Local bank celebrates The Refuge Network holiday giving tree

Each Christmas for the past 21 years, Landmark Community Bank’s customers and employees generously provide holiday cheer for the children of The Refuge Network.

Pictured are Landmark Bank employees and Ryan Marr, Financial Planner at Landmark Investment Services. In front are Angela Ledding-Dynkavitch, Connie Nelson and Lori Ness. In the middle are Lisa Johnson and Annette Wendel. In back are Ryan Marr, Laura Grondin, Heather Tuomala and Jessica Harris.

Pictured are Landmark Bank employees and Ryan Marr, Financial Planner at Landmark Investment Services. In front are Angela Ledding-Dynkavitch, Connie Nelson and Lori Ness. In the middle are Lisa Johnson and Annette Wendel. In back are Ryan Marr, Laura Grondin, Heather Tuomala and Jessica Harris.

A Giving Tree is set up in Landmark’s lobby and decorated with ornaments containing information about each child. This year, 51 children received the blessing of caring from our community through Landmark’s Giving Tree project.

But those who shop for a child always receive the biggest blessing. Some parents chose ornaments of children the same age as their own and share the joy of shopping as a family. Two sisters have participated with the Giving Tree for the past sixteen years, beginning with donating their allowances and now as adults they each choose at least one child, saying: “This is the highlight of our Christmas.”

Most of those who give go above and beyond with special touches.  They pack their gifts into a fun backpack, add a handwritten Christmas card or tuck a wallet containing a gift card into a pair of jeans. Many of Landmark’s employees take several ornaments every year, seizing the opportunity to give the gift of hope.

The Refuge Network’s mission is to bring an end to domestic violence by providing supportive, non-judgmental services, since “no one deserves to be abused.”

Margaret Johnson-Barr (President Kevin Johnson’s mother and Vice President of Finance/Director T. Ryan Johnson’s grandmother) was a co-founder of The Refuge Network, along with Nancy Peterson.

Since its inception in 1986 through October, 2011, The Refuge Network has assisted 22,870 victims of domestic violence with over 71,565 follow-up contacts. Safe housing was provided for 153 women and children in 2011. It also educates through presentations and training to help stop the cycle of violence. In 2011, the organization reached out to over 4,684 community members and provided classroom presentations on bullying, sexual assault, dating and family violence to over 1,470 students. Visit The Refuge Network website at therefugenetwork.org for information on this organization’s vital work in our community.

According to Landmark’s President Kevin Johnson, “Our customers and employees are blessed each holiday season by this unique opportunity to support these children. Watching our community work together on such a deserving project is an inspiration to all of us.”

Landmark Community Bank wants to acknowledge and extend its appreciation to employees, customers, and friends, along with its Board of Directors and Landmark Investment Services for their generous donations. To everyone who supports the Giving Tree, thank you—it makes a huge difference to children who need to know someone cares.

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