Starion Bank has donated $100,000 to a pair of new community projects in its hometown of Oakes, North Dakota.

The first project is the finalization of a sponsorship and naming rights agreement with Oakes Public School District.  In 2019, the school district approved a $350,000 renovation to the track facility. Included in the project are a new track, facilities improvements, equipment upgrades, and increased storage.

“Starion was great to work with through the naming rights agreement. As the new superintendent, it was wonderful to see the community support for our school system and the activities we have for students,” said David Goetz, Superintendent of Oakes Public Schools.

Under the 20-year, $50,000 sponsorship agreement, the district grants Starion exclusive naming rights to the facility, which will now be known as Starion Complex. The deal runs from 2021 until 2041. New signage was installed at the Starion Complex in September. A large LED sign sits at the North entrance near HWY No. 1, and a second sign is located on the east side of the track, facing spectators.

"Oakes Public School is grateful to Starion Bank for their generous investment in Starion Complex,” said Sonia Meehl, Oakes School Board President. “As they’ve done for generations, Starion and the Larson family continue to make investments that make Oakes a great place to live and raise families.”

The second project is a $50,000 donation and sponsorship to Growing Small Towns, a new nonprofit based in Oakes. Growing Small Towns aims to help communities in southeast North Dakota attract new residents and businesses and celebrate local culture.

"We are thrilled to have Starion Bank's support to help us launch Growing Small Towns,” said Founder and Executive Director, Rebecca Undem. “Small towns are facing a really exciting new frontier and we can't wait to work with communities throughout our seven-county region to think differently about what it means to love where you live."

Starion has provided permanent signage in the primary meeting room at Growing Small Towns. The space serves as an innovation lab for businesses and community members to hold meetings, attend training, and brainstorm new ideas. Ultimately, the goal is to nurture new growth in southeast North Dakota and continue being “a place that people love to call home.” 

Starion Bank Oakes Market President John Zetocha is pleased with the results of the company’s community-boosting efforts. “We ’re committed to serving and improving our local communities, and we couldn’t be happier about how these two projects turned out. Oakes is where it all started for us, back in 1969. Starion could not have succeeded without the support from this unique rural community. We’re proud to give back to the school district and local business development, and support activities that have such a positive influence on our entire rural population.”