Zions Bank continues ornament giving tradition
Ephraim and Manti Elementary students helped local Zions banks ring in the holidays with the 47th Annual “Lights On” Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1, and on Monday.
The tradition gives banks a chance to support local schools while allowing kids to venture downtown to decorate the enormous trees standing in bank lobbies.
“It’s amazing to see the students bring Christmas to our downtown businesses,” Ephraim branch manager Nate Christensen said. “They’ve clearly created one of the best-decorated trees in all of Ephraim.”
While Manti has held the tradition for over 13 years, Ephraim’s involvement is only in its third year. The bank began supporting Ephraim Elementary students after the branch relocated to the current building from Market Fresh in 2013. Before then, students were not able to participate due to the size and location of the former branch.
David Warren, Manti branch manager, says his favorite working day of the year is when students visit the branch. “This sets the tone for us. It is just so much fun,” he says.
Zions donates money to schools to purchase materials for kids to make ornaments. Then kids walk or are bused to the bank, where they hang their creations on the trees and sing carols for staff and visitors.
Ephraim Elementary principal Gannon Jones accepted a $100 donation on behalf of the school.
Christensen says he remembers participating in the tradition when he was a young elementary student in Salina.
“We made the ornaments at school, and I remember walking across Main Street to the bank to hang the ornaments,” he said. “It reminds me of the magic of being a child.”
After ornaments had been hung and songs were sung, staff in Ephraim gave kids donuts, when one student remarked, “You are clearly on the good list this year.”