Merrill Associated Bank wins Veterans Day decorating contest again, donates to American Legion

Front row, L to R: Konnor Beyer, Dorothy Johnson, Emily Gibson, Silvia Carreto, Jeff Radloff, Jamie Peel, and Kurt Perra. Back row, L to R: John Van Lieshout, Reinie Lenz, Corey Dornbrack, Denni Radloff, Ryan Schwartzman, and Dustin Peterson. Submitted photo.


Associated Bank in Merrill was one of six branches, of the company’s 200 branches, to win the Associated Bank Veterans Day Decorating Contest. Volunteers from the VFW, VFW Women’s Auxiliary, and American Legion came in to help employees decorate the Merrill branch and then photos of the display were submitted to the corporate office for judging by the executive leadership team. The Veterans Day display, honoring and thanking American Veterans, was on display the entire month of November.
“I’m not sure how, but out of all the branches in the company, we were one of the six winners,” Emily Gibson, Associated Bank Merrill Branch Manager said, “chosen a second year in a row.” Out of all the displays they do, she said this is their favorite to do and they love the community involvement.
The winning branches receive a $250 donation for their area’s American Legion, and in early January 2024, Associated Bank Merrill branch employees gathered with representatives from the agencies who had helped decorate the bank to present the $250 check to Merrill’s American Legion Post 46.
Gibson said this year’s display was really special and included a contribution from an Associated Bank customer “who brought her late husband’s honor flight coat and photo for display” and the infamous poppy gown Gibson described as “just stunning!” as well as many other components representing Veterans from the different branches of the military and their service.
Gibson said all those who helped decorate and the employees at the branch were really excited to have won a second year in a row, and she said their Veterans Day display has attracted attention from beyond their bank’s customer base. “It was so fun this year having non-customers come in just to see it,” she said. Many also called in afterward to see if the Merrill branch had won.
“[It] still gives me goosebumps just knowing the community backing and that’s what it’s about in our community,” Gibson said. And just one more reason “why I love Merrill.”

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