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Our Wishing Well was busy granting wishes during the holidays!

Making Holiday Wishes Come True

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As we spend this time with family and friends during the holiday season, we’re reminded that the spirit of giving doesn’t just end there, it extends into our communities. This is a time to show our generosity and support for those in need in our communities. Over the holidays, our Wishing Well made an extra push to grant wishes to people in our communities facing unseen challenges.

We are so grateful to have been able to grant such impactful wishes across many of our communities this holiday season. Check the wishes out below!


Building a Generous Foundation

Wanda Balsdon Wishing Well

Wanda Balsdon has owned and operated the New Beginnings Salon in Walhalla, ND, for 25 years. When she had a water pipe break under the foundation of the salon, she had to jackhammer through the floor to repair the issue. This also resulted in Wanda having to replace all the shelving in the salon.

With the holidays approaching and business steadily increasing, LaRae Horgan, Business Loan Service Specialist at Choice Bank, sent in a wish to the Wishing Well to help cover the funds to repair the salon’s foundation and repair the broken pipe.

At Choice Bank, we are huge supporters of our local small businesses and could not wait to grant this wish. A few members from the Choice team went over to Wanda’s salon to present her with the wish and she couldn’t have been more surprised!


Giving is for All Ages

Kayla Every Wishing Well

Anyone can make a positive impact in the life of others, regardless of age, all it takes is a little initiative. A story that we find especially inspiring is that of 5-year-old Hudson. Hudson is the son of Kayla Every, Credit Analyst at Choice Bank in Grand Forks. He is a bubbly kid who loves school and making new friends. When Hudson noticed that his classmate, King, had a garbage bag covering a broken window on his family’s van, it made him sad, and he wanted to be able to help his classmate in some way.

“When his heart hurts, so does mine,” Kayla said. “As soon as he said King’s window was broken, I knew we need to do something to help!”

Kayla submitted a wish to the Wishing Well on Hudson’s behalf to repair King’s window and we were so excited to grant it! Kayla and Hudson surprised King’s family and they were pleasantly shocked. The two families shared happy tears, warm smiles, and big hugs.

“I think it is important to always try to do what is best for others, as we never know what situation they are in,” Kayla said. “In this case, it was heartwarming for me to be able to show my son just that.”


Positivity in the Face of Difficulty

McCoy Wishing Well Belfield

Five-year-old McCoy, who was born with Cat Eye Syndrome, is a radiant source of positivity. Cat Eye Syndrome is a rare chromosomal disorder that is commonly manifested in abnormalities of the eye, ear, abdominal organs, and heart.

Despite being so young, McCoy has bravely undergone many procedures to treat his condition. He had 9 surgeries before he was 2 years old and just had his 10th surgery to fix a submucous cleft palate. These surgeries include a colostomy, heart procedures, skull surgery, and surgery to correct a tethered cord in his spine. With all his surgeries, McCoy has spent a total of 113 nights in the hospital.

McCoy’s mother Jenna said that it can be hard on the family to be away from home in Belfield, ND, so often. All the surgeries and procedures result in a significant amount of time away from home and family, staying in hotels, and driving to the hospital. Through the Wishing Well, we were able to give Jenna hotel and gas gift cards to provide their family with some extra support and relief, as well as a travel bundle of movies and games for McCoy to keep busy on his long car rides

“Because we are able to talk about a lot of this stuff it helps us get through it,” Jenna said on what has been helpful for her family through this situation. Jenna said she has made strong, lasting connections through a Facebook group of other parents who have children with Cat Eye Syndrome. “I think just being open about the situations that are given to you because that way you can talk about it and get help from other people.”


Extending Grief Counseling Services to Rural Communities

Grief Counselor Wishing Well

When someone experiences the death of a loved one, it can be a very isolating experience. It’s Heather Duerre’s hope to change that. Heather is a spiritual/grief coordinator serving Walhalla, ND, and the surrounding rural area.

“It’s important people feel supported as they mourn the loss,” Heather said. “This support can be especially hard to find in rural areas. We don’t have quite as many conventional resources like bigger cities may be able to provide.”

Since every journey with grief is unique, each journey requires different resources. Especially as people in rural areas can feel more isolated. To continue to better her rural community, Heather sent a wish to our Wishing Well for supplies for this mission.

We were more than happy to support Heather’s mission of providing compassionate and understanding care to those experiencing loss in rural North Dakota by providing items such as devotionals, books, and prayer stones.

“Grief is a very hard journey that can seem overwhelming much of the time. To be able to offer hope to those mourning a loss is a tremendous gift that will impact countless lives,” Heather said. “It is human to grieve after a loss. If someone you loved has died, please reach out for support. There is a comfort in knowing you are not alone.”

Wishing well coin

The Choice Bank Wishing Well is accepting wishes! Ready to cast yours? Visit and let us know who you would like to help out in your community.

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