Revived North Fairmount Community Gym Opens After Two-Year Upgrade Led by First Financial

Cincinnati, OH – June 30, 2022 – With a brand-new hardwood basketball floor and inviting new activity spaces, the North Fairmount Community Center gymnasium has reopened to the neighborhood after a major, two-year refurbishment project made possible by over $28,000 in funding and scores of volunteer hours from First Financial Bank, the First Financial Foundation and First Financial’s wealth management division, the Yellow Cardinal Advisory Group. Community leaders and First Financial associates commemorated the project’s completion with a celebration and ceremonial check presentation on June 29.

“Two years ago, this gym had become a catch-all storage space full of donations, and the building itself needed an upgrade to again become a safe hub for community recreation,” said Linda Klems, executive director of the North Fairmount Community Center. “Thanks to the countless volunteer hours, determination, and tremendous financial support from the First Financial team, the gym is once again a place where we can come together for healthy exercise and play. We are tremendously grateful for this gift to the community.”

The First Financial Foundation and Yellow Cardinal Advisory Group donated the funds needed for the new gym floor, which was completed this spring. In addition to the financial support, the First Financial team also provided volunteer hours to clear the gym of items donated to the center that had gradually grown into a full court press, overwhelming the basketball court. These donations included tools, clothing, toys, kitchenware and many other items stored in every available space between the sidelines. Basketball goals were retracted to the ceiling, and the space was no longer available for play.

The First Financial team sorted through the donations and delivered them to the North Fairmount Community Center’s free store to open the gym space once more. Turning their attention to the building, volunteers painted walls and replaced windows. Combined with the new, open gym floor, the building looks almost new again.

"First Financial Bank exists to be a positive influence and to help our clients and communities like North Fairmount thrive, so it is tremendously rewarding to see how our team’s efforts have created such an amazing place that will be an anchor to the community for years to come,” said Roddell McCullough, First Financial’s chief corporate responsibility officer.

The gym can again be used for basketball, gymnastics classes, soccer clinics and other activities.

Through First Financial’s Give First program, full-time associates can use up to 8 hours of paid time off every year to pursue volunteer activities during work hours. However, many volunteers for this project gave even more hours, coming in on their free time on nights and weekends to keep the project moving.

First Financial and its associates are always engaged in other community-building projects throughout its four-state footprint. Last year alone, they teamed up to provide over $3.9 million in donations and more than 11,700 volunteer hours to communities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.

About First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp. is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of March 31, 2022, the Company had $16.0 billion in assets, $9.2 billion in loans, $12.8 billion in deposits and $2.1 billion in shareholders’ equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its six lines of business: Commercial, Retail Banking, Investment Commercial Real Estate, Mortgage Banking, Commercial Finance and Wealth Management. These business units provide traditional banking services to business and retail clients. Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $3.3 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022. The Company operated 135 full-service banking centers as of March 31, 2022, primarily in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, while the Commercial Finance business lends into targeted industry verticals on a nationwide basis. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations, is available at

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