10 Days of Giving in Winona at 254,075 Pounds for 2018

10 Days of Giving

Final totals for the 10 Days of Giving food drive through the end of the day Wednesday were at 254,075 pounds of food. The 10 Days of Giving supports the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services. This is the second largest collection in the 30-year history of the annual food drive.

“On behalf of our entire Merchants team, I want to thank everyone who donated and our community partners. Your generosity is heart-warming and will help so many people in Winona this winter,” said Andrew Guzzo, Regional President for Merchants Bank.

Business, school, church and daycare pickups were Tuesday, December 11 and some contributions were received on Wednesday, December 12. Additional donations are expected through the remainder of this week.

This year’s total breaks down to $113,954.86 in cash and 26,165 pounds of food. For the purposes of the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar. Last year’s total was 207,898 pounds. The total for 30 years now stands at 3,512,251 pounds.

Merchants collected nonperishable food items at its locations as well as at participating businesses, schools, churches and daycares around the area (view a full list).

The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 3,500,000 pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving

10 Days of Giving Food Drive Reports 82,094 Pounds of Food Collected

10 Days of Giving

Through Tuesday, Merchants Bank’s 30th annual 10 Days of Giving Food Drive was at 82,094 pounds of food collected to benefit the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services (WVS).

The number of pounds of food collected included $41,047 in cash and 822 pounds of food. A $10,000 anonymous donation is part of the collection total. Through the same time last year, 75,526 pounds of food had been collected. Two pounds of food are counted for each dollar collected. WVS Executive Director Sandra Burke pointed out at the food drive’s opening news conference that WVS can purchase about $50.00 worth of food with just $15.00.

“Seeing the Winona community come together to support the 10 Days of Giving is truly inspiring. We know our local students are busy gathering donations and are excited to contribute. Thank everyone who has donated so far,” said Dawn Stenberg, 10 Days of Giving Committee Co-Chair.

Last year, 207,898 pounds of food was collected. The drive started this year with more than 3,000,000 pounds collected through its first 29 years. More events are scheduled throughout the week, including the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which is scheduled to be at the Winona Amtrak Station at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9. Merchants Bank will be serving refreshments during the stop.

Community members are also invited to attend these 10 Days of Giving events:

  • Fish Fry Dinner on Friday, December 7 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Elks Lodge. Cost is $11.00.
  • Holiday Lighted Parade on Saturday, December 8 at 5:30 p.m. and coordinated by the Goodview Activity Group.

For more details about these and other upcoming 10 Days events, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

“We are looking forward to seeing many people at the Fish Fry Dinner on Friday. Eat in or takeout options are available and you can buy your tickets right at the door,” said Jen Welch, 10 Days of Giving Committee Co-Chair.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area (view full list). For questions, please call Welch at 457-1108 or Stenberg at 457-1109. Monetary donations can be made out to 10 Days of Giving and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, visit the Winona Volunteer Services website: winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.

The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 3,000,000 pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

10 Days of Giving Food Drive Kicks Off 30th Anniversary Year

10 Days of Giving

Merchants Bank kicked off the 30th Annual 10 Days of Giving food drive on Friday morning. The drive will run December 1-10 and benefit the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services (WVS). Through the first 30 years, more than 3,000,000 pounds of food has been collected.

Co-chairs Dawn Stenberg and Jennifer Welch will be leading 10 Days efforts this year. Joining them at the kick-off press conference were Merchants Bank Winona and Southern Regions President Andrew Guzzo, WVS Executive Director Sandra Burke and the staff from WVS, Winona Mayor Mark Peterson and other participants.

“Over the last 30 years, the 10 Days of Giving has proved to be a true community effort. We’re happy to see so many schools and local businesses involved, in addition to individual community supporters,” said Guzzo.

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” collected 207,898 pounds of food. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in. One area that keeps improving is the amount of monetary donations that are brought in to support the drive.

“We’re so appreciative of all donations, but our buying power as a food shelf can truly make monetary donations go much farther,” said Burke. “For example, Winona Volunteer Services can purchase about $50.00 worth of food with just $15.00.”

Burke said there continues to be a need in the area. Through the end of 2017, Winona Volunteer Services served more than 3,168 individuals were served. Another 1,504 people were helped at the Emergency food shelf. Last year WVS distributed 538,081 pounds of food. Additionally, 388 elementary students received healthy weekend snacks during the school year.

Joining Guzzo, Burke and Peterson giving the ceremonial “First Gift of Food” were Evan Galewski, a second student at Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School; Siena Moore, a first grade student at Jefferson Elementary School; and Lucy Puetz, a first grade student at St. Stanislaus Elementary School.

The community is invited to several special 10 Days of Giving events that will be held this weekend:

  • Saturday, December 1: 10% of all sales at Island City Brewing benefit the food drive.
  • Saturday, December 1: 10% of all sales at Beno’s Deli benefit the food drive. Plus, bring in two cans of food and receive $1.00 off the purchase of a sandwich.
  • Saturday, December 1: View the Winter Wonderland Department 56 Snow Village from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m. at 64 East 4th Street in Winona. Admission is the gift of food or a monetary donation.
  • Sunday, December 2: Enjoy Winona State University’s annual Holiday Concert for the Hungary beginning at 2:00 p.m. at 450 Johnson Street. Admission is the gift of food or a monetary donation.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. For questions, please call Welch at 457-1108 or Stenberg at 457-1109. Monetary donations can be made out to 10 Days of Giving and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, visit the Winona Volunteer Services website: winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.

The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 3,000,000 pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

Hope to See You at our Holiday Events in December

Save the Date - Holiday Open Houses

Join our staff at these great events. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed. You can also RSVP to the Holiday Open Houses via our Facebook Events page.

Fridays in December Cottage Grove Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and toiletry items for the 10 Days of Giving to support the Friends in Need food shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Rushford Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Rushford
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and non-perishable food items to support the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Lanesboro Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Lanesboro
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. As part of Christmas in Fillmore County, we will be accepting toy donations in our lobby.
12/7 Hastings Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Hastings
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations to support the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting Hastings Family Service.
12/7 Caledonia Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Caledonia
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/7 Caledonia Winter Wonderland Parade
7 p.m.
Downtown Caledonia
Find yourself surrounded by holiday spirit at the Winter Wonderland Parade in Caledonia. Hot chocolate and cookies with Santa will follow the parade in Gazebo Park.
12/7 St. Charles Holiday Open House
10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in St. Charles
Please join us in our lobby for cookies and refreshments. We will also be accepting donations for the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting the Hometown Resource Center.
12/8 Rushford Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights
7:00 p.m.
Downtown Rushford
Rushford comes alive with the Spirit of the Holidays! Have a night of family fun beginning with the Parade of Lights, followed by a visit with Santa, hot chocolate and cider, cookies, and caroling at the Rushford Fire Hall. Please bring monetary donations for the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/8 Winona Holiday Lighted Parade
5:30 p.m.
6th Street in Goodview
Enjoy the dazzling lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus and refreshments at Merchants Bank in Goodview. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Elks Lodge to greet children. Please bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items for the 10 Days of Giving food drive.
12/14 Eau Claire Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Eau Claire
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.
12/14 Spring Grove Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. Santa will join us from 12 – 2 p.m. for photos.
12/17 – 12/21 Onalaska Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Onalaska
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Winona Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Winona
Please join us for cookies, refreshments and music in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Rochester Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank locations in Rochester
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobbies.
12/19 – 12/24 Red Wing Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Red Wing
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting hats and mittens to donate to those in need in our community.
12/20 Cannon Falls Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls
Please join us in our lobby for cookies, refreshments and live music. We will have a variety of holiday musical guests including: St. Pauls Lutheran School Choir, Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir, Jane Bracken, Shelly Schroeder and John Anderson.There will be live holiday music in the lobby throughout the day: 11:00 a.m. – St. Paul’s Lutheran School Choir; 1:00 p.m. – Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir; 2:00 p.m. – Holiday music featuring Jane Bracken on piano; 3:00 p.m. – Holiday Music featuring Shelly Schroeder on flute and John Anderson on guitar
12/20 – 12/21 La Crescent Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in La Crescent
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.

Grandma Helen’s Cut-Out Cookies

Cut out cookies recipe

Cut-out cookies are a favorite at Christmastime. Here’s a recipe you’re sure to love!

Cookies:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups thick sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (mixed into sour cream)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 cups flour

Mix first 8 ingredients well, then add flour. Roll and cut-out. Bake at 300 degrees. Watch carefully, don’t let the bottoms get brown. When they look a little tan, pull them out of the oven. Makes 6 dozen cookies, depending on size of cut-outs.

 

Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (in cereal bowl)
  • Pour milk until halfway up butter (I know, grandmas’ recipe!)
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, stop every 45 seconds to stir. Add:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Blend with mixer. If it is too thick, add milk; if too runny, add powdered sugar. Split into separate bowls to add food coloring as desired.

Make Gift Giving Easy with Our 3 Tips

Gift Giving Guide

Still a few people left to buy for on your holiday shopping list? Get those gifts done in no time with our three easy ideas.

Turn Rewards Points into Gifts

With your Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard Credit Card*, you can redeem earned points for merchandise, travel rewards, or even gift cards. Simply login to your ScoreCard Rewards account to use your points for holiday gifts for our loved ones – or even yourself.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to scorecardrewards.com.
  2. Login to your account.
  3. Click on the “Go Shopping” button under “ScoreMore.”
  4. Add items to your cart and checkout using your points when finished shopping.

If you don’t yet have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, apply online or contact us and we can help you apply.

Buy the Gift that Always Fits

You can never go wrong with a gift card. It’s always the right size, color and style for anyone on your list. Plus, it’s easy to wrap!

Did you know you can purchase Visa Gift Cards at all of our Merchants Bank locations? Just visit your local branch and see one of our tellers to purchase your gift card(s), available in even dollar amounts between $10-$1,000.

Shop Small with a Local Cookbook

If you’re looking for a unique item for the cook or baker in your family, our Merchants cookbook makes a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer.

The Merchants Family Cookbook was first published in 2005 and is a collection of recipes shared by Merchants’ staff, family and friends. Now in its second printing with over 400 pages of recipes, the cookbook is available at all of our locations for just $10 each.

Happy holiday shopping and Merry Christmas from your friends at Merchants Bank!

*Credit cards are subject to credit approval.

 

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove Launches Tenth 10 Days of Giving

10 Days of Giving

Merchants Bank is launching its tenth annual 10 Days of Giving food drive to help those in need who utilize the Friends in Need Food Shelf in Cottage Grove and the Christian Covered Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) in Woodbury. The drive runs December 1-10.

“Our Bank is fortunate to be working with two community food shelves to help them meet collection goals during our 10th anniversary year for 10 Days of Giving,“ said Randy Bachman, Branch Manager of Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove. “We’re hoping it’s our best year yet.”

Last year, the 10 Days of Giving helped to collect 21,253 food and personal items and $171.95 in cash donations for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. People are asked to bring toiletries and monetary donations to Merchants Bank’s at 8479 East Point Douglas Road S. Checks can be made out to the “10 Days of Giving.”

Donations can also be made at the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop, near the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau, at 5:15 p.m. on December 10.

Donations can also be made at these participating schools, school district offices and other locations:

  • Armstrong Elementary
  • Cottage Grove Elementary
  • Crestview Elementary
  • the District Program Center ISD 833
  • the District Service Center ISD 833
  • East Ridge High School
  • Grey Cloud Elementary
  • Hillside Elementary
  • Lake Middle School
  • Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion
  • Oltman Middle School
  • Park High School
  • Pine Hill Elementary
  • Pullman Elementary
  • Red Rock Elementary
  • Royal Oaks Elementary
  • the Transportation Department ISD 833
  • Woodbury High School
  • Woodbury Middle School
  • Woodbury YMCA

The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank in St. Charles, Friends in Need Food Shelf and CCEFS to help stock local food shelves each winter. Since 2008, the drive has collected thousands of pounds of food and helped thousands of people in the area. In addition to the Cottage Grove and Woodbury drives, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.