Alpine Bank Permanent Book Fund

The newly-created Alpine Bank Permanent Book Fund supports children’s books at the Montrose Regional Library.  When I asked Allison Nadel, Assistant Vice President, why Alpine Bank chose to start a Book Fund, she cited the company’s belief in the critical importance of early literacy as a foundation for future academic success.  It’s refreshing to be talking with someone who really understands how vital libraries are to providing children with the skills they’ll need to learn to read and write.  It’s not surprising, given that Allison is the incoming president of Altrusa International of Montrose, an organization with literacy as one of its primary purposes.

Allison grew up in Ridgway, the great, great granddaughter of a Ouray miner, and spent nine years as florist before applying to be a part-time teller at Alpine Bank (not long after a particularly trying Valentine’s Day).  Bank management recognized this diamond in the rough and she rose through the ranks to her current position as an Assistant Vice President.  She told me about Alpine Bank’s commitment to professional development and their support of her participation in a three-year graduate banking program.  She  used the Library’s resources to help with her research papers for the program.  When she’s not reading for classwork, she enjoys mystery and science fiction.  She enjoyed the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and cites The Help by Kathryn Stockett as a favorite.  But she’s very fond of David Sedaris, an essay and short story writer whose books (which sport delightful titles like Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim) have sold more than seven million copies.  She has read a lot of children’s books to her eight nieces and nephews, and she’s no stranger to the Marguerite H. Gill Children’s Room at the Library.

“It’s wonderful to see how the Library has grown from its former home [in the building that now houses the Police Station],” Allison says.  “The children’s programming at the Library is phenomenal and really gets kids excited about reading.  Alpine Bank is pleased to be a part of what the Library does”

Alpine Bank is funding its Permanent Book Fund through contributions from its Loyalty Check Card Program.  Each time a customer uses their Loyalty Check Card, Alpine Bank donates 10 cents per transaction to organizations from one of six areas:  Arts, Community, Education, Environment, Colorado Mountain College, and Latin-American Communities.  Through this program, Alpine Bank has donated more than $4 million in ten years.  As Alpine Bank Chairman J. Robert Young says, “Our focus has always been based on a cooperative civic spirit that is not only right for business, it is just the right thing to do.”

The Permanent Book Fund is among several local educational projects supported by Alpine Bank.  The bank also pays for grades, through their Pays for A’s program, inviting schoolchildren to submit their report cards each quarter, with the winners receiving $10 for each A and $5 for every B (up to $50).  Alpine Bank also funds the Montrose Education Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award, provides the J. Robert Young Scholarship for area high school graduates, and is a sponsor of Colorado Mesa University’s Entrepreneurship Day.

“We hope to be an example for other businesses to establish Permanent Book Funds,” says Allison.  “We need to invest in our community, just as the community invests in us.”