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Local bank spends the day horsing around for the greater good


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VICTOR — Key Bank employees from across the state and up from Utah saddled up this week to support Hapi Trails, a nonprofit horse rescue organization based in Victor.

“They showed up and these boys and gals jumped in and got to work,” laughed Julie Martin, the founder and executive director for Hapi Trails, an organization focused on horse adoption and rescue since 2009. “They had all this work done in about two hours.”

Every year, Key Bank staff in all of the 25 states and Washington DC, where branches and corporations are located, participate in “Neighbors Make a Difference Day.” The special designation allows bank employees to spend time outside of their offices and inside their communities volunteering for the day.

“Hapi Trails uses Key Bank as our bank,” said Martin. “Last year they approached us and asked if we would be interested in hosting a volunteer day with staff. They came and built three shelters for us. They loved the work so much that they wanted to come back this year.”

This year, encouraged by Stephanie Thalin, the branch manager in Driggs, Key Bank rallied all the troops and senior bank members traveled from Salt Lake City, Rexburg, Idaho Falls and Boise to construct new barn stalls. Eleven Key Bank participants rolled up their sleeves under a perfect Teton Valley day.

The barn where the crew spent their time working, is part of a multi-year project giving the nonprofit the ability to house horses in need of medical care or that are recovering from injury.

“The stalls going in were the icing on the cake today,” Martin said.

Key teammates included Stephanie Thalin, Madison Houdek, Talea Huntsman, Chelsea Gould, Andrew Ellis, Alex Hernandez, Doug Heward, Ryan Martin, Kyle Jensen, Brent Montgomery and Aaron Williamson.

“We don’t normally travel to one location like that,” said Aaron Williamson who drove over from Boise on Tuesday. “The Driggs branch sent out the call to upper management and it was great to see so many respond. We showed up and got a lot of work done and just had a hoot of a time.”

“Teton Valley and the greater east Idaho communities are extremely important to Key, particularly as the bank’s presence in the region dates back to an early time in Idaho’s statehood,” Williamson added.