Paint Bellingham Blue - Continuing the Tradition of Community Involvement
August 15, 2017
This fall, Western Washington University (WWU) and the City of Bellingham will celebrate the second annual Paint Bellingham Blue event. The event was conceived as a way of introducing new Western students to the community where they’ll be spending the next few years of their lives. Students, alumni and friends will march from the WWU campus to downtown Bellingham, where many local businesses will have booths and displays. There will also be a firework show, the iconic Herald sign will turn blue, and several blocks of downtown Bellingham will be illuminated by hundreds of thousands of blue lights.
“Peoples Bank is a proud sponsor of this event because we recognize that in Bellingham, WWU is one of the major economic engines that fuels this community,” said Christopher Neros, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Lending Officer at the Peoples Bank Barkley Financial Center in Bellingham. “We’re also a supporter of education, and we have a lot of WWU graduates working for us. Many of our customers who are entrepreneurs are graduates, so we’ve got a lot of reasons to support the University and its presence in the community.”
Paint Bellingham Blue’s inaugural year broke initial expectations for attendance and participation, and this year’s event is expected to be even bigger. When asked what parts of the event he’s most looking forward to, Christopher had a hard time choosing just one thing. “I think seeing that next generation walk down and become part of the community is a really big thing,” he said. “And the fireworks and lights are always fun. The lights make a difference in the community, especially during those dark winter months! It’s a great event all around.”
While he appreciates the fanfare of Paint Bellingham Blue, Christopher feels that an important aspect of the celebration for Peoples Bank is its continuation of a tradition of community involvement. “We were established in Lynden in 1921,” he says, “So we’ve been a part of the Lynden and Bellingham communities for a very, very long time. We want people to know we support them. They’re our business customers. They’re our personal customers. They’re our neighbors. As a successful company in the community, we want to make sure we’re supporting and giving back.”