A Heartfelt Gift: Special Olympics Montana Receives $400,000 from First Interstate Bank

In a moment of wonderful surprise, Special Olympics Montana (SOMT) was blessed with an extraordinary gift of $400,000 from First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. This incredible donation, made possible through the Member Impact Fund grant program with a 3-to-1 funding match from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines, stands as the final distribution of First Interstate’s Member Impact Fund partnership for 2024.

“On behalf of more than 3,500 Special Olympics Montana athletes served annually, I want to express our gratitude for this generous gift. This significant donation from First Interstate Bank will enable us to further transform lives through the joy of sport, each and every day,” shared Rhonda McCarty, CEO of Special Olympics Montana.

SOMT’s mission is deeply rooted in the belief that every member of our community deserves the chance to thrive. Since its inception in 1970, the organization has been a beacon of hope and inclusion, providing athletic training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Over the past 50 years, SOMT has not only promoted physical fitness and courage but has also fostered joy and meaningful connections among athletes, their families, and the wider community.

With more than 3,500 athletes registered in 256 programs across 65 Montana communities, the reach and impact of SOMT are vast. This extensive network is supported by over 5,600 dedicated volunteers who tirelessly organize and host local, area, and state-level competitions. Headquartered in Great Falls, Montana, SOMT is accredited by Special Olympics, Inc., reflecting its commitment to excellence and inclusivity.

“This is what community banking is all about – helping the places we call home reach their greatest potential,” said First Interstate President and CEO Kevin Riley. “As a premier sponsor of Special Olympics Montana’s State Summer Games for many years, we’ve seen firsthand how the organization’s mission transforms the lives of the athletes, their families, and our communities. We are grateful to FHLB Des Moines for partnering with us on this initiative and are thrilled to put our values into action for the benefit of our communities.”

The Member Impact Fund, introduced by FHLB Des Moines in 2023, is a matching grant program aimed at supporting affordable housing and community development initiatives. This partnership has enabled First Interstate to provide nearly $2.6 million in philanthropic support this year alone to 125 eligible organizations across Montana, North Dakota, and Oregon.

Beyond this remarkable gift, First Interstate Bank consistently demonstrates its commitment to community betterment through annual donations and grants funded by pre-tax earnings. These contributions support a range of vital initiatives, including hunger alleviation, workforce development, early childhood education, and poverty mitigation, across its 14-state footprint.

The generous donation from First Interstate Bank and the FHLB Des Moines is more than just a financial contribution—it is a testament to the power of community and the profound impact that collective goodwill can have. With this support, Special Olympics Montana is empowered to continue its vital work, enriching the lives of athletes and fostering a more inclusive, joyful community for all. Thank you, First Interstate Bank, for your unwavering commitment to making our world a better place, one athlete at a time.

More information on First Interstate’s philanthropic efforts is available at firstinterstate.com, and more details about Special Olympics Montana can be found at https://www.somt.org/.

 About FHLB Des Moines

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is deeply committed to strengthening communities, serving 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories as a member-owned cooperative. We work together with over 1,200 member institutions to support affordable housing, economic development, and community improvement.

FHLB Des Moines is one of 11 regional Banks that make up the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Members include community and commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, thrifts, and community development financial institutions. FHLB Des Moines is wholly owned by its members and receives no taxpayer funding. For additional information about FHLB Des Moines, please visit www.fhlbdm.com.

 About First Interstate Bank

First Interstate is a community bank headquartered in Billings, Montana, delivering best-in-class banking and Wealth Management services across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. With more than 300 offices, First Interstate enhances the communities it serves through an innovative corporate philanthropy program, which includes donating a portion of Company profits, matching employees’ personal financial contributions, and donating $10 per hour for volunteer efforts made at qualifying organizations. To learn more, please visit www.firstinterstate.com.