Neighborhood perks up with Park Perks

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Almost everyone uses a bank, but few people think of their bank as a place to grab a cup of coffee.

Park Midway Bank’s coffee bar makes them different from most other banks. But Park Perks is not only a place to get a shot of America’s favorite beverage; it’s also a reflection of the bank’s commitment to community service.

Each month, the bank donates all the profits from Park Perks to a local nonprofit organization. That amounts to over $1,000 a month.

According to President Rick Beeson, the bank is especially interested in benefiting small nonprofits.

“We’re targeting organiza-tions where this addition to their income will really make a difference,” he said. “These are places that don’t have a professional fundraising effort.”

Vice President Terri Banaszewski said that so far, profits from Park Perks have mainly gone to organizations that work with kids — a Boy Scout troop, day care providers and so forth. February’s donee will be St. Anthony Park Elementary’s DestinationImagination teams.

Beeson said that in addition to giving money that can be used to shore up whatever an organization’s current needs are, the bank is also interested in targeting specific projects that might otherwise go unfunded.

Vice president Connie Powell said the bank pays all the expenses for Park Perks, which besides coffee and espresso also offers several kinds of cookies, baked fresh on site.

“Every dollar we take in goes to the designated organization of the month,” she said.

Park Perks is the centerpiece of Park Midway Bank’s new building, which opened in September at 2300 Como Ave. on land formerly occupied by the bank’s drive-up facility. The 15,000-square-foot building is the first bank in Minnesota to be LEED certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a national standard for developing environmentally sustainable buildings.

What was originally called Park Bank was established in 1916 and has occupied four different locations on Como Avenue. The new building’s design reflects input from an advisory committee the bank created to help it be responsive to community input.

“Banking, like many things, has become increasingly electronic,” said Beeson. “But for those customers of ours who still physically come to the bank, we wanted to create an inviting atmosphere, and Park Perks helps do that. It’s more than just an amenity, though. We see it as a way to help strengthen the neighborhood. It’s great to put a smile on the face of community people who are doing good work.”

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