Bank’s donation to finance area arts programs

EDISON — A recent donation from an area business will help to provide arts programming to the community throughout the coming year.

Rudie Matthijs, vice president of the Oak Tree Branch of Unity Bank, presented a $1,050 check to Gloria Dittman, president of the Edison Arts Society (EAS), on July 14.

In return, the EAS honored Matthijs with a framed certificate recognizing Unity Bank’s commitment to the Edison community.

The donation came through the Unity Bank’s UCare Charitable Giving Program, through which the bank makes a $25 donation each time a customer opens a new checking account. The program gives back to the community by supporting local organizations, according to Unity Bank’s website.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of Unity Bank’s generosity,” Dittman said. “We are grateful to Rudie and Unity Bank for recognizing that financial support is needed in order for us to produce the quality programs that we have been able to offer to the public this year, such as Dance Unite; the art show at the Metuchen Inn, as well as at Edison [Town] Hall; and “Nothin’ Like a Dame.’”

Matthijs said the bank’s corporate office directed him to look at a number of worthy charities in Edison and choose one to be the beneficiary of the program.

“This is a real grass roots program. There are so many worthy organizations in the area,” Matthijis said. “But after meeting Gloria, I just kept thinking about how important the arts are, and the fact that support for the arts tends to be very overlooked. I am not creative myself, so I am amazed at people who are creative.”

The partnership between the Edison Arts Society and Unity Bank will enable the EAS to begin planning for an active 2015- 16 year of programming, Dittman said.

The first art offering of the year will be four classes in painting ceramic tile, which will be given by Fernando Silva, a local artist. The classes will occur on the four Saturdays in October. The cost is $10 per class. Classes will be held in Raritan Center. For further information, call 732-548-9134.