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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

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There are many qualities that make a good friend; sharing common interests, quality time over dinner and drinks, or working at the same bank, to name a few. But more than someone to share in good times, a friend is someone who will come to your aid in the hard times as well.

Of these types of friends, Darlene Geerts has many. She is a Frontline Specialist in Dickinson, far from her family back in her home state of Arizona. When 2016 brought complicated medical issues for Darlene, she looked to her friends for support. And when she had a surgical procedure scheduled, they came to her aid.

“The doctors said I needed to get a ride home from a surgical procedure in November, due to the anesthesia,” she explained. “I’ve never needed surgery before.”

She mentioned it to her friends, Dorice Salzer and Janet Lindbo. Dorice is a Loan Assistant in Dickinson and Janet is a Senior Frontline Specialist in Belfield. Dorice immediately agreed to pick her up and drop her off at the Hospital. And after the procedure, Janet picked up Darlene at the Hospital and drove her home.

Dallon Bitz, a Credit Analyst in Dickinson was moved when he heard the story.

“When someone does something nice like that for a coworker, it shouldn’t go unnoticed,” he said.

Not long after that, Janet came to Darlene’s rescue again in a big way. She now needed to head to a hospital four hours away in Rapid City, SD. Janet stepped up. The trip meant they would stay for two days in Rapid City at a motel.

“She gave up her vacation days for me,” Darlene said. “And Janet’s husband, Rod, was kind enough to drive, even though he didn’t know how the weather would be.”

“She gave up her vacation days for me.”

The three stayed for two days, did some shopping, and Janet and her husband visited with Darlene at the hospital. When they left, they were nearly stranded by a blizzard. But they made it home just in time; the day before Christmas Eve.

Despite being far from her immediate family, these friends are a family away from home for Darlene. In fact, she and Janet first met through Janet’s mother.

“My mom won a prize at the Dickinson bank way back when,” Janet said. “Ever since then, my mom, Darlene, and I go out for lunch regularly. She calls my mom her mom.”

These friends find inspiration in Choice’s core values like, “Smile, be helpful and be passionate,” and “Know when to ask for help and know when to offer help.” When it comes right down to it, both Janet and Dorice say that it’s about being a true friend.

“I feel lucky to have friends like Janet and Dorice, to help when you need it,” Darlene said.

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Janet Lindbo and Darlene Geerts