The Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation announced May 24 that Heartland Bank has offered to sponsor the 2011 Freedom Festival, with the assistance of other organizations and individuals.

The Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation announced May 24 that Heartland Bank has offered to sponsor the 2011 Freedom Festival, with the assistance of other organizations and individuals.

"Heartland has been fortunate to have navigated the financial waters successfully and simply want to give back to the residents of Gahanna," said G. Scott McComb, Heartland Bank president and CEO. "The parks foundation and community were in jeopardy of losing one of the best community events of the year, and we were not going to let that happen. This is what community banks do. Best of all, we also get to show our appreciation for our active military by supporting the USO."

Parks and recreation director Tony Collins said the city has gone from the possible cancelation of the Fourth of July events to what's expected to be the best celebration in honor of soldiers and a true American tradition, the USO.

"All of this is thanks to the citizens of Gahanna, the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation and great community partners like Heartland Bank," Collins said.