updated 3/14/2011 12:41:31 PM ET 2011-03-14T16:41:31

EVERETT, Wash., March 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cascade Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Cascade Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:CASB), was presented with the President's Award and named Best of Industry (Financial Services) winner by United Way of Snohomish County for its 2010 fundraising campaign. The President's Award, which is the top award given by United Way, honors the most outstanding campaign run by a for-profit and non-profit company each year. The Best of Industry award honors the top in class, an award that Cascade also won the previous year. Both honors were announced by United Way of Snohomish County at its Community Caring Celebration event on March 10.

According to United Way, Cascade Bank was selected for both awards due to its employees' generous contributions, campaign creativity and public participation with United Way activities over the past year. During Cascade's 2010 fundraising campaign, employees raised more than $70,000 to benefit United Way. The majority of the Bank's donations were collected through employee payroll deductions, with additional funds coming from internal fundraising efforts including bake sales and raffles. Cascade also raised additional funds from community donations collected during its "Give10 with Cascade" campaign, in which all 22 branches became official United Way donation sites for 10 weeks.

"Thanks to the amazing leadership of CEO Carol Nelson, her employee campaign managers Lynda Nelson and Judy Austin and her extraordinary staff, Cascade Bank once again showed their remarkable commitment to community during their 2010 campaign," said Dennis Smith, Interim President and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. "Every year, they are head and shoulders above the pack for total giving, giving per capita and participation. Cascade Bank gets it and they share it with everyone in the community."

In addition to the fundraising campaign, Cascade employees also donated their time this fall during United Way's Day of Caring events. Cascade employees led volunteer groups at three different non-profit organizations in Skagit, Snohomish and King Counties. The Bank also encouraged the community to LIVE UNITED by hanging a 20 foot banner on the front of its corporate office in downtown Everett for the duration of the 10-week campaign.

"Cascade is honored to receive this high level of recognition from United Way," said Carol K. Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our employees are committed to making a meaningful contribution to our communities, and partnering with United Way is a great way for us to accomplish this goal."

For more information about Cascade Bank please visit www.cascadebank.com .

CONTACT: Investor Contacts:
         Carol K. Nelson, CEO
         Debbie Johnson, CFO
         Cascade Bank

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