Whipped Sweet Potatoes

BlogRecipe-SweetPotatoes

Ingredients:
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1″ pieces
4 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut in 1″ pieces
2 chicken bouillon cubes
6 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
salt, to taste

Directions:
Place sweet potatoes, carrots & bouillon cubes in a large, heavy pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are very tender. Drain, reserving 6 Tbsp of cooking liquid, and place in a bowl. Mash the vegetables with the reserved cooking liquid. Add remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or reheat, covered, in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

BlogRecipe-PumpkinPieDessert

Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

Mix crust ingredients well and press into 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Custard:

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

Mix well and pour over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

10 Days of Giving Co-Chairs Announced

10DaysChairs

Mark Metzler and Jennifer Welch have been named co-chairs for this year’s “10 Days of Giving.”

The “10 Days of Giving” runs from December 1-10, with Merchants Bank employees helping the community collect food to benefit the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services and the Southeastern Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center in St. Charles.

“We hope the community will respond again to the great need,” Welch said. “We are amazed each year by how much people give to those who need our help.”

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” set a record by collecting more than 280,000 pounds of food, putting the 25-year total at 2,377,227 pounds. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in, although the reality shows that monetary donations often have a greater impact.

“Every year we are amazed at the generosity of the people in our area,” Metzler said.

In Winona in 2013 Winona Volunteer Services had 906 households using the food shelf each month, with another 93 households per month use the emergency food shelf. In total, an average of just over 37,255 pounds of food was distributed each month in 2013.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as schools and businesses around the area. For questions, please call Metzler at 494-0524 or Welch at 457-1108. The “10 Days of Giving” will officially kick off with a press conference at 10 a.m., December 1 at Merchants Bank in downtown Winona.

Use Your Merchants Debit or Credit Card to Swipe Out Hunger

eNews-SwipeOutHunger

By swiping your Merchants Bank debit or credit card you can help maximize the amount of money Merchants Bank gives this year to local food shelves.

What is Swipe Out Hunger?
Swipe Out Hunger is a Merchants Bank initiative to support local food shelves in our communities. Food shelves are nominated by our branches and receive a donation based on the number of votes cast through our Facebook page. The total possible donation will increase by 5 cents each time our customers swipe their Merchants Bank debit or credit cards between November 28 and December 10, to a maximum of $10,000.

This year Merchants goal is to:

  • Give $5,000 to the top vote getting food shelf.
  • Give a percentage of another $5,000 to all other nominated shelves based on their percentage of votes.

In order to achieve both goals, we need to reach 200,000 swipes (purchases made with a Merchants Bank debit or credit card) by our customers between November 28 and December 10.

How can you help?
Between November 28-December 10:

  • Use your debit or credit card to increase the total amount of money Merchants donates.
  • Like the Merchants Bank Facebook page and cast your vote for your favorite local food shelf. You may vote up to three times per day.

Which food shelves are participating?
This year’s nominated food shelves include:

Apple Valley and Rosemount – The Open Door
Caledonia and Spring Grove – SEMCAC Houston County Food Shelf
Cannon Falls – Cannon Falls Food Shelf
Cottage Grove – Friends in Need Food Shelf
Hampton – Randolph Community Food Shelf
Hastings – Hastings Family Services
La Crescent – La Crescent Area Food Shelf
Lakeville – 360 Communities
Lanesboro – SEMCAC in Preston
Onalaska – The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse
Red Wing – Red Wing Area Food Shelf
Rushford – SEMCAC in Rushford
St. Charles – Southeast Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center
Winona – Winona Volunteer Services

Additional details regarding Swipe Out Hunger can be found at our website.

$50,000 Pledge for Confluence Community Arts Center

Mark Willer

Mark Willer

Merchants Bank has pledged $50,000 in support of the new community arts center that is part of the proposed Confluence Project in downtown Eau Claire.

“We believe that the Confluence Project and the new community arts center are important for our community, and as a community bank, we believe it’s our privilege to join our neighbors in our support,” said Merchants Bank – Eau Claire President Mark Willer. “We expect that the project will contribute significantly to both the cultural and economic development of Eau Claire and the entire Chippewa Valley. One of the cornerstones of the Merchants Bank philosophy is to support its customers and the communities it serves by donating volunteer time and making monetary contributions to important community projects.”

Merchants is a full-service bank and is a regional leader in mortgage and business lending. The Eau Claire location, just off London Road, opened in February of this year.

The Confluence Project is a proposed revitalization of property commonly referred to as the “Haymarket Site” at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. The public-private partnership seeks to construct a community arts center, which is the centerpiece of the project. A privately developed commercial/retail complex that includes housing suitable for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students also is part of the project.

The Eau Claire City Council has pledged $5 million in city funds toward development of the community arts center. The arts center project also seeks $25 million in state funding and $5 million from Eau Claire County. The remaining arts center construction costs are sought from donations and tax credits. The $26 million commercial/retail and student housing complex is being privately financed.

Other members of the Confluence Project public-private partnership are Haymarket Concepts LLC, composed of Market & Johnson Inc., Commonweal Development Corp. and Blugold Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, and UW-Eau Claire. For information about making a commitment to the Confluence Project, contact Wally Rogers, Confluence campaign director, at wallacegrant@msn.com or 715-225-8685.

Merchants Bank Employees Like Sweets and Good Causes, Raise $7,593.38, Including $3,015 in Pie Auction for Rivertown Shuffle/Relay for Life

Merchants Bank employees Marcus Krings and Ryan Meyer, two members of the Merchants Relay for Life committee, present the Relay for Life check.

Merchants Bank employees Marcus Krings and Ryan Meyer, two members of the Merchants Relay for Life committee, present the Relay for Life check.

The employees at Merchants Bank have a collective sweet tooth, and they are willing to support it, especially when it comes to a great cause like the Rivertown Shuffle/Relay for Life. During 2014 Relay for Life events at Merchants Bank, Merchants’ employees raised $7,593.38, including $3,015 in a Pie Auction where Merchants employees baked and donated 26 pies that other employees bid on.

“All of our employees have been touched by cancer in some way –  themselves, a relative, a friend – to know we are able to do something to help is a great feeling,” said Kerri Bronk, who coordinates the Merchants Bank participation.

Other activities included a basket raffle, where employees put together gift baskets of special interest. Contributions for the raffle were $1,250. Other events included a bake sale, a book sale, a lunch and luminary sale.

Bronk said the pie auction has been ongoing since 2010, and the Bank has supported the Rivertown Shuffle/Relay for Life since before she started at Merchants 17 years ago. Bronk said she is just part of a large committee at Merchants that plans and executes the employee events.

“There have been many faces on the committee over the years, but the one constant is Merchants’ commitment to the community,” Bronk said. “The Rivertown Shuffle/Relay for Life has had a huge impact on the Winona Community, and our employees step up for this cause and many others throughout the year.”

Join us in September!

eNews - EventsBlog
Our staff invites you to join them at these great events throughout the Fall. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed.
September 5: Caledonia Windshield Washing Fundraiser. Join Merchants Bank for a Window Washing Fundraiser to support Caledonia academics, fine arts and athletics! Merchants will donate $5 for every car window washed from 2-5 p.m. to the Caledonia School District. Visit the Merchants drive-thru for your FREE window washing and help support a great cause!
September 6: Mabel Steam Engine Days Parade, immediately following noon parade of engines and tractors on Main Street.
September 12: Spring Grove Windshield Washing Fundraiser. Join Merchants Bank for a Window Washing Fundraiser to support the Spring Grove Athletic Boosters! Merchants will donate $5 for every car window washed from 2-5 p.m. to the Boosters. Visit the Merchants drive-thru for your FREE window washing and help support a great cause!
September 17: Rushford and Lanesboro Community Appreciation, 5-7 p.m., Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. Merchants Bank staff from our Lanesboro and Rushford locations will be serving Fillmore County Cattlemen hamburgers and refreshments.
September 18-19: Applefest Open House, Merchants Bank La Crescent. Merchants Bank staff will be serving locally-grown apples and apple cider in the bank lobby during regular lobby hours. Stop by and say hi!
September 20-21: Triquest, Holmen, WI.
September 21: Applefest Parade, 1 p.m, La Crescent. Merchant Bank staff will be collecting food and cash donations during the parade. Please consider supporting the La Crescent Food Share Program with a donation.
September 27: New Leash on Life 5K Dog Run/3K Fun Walk, 8:30 a.m., Silver Lake Pool in Rochester.
September 30: Retirement Planning: A Whole New Adventure, 5-7:30 p.m., Merchants Bank-Downtown Winona. Stop in for vendor booths and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Appetizers and refreshments will be served.