Gate City Bank is embracing the philosophy of giving back to our communities to provide a better way of life. In 2018, our employees volunteered 14,145 hours of their time and talent to non-profit organizations. Their efforts combined with Gate City Bank’s charitable giving provide a value of more than $2.2 million to organizations across the state of North Dakota and west central Minnesota.
Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre
Gate City Bank is proud to partner with the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) to make a difference in our community. The first program of its kind in Fargo-Moorhead, FMCT will be offering special sensory-friendly performances to make going to the theatre possible for children with autism and their families. With our monetary gift, kids and families from all walks of life will have the opportunity to enjoy the joy and excitement of a theatre performance. In addition to our donation, our support for the FMCT is expressed through volunteer opportunities with the FMCT and Gate City Bank team members.
With many aspects required to make a performance sensory-friendly, our contribution has helped to purchase noise-canceling headphones, as well as "fidget" supplies. A video monitor in a separate safe space is also planned to allow those who feel overwhelmed during a performance to move to a secondary location and continue viewing the production.
Providing the opportunity for children with autism and their families to enjoy the local arts is what creating a Better Way of Life is all about!
Karin>>> My name is Karin Rudd with Gate City Bank today we're at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater to talk about this new amazing program.
Rachell can you tell me a little bit about how this program began.
Rachell>>> Early last spring I was asked to do a presentation the first of many and all of these arts professionals came together and want to make Arts in the community accessible for everybody who has different needs.
Adam>>> So sensory friendly programming are theatrical performances that are adapted specifically for the needs of children on the autism spectrum.
Lucas>>> I always see one of the central jobs as an actor is to put your audience at ease so that they can just sit back relax and enjoy the show. For this performance you just have to take a couple extra steps to ensure that the audience is coming in ready to relax and enjoy your production and so before the production we would come out on stage and say hi my name is Lucas I am NOT a scary character if I appear as I say I'm the big bad wolf in a production. I would come out and introduce myself as Lucas before introducing them to a character that might otherwise cause some apprehension during the production.
Karin>>> Adam can you tell me a little bit about the safe spaces?
Adam>>> Sure a safe space will be a spot that that families can kinda slip out of the performance if things become a little too overwhelming there are activities that will be there to kind of calm and soothe and when when families and children and adults are ready to come back into the performance that's an option as well.
Lucas>>> We firmly believe that theatre is for everybody and we want everyone in the community to be able to come to our theater and enjoy a production with the entire family.
Eloise>>> Well it really opens up the doors to more people it's been very interesting learning from families who have autistic children that sometimes they're not able to go to things and by coming here we're trying to create a very safe environment for them so it's really opening those doors to possibly a part of the community who would not normally come to the theater.
Dayna>>> The value to the arts is that they transcend culture and language and age and ability and socioeconomic status and all those pieces everyone who sits in an in a seat in an audience or everyone who stands on a stage is the same at the end of the day and they're all experiencing the emotional connection that we have to art.
Lucas>>> And so with these performances we just want to sort of remove the stigma around coming to a performance that they don't have to feel like they're going to be interrupting or disruptive to the performance because that's really a built-in component of what this program is all about.
Adam>>> We're here to be able to provide an opportunity for their families and and these these children and adults to come and see these these performances in a safe environment.
Rachell>>> There are choices there are ways that we can help your child or family member be successful and I think by just offering the performance is a message to the community saying you're welcome here.
Karin>>> Thank You Rachael for joining us today.
Rachell>>> Thank you for having me.
Karin>>> And Gate City Bank would like to thank the fargo-moorhead community theater for bringing a better way of life to all members of our communities.
Great Plains Food Bank
Gate City Bank is honored to partner with the Great Plains Food Bank, an organization that, like us, is dedicated to serving the state of North Dakota. It is a privilege for both of our organizations to work together to help individuals and families in need across the state. Gate City Bank is providing financial support to the Great Plains Food Bank Feed The Future Campaign with a gift of $250,000.
Through the partnership, the Great Plains Food Bank was able to purchase a new trailer. This new trailer, featuring the partnership between our organizations, will have an impact on the 94,000 North Dakotans who seek emergency food assistance each year. Over the next 12 months, it will supply food to low-income seniors, bring fresh produce to communities with limited access to this type of product, and deliver millions of pounds of food to our partner network of food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens operating statewide.
Together we can solve hunger For a Better Way of Life® for our communities in need.
[music] Marcia>> Isn't it a beautiful morning for hunger relief? YES! YES! Any day is when we come together and make amazing things happen, and that is exactly what is happening today. Our organizations have a shared vision, and that is to ensure all North Dakotans have access to nutritious food on any given day to feed themselves and their families. And our friends at Gate City Bank answered the call, uh with a recent gift of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. YES! [clapping] [music] And this morning, we're unveiling a design on this new trailer that highlights this incredible partnership. Norm>> At Gate City Bank, we believe that it is our responsibility to make a difference in our community by helping idividuals and families that are in need. Macia>> one, two, three [clapping] [music] Norm>> Gate City Bank proudly supports the work of the Great Plains Food Bank because for many of our neighbors a better way of life begins simply by receiving one of the most basic human needs, food. Marcia>> We believe ending hunger is our shared responsibility, and it's the right thing to do. We're grateful for partners like Gate City Bank who are working with us to end hunger in North Dakota. Norm>> There are so many ways to help end hunger, please join us. [music]