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Farmers Bank Holiday Charity Coffee 2022
Members of the Kansas Children’s Service League, Family Crisis Center and Rosewood Roots and Wings are pictured with Robert Rugan, Farmers Bank & Trust, after winning the top prizes Wednesday at the bank’s 26th annual Holiday Charity Coffee. Pictured are, from left: Jillian Martin, Connie Cale and Vicki Richardson, all from Kansas Children’s Service League; Robert Rugan; Kylee Graves, Family Crisis Center; Patty Halseth, Rosewood Roots & Wings; and Rachel Berger and Elizabeth Handy, Family Crisis Center. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Employees at the Kansas Children’s Service League were wondering how they could pinch their pennies to have a Christmas party for the children they serve in the Healthy Families Program. Then on Wednesday, they won $500 in the annual charity giveaway sponsored by Farmers Bank & Trust. The bank’s 26th annual Holiday Charity Coffee was held at the 1017 Harrison location, where 35 charities and organizations received donations ranging from $50 to $500.

Other winners were

$400 - Rosewood Services Roots & Wings Foundation

$300 - Family Crisis Center (which also won $200 for having 12 representatives at the drawing, more than any other charity present

$200 - Central Kansas Association for the Visually Impaired, Dominican Sisters of Peace, and Quivira Council Boy Scouts of America

$100 - Barton County Youth Care Inc., Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, The Center for Counseling and Consultation, Eldercare Inc., Great Bend Police Department’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), Habitat for Humanity - Barton County Area, Juvenile Services - Immediate Intervention Program, Live Like Jesus Today Ministries, Sunflower Diversified Services Inc and United Way of Central Kansas

$50 - Barton County Emergency Aid, Barton County Young Men’s Organization, Central Kansas CASA Inc., Central Kansas Dream Center, Clara Barton Hospital Foundation, Community Food Bank of Barton County Inc., Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice, Golden Belt Humane Society, Heartland Center for Spirituality, Housing Opportunities Inc., Kans 4 Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation, Lasting Life Ministries, Meals on Wheels of Barton County, Prodigal Ministries of Kansas Inc., Salvation Army, Saint Francis Ministries, USD 428 Foundation and Volunteers in Action/RSVP.

Marc and Diana Webster played holiday music as guests enjoyed the coffee prior to the big giveaway event, which was “the reason we’re here,” said Robert Rugan, western market president at Farmers Bank & Trust. He noted that the coffee was taking place on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7.

Farmers Bank and Trust got its start in Albert and branched out from there. It is now celebrating 115 years, so one of the door prizes was a wreath made out of 115 dollar bills. Several other $20 bills were given away as door prizes, but the main event was the giveaway to the 35 charities and organizations mentioned above. Prior to this year, Farmers Bank & Trust has given away $131,500, Rugan said.

Another $4,950 was given away on Wednesday.

Bank representative Karesa Harrison said there were also two memorial gifts. The Bolding family presented a $500 check to the Family Crisis Center in honor of Grady Bolding Jr., who was the bank’s director for 32. He passed away on Oct. 17, 2022.

The family of Yvonne Robbins presented a $500 check to the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Yvonne was married to Farmers’ CEO and Corporate President W.R. Robbins and they worked together in growing Farmers Bank and Trust. She started her tradition of an annual gift at the holidays in 1996 and gave away over $20,000 in her lifetime. She passed away on Feb. 7, 2022.

Rugan also thanked community members who took part in the Light Up a Child program by selecting a name or names from the Christmas tree to provide Christmas gifts to children. More than 80 children will be helped this year, he said. 

The bank was filled with poinsettias and Rugan said those will also be going to area charities and churches.