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American State Bank announces winners of holiday hero contest
Michele Smith
Herb Kunz

In November, American State Bank asked people to nominate a hero in their community — a hero that gives back to others and makes a difference in the lives of people. The contest was promoted in the 16 American State Bank branches and on social media. On Monday, the bank announced three winners. 

“We originally were going to have one winner,” said Greg Quarles, president and CEO. “But after we read all of the wonderful submissions, we chose three heroes.”

The first winner is Michele Smith from Great Bend. Smith was nominated because she goes out of her way to help kids, family, friends and strangers. She’s been known to buy others groceries, help with utilities, buy coats for kids and more. She has a place at her table during the holidays if you have no family or money. She adopts entire families buying them food and gifts. 

Second is Herb Kunz from Douglass. He was nominated because of his selfless giving of his time and talents to help anyone in need, especially with things like car repairs. He will help friends, family and strangers and never asks for anything in return. He lives by the golden rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated.

Finally, Callie Leiker from Gypsum was nominated because of her giving spirit. After being diagnosed with spinal stenosis and spending much time in the hospital, Callie — 8 years old — started a foundation to put care bags together for other children in the hospital. The bags contain toys, books, activities and more. She has a goal of giving 2,000 bags this Christmas. American State Bank has donated to the Callie Cares Foundation to help her reach her goal.

“We wanted to celebrate the everyday hero. This is just a small way we can say thank you to those that make a difference in our communities,” said Quarles. 

Winners each received a cash prize presented by a bank representative at the Great Bend Main Street branch and the Rose Hill branch.