksville Community Fair to raise money to keep the ball complex in good shape. As a club we also purchase laptop computers and donate them to families who need a computer, but are unable to afford one. We also donate hundreds of new winter coats to the Daily Bread Food Pantry through Operation Warm. The Schwenksville Halloween Parade is also run by the CPRC.
Working with Cat Angel Network (CAN) has helped me nurture and care for cats and kittens who might otherwise end up being euthanized in another shelter. These animals come to us through no fault of their own and we work very hard to take care of them. I have been a volunteer and a foster for the organization for many years. I also have several foster failures in my home.
What prompted you to be a #DifferenceMaker in your community?
Bonnie:I have always believed that every person should volunteer some time to give back to others. I worked hard to show my children that helping others should be a way of life. The CPRC does so much good for the community that I feel this is where I need to be.
My love of animals brought me to CAN as a volunteer. I was going through a rough time in my life and I needed a distraction. I found a flyer from the rescue requesting volunteers, so I called them. I have been there ever since.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your involvement with your community?
Bonnie: I think it is very rewarding to know that what you are doing will make a positive change in someone’s life. We rarely get to see the faces of the children that we donate to. We may get a note or a letter from someone telling us how much the gift meant to them. That is the reward.
With the shelter, just knowing that you helped to change the life of an animal is a good feeling for an animal lover.
You obviously have a strong desire to give back to your community, does your volunteer work ever mix with your professional life?
Bonnie: Yes, it does with the Rotary Club. I meet people at networking events for the bank that I know from Rotary.
You are obviously very busy, what is your favorite way to unwind at the end of the day?
Bonnie: At the end of the day I like to go home, feed all of my animals and make dinner for myself and my mother, who lives with me.