Mississippi Bank Supports the Boy Scouts of America with an Innovative Marketing Campaign

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The Boy Scouts of America is receiving a unique gift of free radio air time, retail space, and web-based advertising from Citizens National Bank, an independent community bank based in Meridian, Mississippi.

Citizens National Bank, a Mississippi-based community bank, is lending a hand to the Boy Scouts of America. The Bank has designated the Boy Scouts as one its official Mississippi Community Partners, and is providing the organization with a wide variety of marketing support, all free of charge.

Boy Scouts throughout the state are busy selling their delicious popcorn as part of their major fundraiser of the year, and for most of these scouts, the popcorn sale is serious business. Scout troops in th Hattiesburg, Miss. area, for example, have a sales goal of a quarter of a million dollars by the end of the year.

"We want to ensure that their sale is a success." Archie McDonnell Jr., President and CEO of Citizens National Bank said. An Eagle Scout himself, McDonnell says that Scouting "makes every community a better place to live."

"I'm thankful for the leaders we have in our company who have had the scouting experience and used it in their careers," he said. "They're better and more emotionally intelligent leaders and managers of people. And people are still how we get things done today. If everyone was an Eagle Scout we wouldn't need ethics training," he added.

The Bank began supporting the Scouts several years ago, and in 2008, Mississippi scout councils realized a 20 to 40% increase in sales due to the Bank's marketing support.

The Bank will be promoting the popcorn sale through 60-second radio commercials, and they have devoted an entire section of their website to help promote scouting. That URL is http://www.yourcnb.com/boyscouts. They are also donating retail space in their bank offices for the scouts to set up displays to promote scouting the popcorn sales.

Shaun Olynick, District Executive with the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts, which is based in Meridian, Miss., says he has been stationed previously with scout councils in Jacksonville, Fla. and Cincinnati, Ohio, but the partnership that his council has formed with Citizens National Bank surpasses any that he has been involved with to date.  "I've never seen a bank demonstrate so much generosity with their marketing support to further the cause of scouting," he said.

Ken Kercheval, Scout Executive/CEO of the Choctaw Area Council, says that popcorn sales play a huge role in helping his Council to deliver the value-based mission of Scouting to every community in East Mississippi and West Alabama.  "The popcorn sale directly supports the units," he said. "Scouts use these funds to have better equipment, purchase uniforms, pay their membership fees, and send themselves to camp. The Council also provides Camperships (camp scholarships) to families who cannot afford to Camp on their own," he added.

"The popcorn fundraiser provides a great opportunity for a boy to earn his way, be thrifty, and learn salesmanship along the way, Kercheval added. "When you purchase popcorn from a local scout, you can feel good knowing that approximately 70% of your popcorn purchase goes to help boys in your local Scout Council."

The Scouts are selling a wide variety of popcorn this year, from microwaveable packs to decorative tins. Just a few of the flavors include chocolatey caramel, supreme caramel, and movie theater extra butter.

For a $25.00 donation, the Boy Scouts will also ship an order of popcorn to military personnel who are serving at facilities throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Citizens National Bank is an independent, Mississippi-owned bank which has 27 bank locations throughout the state of Mississippi in cities such as Ridgeland, Madison, Flowood, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Waynesboro, Columbus, Macon, Carthage, Philadelphia, Southaven and Olive Branch.

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations.  The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

The BSA will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2010. For nearly a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun.

PRESS CONTACT:  For more information, contact Lela Tisdale, Marketing Officer at Citizens National Bank, (601) 486-2540, or Ken Kercheval at the Choctaw Area Council Office (601) 693-6757.


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Lela Tisdale
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