Reviewing The 2017 Holi-days of Giving
This year’s Holi-Days of Giving program was an incredible experience for all involved. We received over 400 nominations this year (a new record!) and found 13 families/individuals who deserved a little extra holiday cheer this year. Each recipient received up to $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: Brown Street
Gift Recipient: Maverick
The Nomination: "Maverick has a genetic brain disease that is life threatening. He is not able to walk, talk or do anything on his own because of his lack of ability to control his gross and fine motor throughout his body because of his disease. It is called H-ABC Leukodystrophy.; Fight H-ABC. Mavericks wish is to receive a wheelchair ramp for his family’s van to make transportation much more comfortable and convenient for him and his family. Maverick is turning 4 years old this coming weekend on the 19th of November. I know that if you read Mavericks story you would feel called to grant Mavericks wish. Maverick has a GoFundMe page called Miracles for Maverick; Fight H-ABC."
Please take a few moments to read Maverick’s story here > https://www.gofundme.com/miraclesformaverickfighthabc
Gift Recipient: Bob & family
The Nomination: "My brother Bob has IV stage melanoma. Although Bob continues to fight to improve his chance of survival, the melanoma has spread to his lungs and brain. The only treatment is trial and very expensive. Bob is adamant he will be the 10% that survives past the five years, His twin girls age 11 do not ask for much, they just want to be with their father. They have never had a family portrait, and I would like the girls to have a nice photo to remember their Dad’s strength and courage and some outfits to wear in the photos."
Bank Five Nine provided a $500 gift card for Bob and his girls to go pick out nice holiday attire.
A big shout out and thank you to Kathleen Stogin Photography for generously donating her talent and services for this family photoshoot.
Branch: Oconomowoc Main
Gift Recipient: Doug
The Nomination: "I work with Doug through the Oconomowoc Park and Rec. Department. Doug is one of our most loyal, hard-working, positive instructors. He teaches our Tae Kwon Do program and has been dedicated to helping students succeed and grow through this program for so many years and in so many ways. We recently found out that Doug's wife was diagnosed with cancer. She had to have major surgery for this last year and as far as we know has been recovering as best she can. This has impacted their lives obviously and made it hard for Doug to work as much as he is used to and for her to work at all. While his wife was in the hospital recovering and later at home, Doug did not miss a beat helping her and also being here as a leader, mentor and instructor for his students. We think Doug's leadership, character and positivity deserves to be recognized. Doug has done so much for his students of this community and our Rec Department; we would like to nominate him for the Holi-Days of Giving to help brighten his family's holiday season a bit. Thank you for your consideration! Bank Five Nine surprised Doug with $500 worth of gift cards."
Branch: Brookfield East
Gift Recipient: Michelle
The Nomination: "Michelle and her girls, Camryn, Casey, and Caelyn, have been through unimaginable tragedies. Eight years ago Michelle and her husband Chris buried their 3rd daughter, Carsyn, at 4 months old as a result of congenital heart defects and complications. Instead of wallowing in their pain and sorrow, they picked themselves up, started the Wings of Angels Foundation in her memory and have risen over $300,000 benefitting Children's Hospital of WI, families caring for their children, research, etc. Chris returned to school to become an RN, caring for those same sick babies (and families) at Children's Hospital where Carsyn spent her 4 months of life. Chris and Michelle went on to have their 4th daughter Caelyn. On the 8th of October this year, at just 43 years, Chris was called from this life by a yet unexplained medical emergency. While still battling grief beyond imagination Michelle that on Chris' birthday, just 10 days later, friends and family, near and far, #Shineyourlight, for Chris by spreading joy in ways that Chris always did. Always giving, always sharing, always caring for others - through heart-wrenching grief, it is far time Michelle be graced with just a sliver of joy. I pray that you would find it in your heart to bless Michelle and girls as they struggle to find their way in this world again, after experiencing yet another tragedy. I would ask for a Mom - daughter day/date for Michelle and each of the girls."
Branch: Brookfield West
Gift Recipient: Jaxon
The Nomination: "Jaxon just turned 13. His two younger siblings both have special needs (down syndrome and spina bifida), and because of this I rely on Jaxon's help quite a bit. As a single mother, I recently relocated the four us back to my home state of Wisconsin from Florida for the necessary healthcare needed for my 2 special needs children. Not only does Jaxon help out with EVERYTHING, this move uprooted him from a small town (Destin, FL) where he grew up with all of his friends. He is in 8th grade in a new school, in a new town, and has to make all new friends. To add to an already stressful time in any 8th graders life, his younger brother Sebastian is in the same school as him for the first time which has ADDED stress. Jaxon takes care of getting his brother to his aid in the am, and on the bus after school. He does not have the opportunity to be a "normal" 8th grader, and for this I feel extremely guilty. My wish is for Jaxon to receive this much deserved gift to realize that his willingness to help is noticed and greatly appreciated. Jaxon is a very special young man that helps anyone he sees that is in need. He spent his recent last birthday participating in a roller coaster challenge that raised money to benefit Special Olympics Athletes."
Gift Recipient: Lauren
The Nomination: "I feel Lauren is deserving of this gift for a few reasons. Lauren is my daughter-in-law, and in the few years that I've known Lauren, she has overcome so much in her life. Today Lauren teaches at momentum child care center, she is doing such awesome job teaching the young "scholars" of tomorrow. I have included some photos and testimonials of parents on how Lauren has made an impact on their children’s life. I'm so proud to call Lauren my daughter. Lauren's laptop broke and is always borrowing her mother's so I feel Lauren could really use a new one for school planning. Thank you for considering Lauren for this gift."
Nominator: To remain anonymous
Gift Recipient: Krista
The Nomination: "For all of her adult life, Krista has been caring for others. At age 18 she joined the Sussex Fire Department as an EMT. From there she went on to nursing school, and has spent her life helping others in their moments of crisis. What a gift to be able to help her in hers. Approximately 18 months ago, Krista, then age 36, was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. A lifetime non-smoker, this diagnosis came as a considerable shock. Even through all the bumps on her journey, Krista handles life with dignity and grace. Krista is truly an inspiration to our community, and deserves some special holiday cheer this Christmas."
Nominator: Jack and Lisa G
Gift Recipient: Lisa B
The Nomination: "Lisa is a standout 8th grade science teacher at a Grafton Middle School. She was just recently diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphomna. Lisa is so dedicated to helping her students succeed that she decided to continue teaching through her courageous battle. She has bravely addressed her situation with all students + parents. There has been a lot of tears shed at the middle school. Lisa has exhausted all of her sick and vacation days so any gifts would be extremely helpful. Lisa has 2 children (ages 2 + 5) that are helping her with the fight. It would be a tremendous honor for Lisa to receive this gift - especially as the holidays near. You will not find a more caring individual that is truly passionate about her profession and helping others."
Gift Recipient: Pam
The Nomination: "Pam’s son Eian is a sweet 7 year old who is fighting against Leukemia. Pam has needed to take time off from work to focus on getting Eian better. Pam has 4 other children and the youngest is only 3 months old. Currently, Eian is fighting again an infection. I would like this wish for this family so they can focus on Eian."
Nominator: Christina L
Gift Recipient: Mark and Christine M
The Nomination: "Christine came into the branch to open 3 wutma accounts. She told me that she and her husband are taking over guardianship of her brothers 3 children. (Hannah 15, Harrison 13 + Harlow - 9). The Moores are remodeling their home to adjust to having 3 more children on top of their own. After some digging, we were able to learn that Christina's brother, Steve, was actually a victim of the Vegas shooting in October. It would be really awesome if Bank Five Nine could help brighten the holiday season for this family , who is adjusting to their whole lives being changed."
Branch: Menomonee Falls
Gift Recipient: Sarah
The Nomination: "Sarah’s 3rd child, Vivian, is extremely medically fragile. She was born with Chiari Malformation. She is respirator dependent, must be fed via g-tube 24/7 & has several other medical complications. After her birth Sarah had to quit work to provide constant care for Vivian. Sarah’s husband Clay has a job, but has to miss work a lot due to Vivian’s many visits to Children’s Hospital or care for the other children. As you can imagine finances are extremely tight. They try their best to keep life normal for the other 2 children as well as giving Vivian the best life possible. Clay & Sarah never get alone time because one of them has to be with Vivian 24/7. She has episodes where her heart & breathing stop as well as all brain activity. She has to be “bagged” back to life. Going anywhere, like shopping, is a major experience as Vivian has over 50 pounds of medical equipment that has to go everywhere she goes. Vivian is a fighter, a real warrior. She is beating all the odds by just surviving, learning sign language & learning to walk with a walker. She is 3 years old. I can’t imagine Sarah & Clay’s strength, the lack of sleep, fear & financial struggle they deal with on a daily basis. They are extremely deserving of any help they can get."
TMJ4 also made an appearance to cover the story. Watch the segment here!
Gift Recipient: Dahlia + Benjamin
The Nomination:"Dahlia and her husband Benjamin have had a challenging year and fallen under hard times. They struggle daily but outwardly show nothing but optimism and always spread warmth and kindness to others. They inspire me and deserve so much more. They deserve a surprise."
Branch: West Bend
Gift Recipient: Christina
Nomination: "Christina was just struck with tragedy in the morning hours of October 29th; her husband at the age of 37 was killed by a drunk driver and died at the scene. Christina has struggled financial and has children that she now has to raise on her own. Although, a little holiday cheer wouldn't take away the pain of being a widow at the age 33, it might bring a little comfort knowing that someone cares about what she is going through. This time of the year may be very difficult with the Holidays approaching and Jason's birthday (Nov 23rd). A little Holiday cheer may be what she needs during such a dark time in her life."