Photo of bank employees with kayak paddles who participated in the Kayak to the Keys for Hope fundraising event

Partner Spotlight: SebastianStrong

U.S. Century Bank is proud to partner with SebastianStrong in their mission to find more targeted and less toxic treatments for pediatric cancers. The organization was founded by the family of Sebastian Ortiz, a local high schooler who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 16. His fight inspired the community to come together and continue his legacy by funding groundbreaking research for pediatric cancer.

Professional headshot photo of Martha Guerra-Kattou
Martha Guerra-Kattou, EVP, Director of Sales & Marketing at U.S. Century Bank, joined the board of the SebastianStrong Foundation in 2022 and was elected Development Committee Chair in 2023. Yet, her commitment to the foundation's mission dates back many years. Today, she advocates for  SebastianStrong more passionately than ever.

"As a community bank, we understand the importance of supporting local organizations and giving back," says Guerra-Kattou. "When the opportunity arose to partner with SebastianStrong, it was an easy decision for us. We have a personal connection to the Ortiz family, and we recognize the urgent need for more effective treatments for pediatric cancer."

"Our partnership with SebastianStrong has involved various initiatives and campaigns to raise funds and awareness for this critical research. One of our most successful initiatives is the annual Kayak the Keys for Hope event," she added. "This year, the paddlers and event sponsors raised over $140,000, with over $40,000 raised by Team U.S. Century Bank. This money is going toward funding research grants for pediatric cancer, with a focus on collaborations with leading researchers and other childhood cancer foundations."

The Bank's involvement with SebastianStrong goes beyond traditional fundraising. It strives to involve  employees in supporting this important cause. During the Kayak the Keys for Hope event every year, the Bank launches a month-long campaign during which employees raise awareness and funds for SebastianStrong. Employees get creative with different activities such as bake sales, Taco Tuesdays, and trivia nights, all while promoting team.

"At U.S. Century Bank, we are committed to making a lasting impact on our community and supporting important causes like pediatric cancer research. We are honored to stand alongside SebastianStrong in their fight against this terrible disease and believe that together, we can make a difference," adds Guerra-Kattou. "We invite our customers and community members to join us in supporting this worthy cause and help bring hope to children and families facing the unimaginable. Together, we can be a force of change and make a lasting impact in the fight against pediatric cancer."


Small Business Administration (SBA)

woman smiling holding a pen with man business partner