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Merchants Bank Fills Local Coffers

By Staff | Oct 23, 2015

Steve Mueller, of Nodak Mutual, on behalf of the Lyric Theater receives $500 to help the cause of keeping the Lyric Theater as a treasured part of the community. Photo by JT Pelt/PCT

Craig Johnson, president of Merchants Bank, recently received two checks that were given as a door prize at the Independent Community Bankers Association annual convention in Bismarck that Johnson attended. Banker Financial Services Group (BFS), as part of their new community program, offered the door prizes.

Joshua Miskovich of Banker Financial Services Group, a vendor of Merchants Bank and a member of the Banking Association out of North Dakota, came to Rugby recently to present Johnson the checks in person and to explain why this program is so important to the banks and his company.

“About four years ago we were looking at our marketing dollars and where we were spending it and how much impact it really had. At that time we were spending money on promotional items like little trinkets, pens, and squishy balls and things like that. But we knew the money could be better spent. We really did some brainstorming for something that would be more impactful. Our main audience is community banks and we tried to find something not only benefited the bank but the community as a whole”, said Miskovich.

Miskovich continued, “We came up with an idea we call it the ‘Drive for 125’ the idea is to give back to the community banks in different ways so they can help support their local communities. Our company is committed to giving away $125,000.00 nationally to these banks so they in turn can give back, in some form, to the local community”

The door prize offered by BFS was two $500 donations to any local charities that the lucky recipient chose. Johnson, as winner of the door prize, chose the Pierce County Food Pantry and the Lyric Theater to receive the funds.

Steve Mueller, of Nodak Mutual, accepted the money for the Lyric Theater. According to Mueller the money was very much appreciated and going to good use. He said, “This money is going to be used for renovation of the concessions area and also the renovation of the new seats that were just installed. It is so important to have a theater in the community, especially a small community and support like this helps with its continued success.”

Vonnie Degenstein, director of the Pierce County Food Pantry, shared this about her group receiving the check, ” I think it’s great. It’s this time of the year that we are getting money together to do our Christmas baskets.”

On the third Monday of every month the Food Pantry gives away food to about 55 to 60 families, and according to Degenstein with this extra money they will be able to beef up those baskets (literally) by adding meat as well as produce, fruit and vegetables. She said, “These are the extra items we usually don’t get on food drives.”

This is the season for giving, and for Merchants Bank the season seems to last all year long.

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