Community Involvement 2014

Responding to Community Needs

Fun for Food Funds

BUFFALO, MN - (December, 2014) – Talk about creative and resourceful—read on to find out how the MidCountry Bank Buffalo team used the fun of their Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest to help their community!

Each employee participating in the contest took a photo of their ugly sweaters (no faces were in the pictures so you couldn’t tell which sweater belonged to whom).   The photos were displayed in the Buffalo branch lobby for all to see with a collection bin near each.  Folks were asked to vote for the ugliest sweater with a monetary donation.  At the end of the contest the team all wore their sweaters to reveal the owner of each one.  The sweater with the most money collected – Marilyn Chopp’s – was the “ugly winner”.  The sum of money from all of the voting was donated to the local food shelf – a total of $115.45!

MidCountry Bank is proud of our Buffalo team’s innovation!  They used team-building fun to provide support to their community.  What an awesome display of the MidCountry Bank values!

Fun for Food Funds

L-R: Rich Faatz, Barb Lee, Marilyn Chopp, Teri Rassatt, Teri Lachermeier, Steph Wisecarver, Brad Plante

Blue Jeans Bucks for Bikes

MARION HEIGHTS, IL – (December, 2014) – Nothing compares to the feeling a kid gets when riding a bike, and this year, 3 children in need in Southern Illinois will enjoy that simple pleasure thanks to our teams at Marion West and Marion Heights.  The staff there raised $238.00 through Friday jeans day and other donations.  That money was donated to the Southern Illinois Christmas Bike Give-Away sponsored by Visit SI (The Williamson County Tourism Bureau) and will cover the purchase of 3 bicycles.  Thanks to our team mates for not only making Christmas a little merrier for the 3 lucky kids who receive those bikes, but also for giving them the means to live healthier lives and enjoy just plain being a kid!  Nice work Marion West and Marion Heights!

Feed My Starving Children

BLOOMINGTON, MN – (November, 2014) – During the month of November, we pause to reflect on the people, opportunities, and things for which we are thankful, often celebrating our blessings with a special meal shared with family or friends.  At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of children around the world that wish they had just a morsel of our Thanksgiving meals.  During the month of thanksgiving, our MidCountry Bank team also focused on those less fortunate than we are, and looked for ways to help those folks.  Nine team members from our Bloomington headquarters did just that when they packed meals for Feed My Starving Children.  They packaged 57 boxes of food which will provide 12,000 meals for malnourished children around the globe.  Thanks to these team members for turning hunger into hope with their own two hands!

Feed My Starving Children

L-R (back):  Tim Lamkin, Jessie Van Brunt, Sally Rosen, Susan Crosby, Courtney Tipka, Melissa Schwartz
L-R (front):  Chiemi Eley, Krystal Oeth, Nicole Kinne
Not pictured:  Scott DeLambert and Jacki Lane

Cold Winter.  Warm Hearts.  MidCountry Bank, Metropolis Hosts 3rd Annual Coat Drive

Metropolis, Il – (November, 2014) – Winter arrived across the nation early this year so that means it’s time to break out winter coats!  Unfortunately, some folks can’t just open the closet and pull out a nice, warm coat.  They need help to keep themselves and their families protected from the elements.

The MidCountry Bank team in Metropolis recognized a need to collect new and gently used coats for their community.  Often times coat drives focus their efforts on children, but the team was concerned about all ages needing coats and expanded the drive to include adults.  Team member, Tara Houseman-Burns organized MidCountry Bank’s 3rd annual coat drive in cooperation with her local church, Eastland Baptist.  Coats of all sizes were collected throughout October and November for a total of over 185 coats, including a donation of 16 coats from Girl Scout Troop 8696.  As their service project, the Girl Scouts also helped with distribution of the coats in the Metropolis community.  Folks who came to pick up a coat also warmed their bellies with chili and hot dogs that were served at the distribution site.

MidCountry Bank employees are proud to share the warmth of their hearts, their time, and their talent to enrich the communities where they live and work.  With a long, cold winter ahead of us, those who played any part in this coat drive from donating, organizing, serving, or distributing, will have a warm feeling all over knowing they made a difference in their community.

Metropolis Coat Drive 2014

Pictured in photo L-R:  Bret Green, June Huss, Lori Bruce, Morgan Rolfe, Tiffini Clemons, and Tara Burns-Houseman

Hitting the Greens to Raise Some "Green"

Apple Valley, MN – (September, 2014) – As a dedicated member of the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce, MidCountry Bank hit the greens to raise some “green” for the community as a sponsor at the Chamber’s annual golf classic in September. With 144 golfers and over 50 local business sponsors in attendance, MCBers Kat Jensen and Karen Kirkman (pictured below), along with Brad Johnson and Kevin Zenk had the opportunity to make connections with those folks and invite them to get to know MidCountry Bank.Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament

In the midst of the golf game, MidCountry Bank offered games of its own. “Money in the Middle” was for those middle-of-the-road golfers. When the golfing was said and done, the 4 members of the team with the middle score overall each won a gift card. The MidCountry crew also gave each golfer a chance to be a “Lucky Duck” and win MidCountry logo merchandise. They simply plucked a floating duck from a tub and the number on the bottom of the duck corresponded with their prize.

The golf tournament was a benefit for the Chamber organization, to support its overall function and programs throughout the year. The Chamber’s best attended event, it was booked three weeks prior to the entrance deadline-a great turnout for everyone involved! MidCountry Bank was proud to partner with area businesses to support the community and the Chamber of Commerce.

The Las Vegas Branch Stuffs the Bus for Back to School

Las Vegas, MN – (September, 2014) – 949.  900+40+9.  CMXLIX.  Nine hundred forty-nine.  NINE HUNDRED FORTY-NINE!  Any way you look at it, that is the colossal number of school supply items collected by our Las Vegas team!

The group set a goal to surpass the previous year's total, which they did by 22 pieces, to help children get set to head back to school.  All 949 items were donated to Communities In School, a non-profit helping low-income, high risk children in Southern Nevada communities.  

Coordinators of this epic event were Irma McDow, who works regularly with Communities In School, and Nicole Gerke.  They turned the drive into a friendly competition among the team members in Las Vegas, however, the true winners here, were the kids. 

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

Beyond the Yellow RibbonBuffalo, MN – (August, 2014) – Historically, tying a yellow ribbon is the symbol of awaiting the return of a loved one.  Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a MN based program that reminds us that the support of soldiers cannot end when they return from deployment and the yellow ribbons are untied.  The soldiers and their families need our support before, during, and after deployment.  The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization provides awareness for the purpose of connecting service members as well as their families with community support, training, and resources.

Our MidCountry branch in Buffalo, MN (which is one of 200 official “Yellow Ribbon Cities”) recently partnered with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon to honor military heroes in Wright County, MN with a Military Appreciation Picnic at Sturges Park.  The free picnic was provided to over 1,000 military-connected residents.  Our team donned their MidCountry aprons, rolled up their sleeves and served watermelon and cake to attendees.  Kids young and old were given MidCountry Bank frisbees for added fun! 

Yellow ribbons are a powerful symbol of the ties that bind our hearts to the brave men and women who serve our country.  MidCountry Bank proudly supports servicemen and women who sacrifice so much for our country’s freedom. 

School Supply Drive

Mounds, IL – (August, 2014) – At MidCountry Bank we value continued learning at every age!  We recognize the importance of early intervention for children, and support and appreciate teachers for all they do to make learning come alive for children.

Our team in our Mounds, Illinois collected school supplies from customers and employees to donate to their local Southern Head Start program.  This is their second annual school supply drive to help do all they can to educate their community's youth and provide them with the necessary tools to learn and grow. The Head Start program promotes school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community.  Through comprehensive services, the program supports mental, social, and emotional development of birth to age 5, literally giving them a "head start" in their school career to ensure success.

George Bernard Shaw put it well when he said: "What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child."  Thanks to those customers and employees for investing in the knowledge of the children in the Mounds community.  It's an investment that will pay great interest!

Chalk One Up For Hastings

Hastings, MN – (July, 2014) – Our Hastings location's Chalk Drawing Contest on July 18 drew in (pun intended) 25 kids from around the community on a beautiful summer day, perfect for outside fun.

The contest was held as a part of the City of Hastings' Rivertown Days festival.  Jody Cronk, bank manager in Hastings plays an active role in the local Chamber and the festival.  The Chalk Drawing contest was well received and served as a model for great kids' activities within the community.  Word has it, no other local bank was as fun as MidCountry!

The bank parking lot provided the canvas for the kids' creations.  Eric Knisley, MidCountry Ag Lender, served as judge for the competition and it was no easy task.  Three age groups:  1-5 years old, 6-10 years old and 11-15 years old brought out some awesome artists and primo pictures.  One winner from each group received a Dairy Queen gift card (winning designs pictured below), and every child that participated received a "goodie bag" filled with treats as well as information about MidCountry Bank's Youth Savings account.  The MidCountry Bank lanyards around their necks for nametags were another take-away. Chalk one up for Hastings on a great community event!

 Hastings Chalk Contest Winners 2014

Farmer Fishing Day

Hutchinson, MN – (July, 2014) – The Old Farmer's Almanac has a listing of the "best fishing days and times" depending on the cycle of the moon, but if you ask the competitors of MidCountry Bank's Farmer Fishing Day, any time is the best time to fish!  Each summer, the Ag Business Bankers from the Hutchinson location sponsor a fabulous fishing day on Lake Washington.  The fishermen and women fill up on a hearty farmer style breakfast served by the MidCountry team, launch their boats and start casting.  At the close of official fishing time, they gather to weigh in.  Only 3 of the 6 categories of fish categories eligible for entry were biting at the event in June:  Northern, Large Mouth Bass and Sunfish (tie for 1st place in the Sunfish category).  This year's winners (pictured below) were awarded their prizes as the crew all gathered to have lunch and muse over "the one that got away."

Farmer Fishing Days 2014

L-R: Jay Mackedanz, Scott Rickeman, Robbie Carlson, Nic Wier

MidCountry Bank Joins the Randy Shaver Celebrity Golf Classic Team

Bloomington, MN – (June, 2014) – Cancer touches many lives in many ways.  MidCountry Bank is banking on a cure by partnering with the Randy Shaver Research & Community Fund.  As a sponsor of the Randy Shaver Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, June 9, MidCountry Bank was proud to be a part of raising funds to support research, prevention, treatment and other programs relating to the cancer community's needs.

An evening gala (a subset of the golf classic), held on Sunday, June 1 was attended by MidCountry Bank team members and other guests who indulged in savory appetizers and locally brewed beer, bid on auction items, played gala games and were entertained by a Las Vegas headliner act.  On golf day, team members volunteered at MidCountry Bank sponsored holes.

Monies raised at this year's golf classic as well as a number of additional events throughout the year by the Randy Shaver Research & Community Fund total over $560,000.  90% of the proceeds are used directly for grants.  MidCountry Bank couldn't be more proud to contribute to the battle against all types of cancer.   For more information about the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund, visit their website at www.randyshavercancerfund.org.

Randy Shaver 2014

Johnston City MidCountry Bank Hosts Community Yard Sale with the Lion's Club

Johnston City, IL – (June, 2014) – June 7 dawned a glorious morning for the community yard sale co-hosted by MidCountry Bank and the local Lion's Club.  19 booths were set up in the MidCountry bank parking lot and around 200 people arrived to hunt for bargains from 8am to 2pm.  The Lion's Club sold concessions to sale-goers to keep them refreshed and ready to shop.  MidCountry Bank team members, Mallori and Margaret, who are also Lion's Club members, and Abigail manned the bank's booth and coordinated the rented spaces for the event.

Proceeds from the bank's booth and the rental fees totaled $605.71 and were donated to the Lion's Club to support community programs.  The Lion's Club utilizes funds they raise for some great causes:  scholarships for high school graduates, purchasing eye glasses for those in need and supporting the local food pantry.

The sale was well-received by all, with many thanks from community members for MidCountry Bank's partnership in community events such as this. The bank plans to continue to offer this service in future years. 

Buffalo Days

Buffalo, MN - (June, 2014) – MidCountry Bank in Buffalo, MN celebrated “Buffalo Days” with the community during the week of June 8, but, truth be told, you will be hard pressed to find a buffalo in the midst of all the fun!  Parades, a car show, carnival, fireworks, music, dog show, medallion hunt. . . the list is endless!  Our Buffalo MidCountry Bank location contributed its own fun to the week by serving different treats to customers and guests each day, helping with organizing and announcing for the parade and offering drawings for prizes.

As a special focus, the bank displayed art for the Buffalo Art Guild.   MidCountry Bank displays artwork for the Guild regularly, but this week brought additional pieces and extra friends to view the art into the bank.  Donning artist smocks (see photo), MidCountry Bank team members “played the part” well!  MidCountry Bank always welcomes new guests to the bank and were honored to share these wonderful art pieces with the community!

Buffalo Days 2014

MidCountry Bank Proudly Presents the 2014 Core Value Award Winners

ILLINOIS – (June, 2014) – MidCountry Bank proudly presents its annual Core Value Award to high school seniors who have exhibited personal, defining character through the generous contribution of their time and talent.  The character displayed by each of these students aligns with the values of Integrity, Fairness, Honesty, Excellence and Compassion which guide the MidCountry organization and mold our culture.

Christine Jackson (pictured below) was nominated by her guidance counselor, Brenda Keller at Carbondale Community High School, who appreciates Christine's character and positive impact on her peers.  Christine plans to attend Brigham Young University, Provo, UT and will pursue a degree in Physiology. 

CV 2014 Jackson, Christine 600Crop

Mallory McGinnis (pictured below) is the winner of the award for Massac County and will study this fall at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Illinois.  She looks forward to continuing to help people as a Certified Occupational Therapist. 

Extra-curricular activities are only the beginning of Britany Hale's list of involvement.  Participating in the CAN program at her high school, helping out with a city-wide clean up, decorating for the holidays and volunteering her time at local blood drives made Britany a worthy recipient of this recognition.

An avid volunteer in her community, Laura Guebert plans to attend Murray State University, Kentucky to study English and Literature.  A National Honor Society member at Herrin High School, she also participated in many clubs and was a member of the cross country and volleyball teams.

CV 2014 McGinnis, Mallory 600Crop

Katelyn Aaron is a graduate of Mount Vernon Township High School. She plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University in the fall to study physical therapy.

Kirsten McGowen will be attending Missouri Baptist University and has been awarded a volleyball scholarship.  She also graduated from Mount Vernon Township High School.

A tumbling teacher for young children in her spare time, Storey Anne Mayer was an active member of her high school, participating in a number of school clubs.  A natural leader, Storey served as class President and was also named an Illinois State Scholar.

Kara VanHorn graduated from Marion High School and plans to attend Murray State University, Kentucky where she will study Accounting.  Kara was active in sports at school and volunteered many hours in her community.

Jenna Johnston, also a member of the National Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar, graduated in the top 5% of her class.  She was a valued participant in the school's track and cross country program, and involved herself in a myriad of community improvement programs sponsored by her church.

Gene Alexander, a retired school teacher, is a strong supporter of MidCountry Bank's Core Value Award program.   Mr. Alexander has such admiration for the impact it has on the community that he has personally donated two $500 scholarships for the past few years.  MidCountry and Franklin County thank him for his dedication to our community and our youth.

Please join MidCountry Bank in congratulating these outstanding individuals who have made our community a better place!

MidCountry Bank is a full-service bank with administrative headquarters in Bloomington, MN and a regional presence in Minnesota, Southern Illinois and Nevada.  As a community bank, MidCountry provides high quality, diversified financial services and solutions to customers to meet their personal, business and professional banking needs.

MidCountry Bank has Heart

Bloomington, MN – (May, 2014) – Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of ALL AMERICANS:  high blood pressure, heart attacks, high cholesterol, congenital cardiovascular heart defects in infants - it affects 1 in 3 Americans.   In fact, in the time it takes you to read this, heart disease has taken the life of another American. 

At MidCountry Bank, our hearts serve our customers and our community!  On Saturday, May 31, 2014, 120 team members from MidCountry Bank walked in the American Heart Association’s Twin Cities Heart Walk beginning and ending at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN.  The Heart Walk challenges America to get moving in a non-competitive manner, focusing on celebrating folks who make lifestyle changes and encouraging others to do the same.  Funds raised provide continual support for research and education, and advocate for healthy living across America.

MidCountry’s rookie year was in 2013, with a goal of raising $2,000 which was far exceeded with a total of $3,117.50.  This year we stepped it up!  2014’s goal of 60 walkers was knocked out of the park at double the target!  The almost $12,000 raised (goal was $8,000) was done so through a variety of fund raising efforts including walk pledges, employees donating money to wear jeans on Fridays, selling walking tacos and pizza for employee lunches, a snack cart in the employee lunch room and a gift basket auction.  Funds raised by MidCountry employees ranked us in the top 5 of small companies participating in the Twin Cities Heart Walk.  MidCountry clearly has a heart for helping!

Heart Walk 2014

Giving Blood, Giving Back

Carbondale, IL – (May, 2014) – The Red Cross blood drive bus rolled into the MidCountry Bank Carbondale, IL branch on May 27 and donors from MidCountry Bank and the community rolled up their sleeves to give the gift of life!  MidCountry Bank knew this was a perfect opportunity to give back to the community by hosting this, their 2nd blood drive. 

As a co-sponsor, MidCountry bank not only provided the site for the blood drive, but also served refreshments to each donor which helps bodies adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume after donating blood.  Goodie bags with free MidCountry items were also a part of each donor’s experience.  A local chiropractic office rewarded donors with free trigger point massages and spinal evaluations to boot!

All around, the donors who participated in this blood drive can feel good knowing they’ve helped change a life.  11 donors gave 11 pints of blood, resulting in the potential to save up to three patients each, in other words, 33 lives!  Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others.  The need is constant and contributions are important for a healthy and reliable blood supply.  Why not consider donating blood to your local Red Cross or hosting a blood drive?

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