As we approach another Christmas season, First Western Bank & Trust (FWBT) is excited to announce the return of “100 Cheers”. Giving with a grateful heart is what makes this the most joyous time of the year, and “100 Cheers” is a First Western tradition that reminds us how important and impactful it is to give back to the communities we serve.
In 2014, FWBT commemorated our 50th anniversary by spreading “100 Cheers for 50 years” over the holiday season. The first “100 Cheers” began as 100 random-acts-of-kindness. Employees were given envelopes of cash to spread joy any way they could, including purchasing groceries for unsuspecting shoppers, buying coffee for the drive-thru line, and paying for items that customers had on layaway. Each year “100 Cheers” has evolved and expanded, just like FWBT has, and now we continue the tradition in all 7 regions that FWBT serves.
“100 Cheers” kicks off on Monday, December 12th, and this year we are giving back to non-profits that save lives and meet the needs of others every day of the year: local food pantries.
According to the Great Plains Food Bank, the number of people suffering from food insecurity, defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live a healthy life, has increased by 20,000 more people than at any point prior to the pandemic. Hunger impacts one in six individuals in North Dakota – one in four are children. Food pantries are feeding more people every day, exhausting their resources quicker than ever. That’s why in every region FWBT is located, we will be dedicating “100 Cheers” to serving and donating to local food pantries. Our goal is twofold: provide 100 hours of volunteer hours bank-wide and donate 100 meals or food items in every region. From December 12th through December 16th, FWBT employees will dedicate 100 hours of service and donate over 700 meals and/or food items to these food pantries that serve the less fortunate in our communities.
“The idea behind 100 Cheers came about because we wanted to spread goodwill to the people who live and work in our communities. It has become an annual tradition that our employees embrace as it touches the heart of everyone involved. We are proud to give back to the communities we serve, across every region. It is a highlight of every Christmas season”, said Chairman, President & CEO Brenda Foster.
First Western Bank & Trust employs over 350 people across 18 locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.