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Bell State donation comes via Jiffy Lube

PAY IT FORWARD: From left are Bell State Bank & Trust Detroit Lakes President Mark Malingen, real estate lender Julia Okeson and customer service representative Holly Disse, who are presenting a $1,000 check to Jay and Beth Olness of Jiffy Lube in Detroit Lakes. The Olnesses in turn gave the money to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, represented by Executive Diorector Sue Wiger. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Talk about a virtuous circle: Bell State Bank & Trust in Detroit Lakes gave $1,000 to Jiffy Lube, which turned around and donated it to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Give credit where credit is due: The Bell State Bank & Trust’s Pay It Forward Program.

Starting in 2008, Bell State Bank & Trust gave employees an unusual Christmas gift: the opportunity to “Pay It Forward” to people in need.

Now it’s an annual tradition, with every full-time employee receiving $1,000 and every part-time employee $500 to give to an individual, family, organization or cause – a commitment totaling more than half a million dollars annually.

To date, more than $3.5 million has been given to others less fortunate and to organizations that help build local communities.

To celebrate the fifth year of Bell State Bank & Trust’s Pay It Forward program, every full-time employee was given an additional $1,000 and every part-time employee $500 to choose a customer, vendor or community member to help Pay It Forward in 2013.

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Fargo, Bell State Bank & Trust is the largest privately owned bank in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The bank has assets totaling over $2.6 billion and more than 1,000 employees at its 19 locations.