It was only a couple of months ago, on a typical, cold winter day that Connie Smedshammer found herself at Choice Bank in LaMoure, ND. She was there to meet with Gaige Dunn, Credit Banker and Brent Thielges, Location President, but not because she wanted to open an account or take out a loan.
Back in the fall she submitted a wish through Choice’s Wishing Well program for her daughter Jody Smedshammer.
Jody has muscular dystrophy, which makes it difficult for her to be out and about for long periods of time. But despite the challenges, Jody still manages to work 20 hours a week at the local thrift store.
Connie explained that having a mobility scooter would make it much easier for Jody to get around and be more independent. The catch? New mobility scooters can cost upwards of $2,000!
In her wish, Connie explained that having a mobility scooter would make it much easier for Jody to get around and be more independent. The catch? New mobility scooters can cost upwards of $2,000! And while the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has resources to help assist individuals with locating mobility equipment, they do not help facilitate the funding to acquire one.
Gathered in Gaige’s office, Gaige re-read Connie’s wish back to her. After he finished he looked up at Connie with a smile on his face and said, “On behalf of Choice Bank we would like to grant your wish!”
Connie started to tear up. Tissues were passed around.
“If she was here, she’d be crying too,” Connie said.
After a hug and a couple more tissues, Gaige continued, “As the inside person we’d like to get your help in putting this together for her.”
“Yeah, can we surprise her with it?” Brent asked.
“That would be super!” Connie replied.
A couple months went by as Gaige and Brent worked with Connie to find the perfect scooter for Jody and come up with a master plan to surprise her.
Finally, on a nice, spring day in March, all the pieces came together. Gaige, along with coworkers Jen LeBlanc, Business Loan Services Specialist and Jen Schlader, Client Services Specialist, set out with a brand new red scooter to meet Connie at the local thrift store where Jody worked.
Jody stood there shocked with tears starting to well up in her eyes. Connie reached over for a hug. “We’ve been planning this for a long time,” she said.
Family, friends, and coworkers gathered around as Connie led Jody into the room. “Jody this wish was submitted by your mother on your behalf, and we’re here to grant your wish.” Gaige said as he unveiled the scooter filled with Easter goodies. “We had a lot of secret helpers.”
Jody stood there shocked with tears starting to well up in her eyes. Connie reached over for a hug. “We’ve been planning this for a long time,” she said. “It’s all new…like a Cadillac!” To top off the occasion, Jody’s coworkers presented her with flowers. “Thank you!” she said.
Jody spent the next few moments checking out all the bells and whistles on her new scooter. Brakes? Check. Lights? Check. USB port? Check! Jody was ready to take on anything. All it took was a wish, a little help, and a brand new scooter.