This year’s Holi-Days of Giving program was an incredible experience for all involved. We received hundreds of nominations, and found 13 families/individuals who deserved a little extra holiday cheer this year. Each recipient received $500 in holiday gifts from the Bank. Thank you to everyone who nominated someone this year for the program. We wish you all a very happy holiday season! If you have a moment, we would encourage you to scroll through the photos and read some of the chosen nominations.
Branch: West Brookfield
Gift Recipient: Paula, Ryan and Sara Patoka.
Nomination: We lost my husband, the children’s father August 14, 2015 to a 4x drunk driver. We were behind him on his motorcycle, we were 4 car length behind. He got hit and killed by a drunk driver going 60mph. Then the drunk driver came for us and hit us head on. The nightmare still lives on in every one of us. Our Faith got us through but Christmas is a holiday where we miss Roger even more.
Branch: East Brookfield
Nominator: Terry Pomeroy
Nomination: Alexander disease is a type of leukodystrophy characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheath (the fatty covering that acts as an insulator around nerve fiber) and abnormal protein deposits known as Rosenthal fibers. Most cases of Alexander disease begin before age 2 years (the infantile form). Brooklynn is currently in the 5th grade within the Greenfield school system. She has limited ability to read or write, and struggles to walk for any distance as she quickly runs out of energy. She does have a bit of a sense of humor and is always very positive and happy.
Gift Recipient: Paul Langenecker
Nomination: Paul Langenecker is my brother-in-law and most know he has been battling Cystic Fibrosis since birth. Those who don’t know, Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that mainly effects the lungs and digestive system. The body produces thick sticky mucus that decreases lung function, and stops nutrient absorption. This also puts the body at great risk for infection. Paul is 26 years old and has been with my sister for the last 10 years. In September 2018 they had an absolutely beautiful wedding and shortly after they found the house of their dreams as any couple wishes to do someday. Cystic Fibrosis had other plans though, that made life challenging for them and the entire family so far. Shortly after they bought their house Paul’s health deteriorated, the discussion about a lung transplant, which is inevitable with Cystic Fibrosis, was the topic after that. His daily medical regimen includes multiple breathing treatments, enzyme medication to help with digestion of food, vest therapy, and many medications. All the hours that he takes out of his day and life and he has NEVER complained, but it was about to get harder. As time went on he was spending more and more time in the hospital, having to stay for weeks at times to fight the nasty infections that caused havoc in his body. Throughout all of this Paul has stayed so positive and optimistic. He is the last person in the world who should have to go through something like this. With all the challenges and the fight to breathe every single day of his life he is always determined to keep everyone around him positive and is always trying to help others when he is able. Paul is currently at the UW Health University Hospital in Madison where on October 30th he got a call for a perfect match on lungs to be able to breathe again. He underwent a bilateral lung transplant. In the years I’ve known Paul and all the help he has done for me and everyone around him I feel it is my time to help him. Thank you for your time.
Gift Recipient: Jonathan Wright
Nomination: On behalf of the whole Glendale Team, we would like to grant this wish to Jon for many different reasons. During this past year, Jon went into the hospital for a procedure. The procedure did not go as planned, which left Jon as a walking quadriplegic. Jon had to spend several months in assisted living. Jon was finally able to move home. However, as with a diagnosis like this, the Wright’s home was not equipped to help in Jon’s recovery. Additionally, Halina (Jon’s wife) was also one of the many individuals that was affected by the closure of the Boston Store’s. Collectively, the Glendale Team decided to nominate Jon not only because of the tragic diagnosis that Jon has, but also because of the many contributions that Jon has made to the Glendale community. Jon was one of the very first customers of Glendale, when we first opened. Jon was the previous president of the Friends of Kletzch Park. While Jon was in his role, Jon was amazed at how Bank Five Nine tried to give back to the local community. During our first drive for school supplies, Jon went back to his board and collected school supplies as a donation. Through the many challenges that the Wright’s have had over the past year, you would never known any of this has happened. The Wrights are a very giving couple and more than deserve this wish.
Gift Recipient: Jessica Storm
Nomination: Jessica found out she had breast cancer while 29 weeks pregnant. She went on to get 4 rounds do chemo while pregnant and 8 more rounds of chemo after baby was born. She beat cancer! She then noticed a spot on her body and had it tested and it was skin cancer. She beat that. Then a few months later she was having head aches and went in for a scan to find out the breast cancer had traveled to her brain before she did the chemo the first time. She has gone through cyber knifing and is now taking a chemo pill. Through all of this she has choreographed dances for two high school dance teams, has been a mom to a 1 year now, and stayed positive through everything. I would love to make her Christmas a little less stressful and help with all the medical bills she has endured.
Gift Recipient: Liz Michaelis
Nomination: Earlier this year, the Michaelis family received devastating news. Liz hadn’t been feeling well since April. After a few misdiagnoses and continued deterioration in her health, July brought the worst possible prognosis. A horrible diagnosis was delivered to her… “Liz you have stage 4 lung cancer. Your life expectancy is maybe 5 years.” Liz is a 37 year old mother of 2 young boys (3 and 5) and wife of Eric. After wrapping her thoughts around what just happened this year, Liz is battling hard to fight her cancer and to make sure she can create memories and endless smiles for her two boys with whatever time she may have left. With her weakened condition, she is no longer able to work to provide a little bit extra to go on fun excursions with her family and her husbands’ salary goes straight to the bills. Knowing that the number of Christmases Liz will have with her family is most likely limited, adding as much joy and surprise to this year’s Christmas will certainly help her look past the tragedy cancer has brought to her and her family. Helping Liz maximize the smiles, laughs and overall loving moments she can have with her young family will make this Christmas more special for them. My goal in writing this request is to make sure the Michaelis family has at least one more excursion where mom, dad, Clayton and Miles are all together laughing, smiling and building lasting memories. Thank you in advance for taking the time to consider this request as I am sure there are many deserving families that can use your help. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Gift Recipient: William Emslie
Nomination: He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer Easter Sunday. He has been going through chemo since then. Surgery is scheduled dec 17. He will be in hospital 7 to 10 days. His birthday is dec 24. He might be in the hospital for Christmas and his birthday. He is a hardworking farmer and a kind man. He could use some Christmas/ birthday cheer!
Branch: Menomonee Falls
Gift Recipient: Kathy Moon
Nomination: My sister Kathy is the rock of our family. For over 20 years she lived with and cared for our mother before she died. She also has been the caregiver for my brother for over 20 years. My brother, David Lindquist, is a disabled vet who was injured in a terrible accident while serving in the United States Navy and stationed on Iceland. Kathy has devoted a large part of her life caring for her mother, brother and now grand kids. She has very little free time for herself and loves to visit Door County. It would be a great show of appreciation to allow her some time for herself in a place that she loves. Thank you for your consideration.
Gift Recipient: Sydney Miracle
Nomination: Sydney Miracle is a local high school student who has been fighting several debilitating medical diagnoses, one of which is MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome). MALS is a rare condition affecting 2 of every 100,000 people where the median arcuate ligament decreases the blood supply to her digestive system and causes severe nerve inflammation in the abdomen resulting in extreme pain and the inability to eat or drink anything. Sydney has been tube fed for the past 12 months. This ligament and associated nerves will be release in her upcoming surgery on December 5th in Connecticut where she will remain for at least 3-4 weeks. Though the procedure is lengthy and comes with risks and a 6-12 month recovery time it has the ability to significantly improve her quality of life. Syd’s younger sister has started an awareness campaign. In addition, the family has said the 2 best ways to support Syd is to send her picture on the day of her surgery with #togetherwithsydney and to simply say a prayer for her and send her your favorite bible verse. Pain is real but so is hope…#togetherwithsydney
Branch: Oconomowoc – Main
Gift Recipient: Nicole Becher
Nomination: Nicole is a single mother of an 18 year old daughter and a son who is 14 years old. Nicole works as a janitor at OHS. She recently found out that her young daughter has thyroid cancer. Her daughter needed surgery and Nicole had to take time away from work to be with her daughter as she battles cancer. To be a single mom, knowing you have to financially care for three people in your household and to now to have the added pressure of all the medical bills that cancer treatment brings is a lot on one person. I would really like Nicole to receive some financial help that in turn would hopefully relive some of her stress. With her being a single parent it puts a big burden on her shoulder. I would like Nicole to get some financial help to pay medical bills for her teenage daughter who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Branch: Oconomowoc – Brown St.
Gift Recipient: Eliza Ellis
Nomination: I met Eliza and her family in Spring 2019 and their story touched me. As a mom, I can’t even begin to imagine the stress this family is under and as Christmas approaches, I am sure providing financial health support while also trying to give Eliza a special non-health related gift is tough but also very much wanted. From Eliza’s GoFundMe page, written by her parents on 5/22/19: There is no greater pain than watching a child suffer. Eliza Ellis has battled through devastating, life altering health issues as a child. She was living her life as a teenager, when at age 16, she woke up one day with an ear infection. Her family never could have guessed where that would lead. She began to experience difficulties in walking, speech regression, dystonia (a movement disorder with uncontrollable, jerky movements and painful muscle spasms), sleep disturbances, and other items. Her life and the lives of her family have been turned upside down. Eliza is now 18 and could really use a special surprise. I would love to see if we could give Eliza a holiday “surprise” and feel a camera or the Walt Box would give her a creative way to express herself and capture some moments/memories for her family. I hope she (and her family) are considered as a recipient of Bank Five Nine’s Holi-Days of Giving.
Branch: West Bend
Gift Recipient: Jennifer Mesko
Nomination: Jen puts her heart, energy and finances into making the holidays so special for high school students who need a positive influence. Hundreds benefit from her efforts and the celebration continues to grow with support. A true need in our high school environment. Too many homeless and unprivileged students that need to know we care during a difficult time for them. I love to see her receive gifts to contribute to her Holiday of Hope Christmas Party for needy high school students.