Bremer Bank and the Otto Bremer Foundation Raise Combined $127,711 in Annual Make Change Campaign Benefiting Second Harvest Heartland
St. Paul, Minn. - July 24, 2008 - Bremer Bank and the Otto Bremer Foundation successfully raised a combined $127,711 in the third annual "Make Change" hunger awareness campaign with Second Harvest Heartland. Donations were made online, at Bremer Bank locations and through employee and client events held throughout the month of June 2008. The Otto Bremer Foundation kicked-off the campaign with a $75,000 grant.
"Our neighbors are facing rising food costs, soaring gas prices and a crisis in the housing market," said Rob Zeaske, executive director of Second Harvest Heartland. "Demand is sharply increasing at food shelves as families struggle to have enough food to eat. The generosity of this year’s 'Make Change' campaign will go a long way in our efforts to feed hungry people in the Heartland."
Bremer raised the funds through multiple activities in its communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin raising money and in some cases food for local food shelves. Some of the activities included: silent auctions, hunger hikes, community cook-outs and even the inaugural Bremer Community Cook-Off, which included a cook-off competition led by professional chefs teamed with Bremer executives, local media personalities and mascots. Partnerships were also formed with local food shelves in various Bremer Bank communities to raise funds and encourage local volunteerism.
"Hunger is a critical issue in our communities and Bremer’s efforts in the fight to end hunger is very important to our employees and clients," said Stan Dardis, chief executive officer of Bremer Financial Corporation. "Our vision is to build healthy communities through partnerships and our 'Make Change' campaign is a perfect example of how we work to achieve that vision."
Second Harvest Heartland
Second Harvest Heartland is the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization, whose mission is to end hunger through community partnerships. Second Harvest Heartland serves 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin distributing 34.5 million pounds of grocery products to over 1000 non-profit member agency programs annually, including food shelves, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and children’s after-school programs. SHH is a member of America’s Second Harvest – the Nation’s Food Bank Network, which has over 200 members serving every state in the U.S. For each $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can distribute up to $9 worth of food products for those in need. For more information about Second Harvest Heartland, visit www.2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.
Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $7.5 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation. This unique ownership structure is the only one of its kind in the nation. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services to more than 100 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Company profits are distributed in the form of charitable grants by the Otto Bremer Foundation to communities served by Bremer. In 2007, more than $30 million in charitable donations were given across the Bremer footprint and employees donated more than 92,900 volunteer hours to their communities.