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PAXTON — The Paxton office of Farmers-Merchants Bank of Illinois recently donated $15,000 to the Gibson Area House Rehab Foundation.

The funds will be used to support the organization’s relief efforts to help Gibson City recover from heavy flooding in August.

The flooding damaged nearly 800 area homes. About 10 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours.

The bank’s donation will bolster the foundation’s flood relief efforts as the organization works to purchase necessary household items for the affected homes and families such as furnaces, water heaters, mattresses and other items.

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to support the incredible work of GAHRF through this donation,” Nancy Hoffer, executive vice president and market manager at Farmers-Merchants Bank of Illinois, said.

“Our community was devastated by the flooding earlier this year, but GAHRF has spearheaded efforts to revitalize and restore the homes, and most importantly the people, of Gibson City. Farmers-Merchants is committed to supporting nonprofits who set out to better our local communities, and GAHRF truly exemplifies that mission.”

Foundation board President Ray Lantz said the foundation is grateful to the bank for the donation “as it will allow us to continue helping those in our community who are still recovering from the flooding earlier this year.”

“Our organization is working tirelessly to rebuild many damaged homes in the area, and this donation will be an incredible lift in what we are able to accomplish.”

Founded in 2016, the foundation is a local nonprofit designed to assist homeowners, who otherwise couldn’t afford it, with all types of household repairs. Through financial donations, the organization fronts the cost of materials and helps compensate contractors to complete the repair tasks.

The foundation also manages renovations on homes for those with disabilities, which includes remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, doorways and adding ramps.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at

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