U.S. Bank has been one of the biggest advocates for Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) since our partnership began more than 22 years ago. Whether it’s a competition, a Polar Plunge or even a fundraising event, we can always count on employees from U.S. Bank attending, volunteering or working behind the scenes with our SOMN staff.
U.S. Bank has been the Title Sponsor of Special Olympics Minnesota’s Spring Games since 1992. Their employees have consistently demonstrated their amazing capacity for supporting our 8,000 athletes through countless hours of volunteering, coaching, mentoring and generous financial gifts. In 2014, more than 349 U.S. Bank team members volunteered with SOMN, totaling over 1,500 hours. Additionally, more than 450 of their employees joined in on the Plunge fun, taking the icy dip during the 2014 Plunge season.
“The Polar Plunge has been a wonderful opportunity for U.S. Bank to support one of our most important community partners and facilitate our team building efforts,” said Elliot Jaffee, Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking. “I started Plunging in 2009 (just my then 18-year old son and me); in 2010 we had 25 U.S. Bank employees at Lake Calhoun. In 2014, more than 458 U.S. Bank employees participated in Plunges all across the state of Minnesota, raising over $156,000. We really enjoy the energy, enthusiasm and spirit of the event!”
For U.S. Bank, the event became more than merely raising money for a good cause: It was about the excitement of the Plunges themselves and harnessing the true spirit of team-building. Nothing embodies the concept of togetherness more than standing alongside your co-workers, supervisors or President, taking a leap of faith together into a frozen lake! “The Plunge was an incredible rush, provided for great team building and all for a good cause,” said Kristopher Nikolas, U.S. Bank Commercial Banking and Plunge enthusiast. “An outstanding event put on by Special Olympics [Minnesota].”
The rallying cry of their Plunge Challenge has only deepened U.S. Bank’s involvement. Aside from providing a much-needed break from the winter blues, the true goal of this event was to create a movement within U.S. Bank headed by the Development Network. Each member of the Development Network puts countless hours of their time, professionalism, experience and renewed commitment to return bigger and better each year!
We are honored to have U.S. Bank as a part of our organization. They have made a BIG splash in the community with the Polar Plunge, and we look forward to continue making waves for the next 22 years and beyond!