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Citizens Bank supports Queens community with new initiatives and sponsorships

Photo courtesy of Citizens Bank

Apr. 11, 2024 By Seán Ó Briain

Citizens Bank announced a series of new initiatives to support a range of community programs in Queens over the summer, becoming the first-ever title sponsor of the Queens 10K. 

The event, organized by New York Road Runners, is part of the organization’s Five-Borough Series and will see 14,000 participants run through Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, June 15. 

Citizens will also host the inaugural Citizens Queens 10K Festival after the race, an open-to-the-public event featuring live music, family-friendly activities and food from local vendors participating in the Queens Night Market

The bank has also announced renewed support of the Queens Night Market, allowing organizers to ensure that the popular $5/$6 price cap on all foods remains in place throughout 2024. The market kicks off on Saturday, Apr. 13, and will take place every Saturday until Oct. 26. 

Citizens also announced further support for Queens-based workforce development non-profit Pursuit, which helps adults from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain jobs in technology. 

Citizens CEO Bruce Van Saun launched the bank’s summer initiatives with a panel discussion at the Louis Armstrong House Museum at 34-56 107th St. Wednesday afternoon. 

John Wang, founder of the Queens Night Market, Jukay Hsu, co-founder and CEO of Pursuit, and Rob Simmelkjaer, CEO of New York Road Runners, joined Van Saun for Wednesday’s panel discussion, which centered on the diversity of Queens and importance of investing in the borough. 

Photo by Seán Ó Briain

Speaking during the panel discussion, Simmelkjaer said the “spotlight of New York’s running community will shine on Queens” during the upcoming 10K in June, adding that the distance is “accessible to most people”. 

Photo courtesy of Citizens Bank

“This is not a distance you’ve got to turn your life upside down for four months and run 30 or 40 miles a week,” Simmelkjaer told the audience. 

Photo courtesy of Citizens Bank

Wang, meanwhile, noted that Queens Night Market has helped launch over 400 new businesses in New York City since it was launched in 2015, adding that more than 90 different nationalities have been represented. 

Van Saun said after Wednesday’s panel that Citizens has launched its summer program to “make an impact” in the local community. 

The bank, which entered the New York metro market in 2022, has already contributed over $1.3 million to a wide range of initiatives around the borough. 

“If you want to grow, you’ve got to have people behind you,” Van Saun said. “I think it’s really important to get your name out there and to start making an impact in the community.” 

Photo by Seán Ó Briain

Van Saun added that Citizen has sponsored the upcoming 10K because it helps to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

“Having a healthy lifestyle is part of what we want to stand for and we think it’s really good for the community,” Van Saun said. “What we’re doing with these three partners today, with Pursuit in terms of workforce development and getting people skills, with Queens Night Market and giving entrepreneurs their start, and then with New York Road Runners having that connection to lifestyle and well-being. It all fits together very nicely with what we stand for.” 


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