A committee of local individuals have created a vision for a community center called the HUB; a 27,000 square foot facility that features a full-size gym, technology room, commercial kitchen, walking space and meeting rooms for civic and educational programs.
Community Centers have long been the hub of small towns. They are places where people can come to socialize, participate in physical activities, engage in life-long learning, and support one another.
At the heart of the HUB, our children will find hope, opportunity and a path to a great future. Hundreds of students will have a safe, nurturing and affordable place to go after school, including teens who will have their own space. The Boys and Girls Club will be the centerpiece of the HUB.
Freedom Bank President Don Bennett has been involved with the project since inception, and Freedom Bank is eager to contribute to the goal of raising $5.5 million dollars.
That is where our customers come in.
Through the end of January, Freedom Bank is giving $5 to the Boys & Girls Club of Glacier Country for each account that enrolls in eStatements. Visit the Online Banking page to learn how to enroll your accounts, or contact Lynette Smith at (406) 892-1776 if you have any questions.
Here at Freedom Bank we want you to be safe this holiday season. We have teamed up with National Cybersecurity to make you more aware of protecting yourself online. Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – has been designed to not only encourage personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, but also promote security best practices, consumer device privacy and e-commerce security.
The 16th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is in full swing! Held every October, NCSAM has been a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about not only the importance of cybersecurity, but also ensure that everyone has access to the appropriate resources they need to be safer and more secure online.
Below are some of the highlighted calls to action and their key messages:
We live in a world in which we are constantly connected, so cybersecurity cannot be limited to the home or office. When you’re traveling, it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure your smart devices. With every social media account you sign up for, every picture you post, and status you update, you are sharing information about yourself with the world.
Have you noticed how often security breaches, stolen data, and even identity theft, are front-page headlines nowadays? Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that may infect their computers. These emails might also request personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, these attackers now possess access to their personal accounts.
Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world through banking, shopping, streaming, and more. This added convenience undoubtedly comes with an increased risk of identity theft and scams. More and more home devices (such as thermostats, door locks, etc.) are now connected. While this may save us time and money, it poses new security risks.
Visit these sites to learn more:
Freedom Bank received the highest possible rating for our performance in the Community Reinvestment Act during the most recent examination by the FDIC. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires federally insured depository institutions to support the borrowing needs of the communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income areas.
The “Outstanding” rating is based on Freedom Bank’s performance under the lending, investment, and service tests. These tests examine mortgage, small business, and community development lending, community development investments, and community development services in the communities a bank serves.
Freedom Bank was recognized in these key areas:
“We don’t view community investment as a regulatory requirement,” says Freedom Bank President Don Bennett. “For us, it is just how we do business. Columbia Falls believed in us when we opened our doors as a single-wide trailer in 2005 and we work hard every day to return the favor.”
Just like many of our customers, Freedom Bank is a small business. We consider our small size and local character to be our core strengths. Bennett adds, “Freedom Bank remains committed to the continued vitality and successes of our customers, no matter where they are at in their financial journey.”
If you want the money you deposit at a bank to stay local, you can count on Freedom Bank. Give us a call or stop in today to learn more about what we offer. We want to be your bank!
Typical travelers heading out on their summer vacation check that they have the right supplies and clothes for their trip before they hit the road. Expert travelers will be also checking to ensure they are educated and prepared to be cyber-safe with their devices and data while on the road! Thinking of your smartphones and devices as being just as important as your wallet is a proper step in the right direction. These devices contain everything from your banking and payment information to your treasured family photos, and ensuring they are secure and protected when away from home is paramount. In partnership with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA), we have put together some key tips, strategies, and resources to aid you in being secure during your travels.
To do before your trip:
Update your devices: One of the most simple and effective ways to stay cyber-secure is to continuously update your devices. Those updates don’t just contain new features, but fix security flaws and keep you protected!
Password/Passcode protect your devices: Always establish a strong passcode with at least 6 numbers or a swipe pattern with at least 1 turn of direction when protecting the lock screen of your smartphone. On laptops, a minimum of 8 character password or phrase is recommended including uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
Set your device to lock after an amount of time: Once you have the passcode, password, or swipe pattern established, you should set an automatic device lock prompting for the access code after a specified time of inactivity. This will prevent a criminal from getting onto your device if you accidentally leave it unlocked.
Book your trip with trusted sites: When planning your trip and booking transportation, lodging, and experiences, it is important to complete those transactions with trusted, known businesses. If possible, double check the reviews and reputation of a site you are unfamiliar with, but are considering to use for your booking. By sticking to reputable sites, you guarantee a higher standard of security for your data and transaction.
Staying secure and connected during your trip:
Keep track of your devices: Not only are your devices themselves worth a great deal of money, but your sensitive information that is accessible by that device is also valuable. Ensure that you keep your devices close at hand or secured away safely when not in use. Theft of mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, is all too common and can spoil a fun trip to a great extent.
Limit your activity on public Wi-Fi networks: Public Wi-Fi that does not require credentials or logging in is not protected by encryption, so browsing and activity is not secure from prying eyes. To ensure your information is not put at risk, avoid logging into your personal accounts or making transactions while on public or hotel networks.
Don’t overshare on social media: Consider posting updates about your trip after you return. Criminals may see that you are away from home based on social media content and attempt to steal from your home! If you also share too many details about where you are on your trip, some scammers may attempt to contact your family and friends with a variety of scam tactics. Additionally, consider setting your social media accounts to only allow friends to view your posts and content.
By following these tips and being a cyber-safe traveler, you will have a smooth and enjoyable vacation! There are more resources available from NCSA and our partners on staying secure on trips and at home, check them out below to learn more:
The Columbia Falls Heritage Days celebration dates back to 1956 when it was originally called “Progress Days”. The original event was organized to celebrate the prosperity brought about by the industrial expansion of the area. Decades later, Columbia Falls still enthusiastically celebrates our history, our heritage, and our future. This year’s theme is “There’s No Place Like Home”.
Look for Freedom Bank in the parade down Nucleus Avenue on Saturday, July 27th at 12:00 pm. After the parade, roughly at 1:30 pm, Freedom Bank sponsors a wild horse drive down Highway 2 from Columbia Heights to the Blue Moon. We are also a main sponsor of the Open Rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena, a team and prize sponsor for the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a sponsor of the Columbia Falls Community Market at the Coop.
Heritage Days is an adventure and celebration for the whole family. Take a look at the complete schedule below or visit the official website here: http://cfallsheritagedays.com/index.html
HERITAGE DAYS 2018
“Then & Now”
Wednesday – July 25, 2018
Thursday – July 26, 2018
6:30 p. m. – 7:45 p. m. Adults and kids to 10 years old
8:45 p. m. – 10:00 p. m. Adults and kids 11+ years old
Friday – July 27, 2018
Wildcat/kat Athletic Endowment Auction and BBQ *
The Coop – 830 1st Ave. West – west of Glacier Bank in Columbia Falls.
Saturday – July 29, 2017
Teams will consist of boys and girls, grades 5-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12 and Men’s Open Registration forms may be picked up at the Columbia Falls Chamber Office, Berube Physical Therapy, and Whitefish Credit Union. Completed forms must be turned in by July 23rd to any of the above locations. Contact Laura Gadwa at 892-2072 with any questions. Cost per team is $80.
Sunday – July 30, 2017
Glacier View Golf Course – West Glacier, MT
Format: 6 person scramble – all skill levels invited
Start: 9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
Cabin Fever Days 2018
Schedule of Events
Friday – February 9, 2018
Saturday – February 10, 2018
Sunday – February 11, 2018
7:00 PM – 40th Annual Barstool Race Awards @ Southfork Saloon
NIGHT OF LIGHTS
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1st
PARADE STARTS 6:30 PM
AWARDS FOR FLOATS; FLOAT ENTRY $10 OR FOOD ITEM FOR FOOD BANK
CRAFT FAIR IN THE NORTH VALLEY TEAKETTLE ROOM
HEAT UP AT THE COOP AFTER THE PARADE
VISIT WITH SANTA AND WARM UP WITH A BON FIRE, HOT COCOA, CHILI &
A LIVE HOLIDAY CONCERT WITH CFHS CHORAL SONIFERS,
JAZZ BANK & HOLIDAY SINGALONG!
SATURDAY, DEC. 2nd 10 AM
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: TIMBER CREEK VILLAGE
This month the hosts of our Business After Hours networking event is Acutech. Acutech is a welding shop located in Columbia Falls. They produce high quality, custom metal manufacturing projects. Acutech joined our Chamber in January 2017. We are proud to have them as members and are looking forward to seeing their facility and projects at our Business After Hours this month.
Business After Hours provide a place to network with other business professionals, unwind after a long day of work and socialize with free food and drinks! Bring donations for the Columbia Falls Food bank. The more donations you bring, the more raffle tickets you get! Raffle items include a one night stay at the Whitefish Lake Lodge, a $100 gift card for the boat club, and a $100 gift card for Latitude 48.
See you at Acutech on November 28th!