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Local charities receive holiday spending cash
new deh farmers charity coffee pic
Pictured left to right are the top six winners in the Farmers Bank and Trust Holiday Charity Coffee: Kim Kummer, Meals on Wheels; Janet Splitter, Eldercare; Rosie Tomlin, Senior Center; DeeAnn Grummon, Food Bank; Sister Judith Lindell, Habitat for Humanity; and Jo Stevens, Barton County Young mens Organization. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

American State Bank hosts ninth-annual Mitten Tree

American State Bank and Trust Company will sponsor its ninth-annual Mitten Tree Project at its six locations through Dec. 15. The Mitten Tree gives bank customers and the community a chance to donate new hats, gloves, scarves, coats and mittens to children and families in need as a way to brighten their holiday season.
Each American State Bank location will have a tree in the bank lobby that the community can help decorate with clothing items. Only new items are being sought as well as cash donations. All gifts will then be taken to the Barton County United Way for distribution prior to Christmas.
For additional information call American State Bank at 620-793-5900.

Christmas came early for several local charities Wednesday morning as Farmers Bank and Trust held its 17th-annual Holiday Charity Coffee.
There was a festive environment with refreshments and holiday music at the bank’s 10th and Harrision location. A large Christmas tree stood in the middle of the lobby and those representing the charities and other spectators crowded around it.
“We want to extend a special thank to all of you dedicated to helping others.  We are honored to have been able to assist those who help others and are proud to have given $85,000 over the past 17 years at this annual event,”  said bank CEO W.R. Robbins.
Then, the names of this year’s recipients from those registered were drawn at random out of a Santa hat. There are various levels of awards with the top six receiving between $500 and $200 each.
The next tier of 10 winners received $100 each and all remaining charities received $50 from the bank. In addition, every charity that was not drawn in the top 6 winners will receive another donation of $50 from bank stockholder Yvonne Robbins to assist with their charitable work in 2014.
The top six winners were: $500 to Meals on Wheels; $400 to Habitat for humanity; $300 to Eldercare Inc.; $200 to the Barton County Food Bank; $200 to the Great Bend Senior Center; and $200 to the Barton County Young Men’s Organization.
Extra funds in the amount of $250 were given to the Salvation Army for with the most participation at the event with 23 representatives.
“The purpose is to thank area charities for their hard work,” said Karesa Harrison, Farmers vice president. It also helps them with their expenses for the upcoming year.
“Our goal is to give away around $5,000 each year,” to the 30-some charities that register, Harrison said. Since the program’s inception in 1996, Farmers has given away about $60,000.
“Everybody leaves a winner,” she said. To qualify, a group must be an official charity and provide essential services.
The event has become a local holiday tradition.