Dunbar Elementary served as a host site for Wells Fargo to celebrate its entry into Atlanta in grand fashion when the bank brought in its legendary stagecoach and horses Tuesday for an event that also celebrated the work of local nonprofits. Select students were allowed to ride in the stagecoach led by its team of four horses, following the ceremony that helped announce the bank’s merger with Wachovia and arrival in the Atlanta market.
Wells Fargo chose Dunbar in part due to its partnership with Sheltering Arms, which is a partner in APS’ nearby Early Learning and Literacy Resource Center (which opened this past March). The bank also will partner with Dunbar, teaching students financial literacy next semester. (They already were able to incorporate Wells Fargo into a history lesson on the Old West of the 19th century.)
“Thank you for the new partnership! My fourth- and fifth-graders are ready!” said Dunbar Principal Karen Brown-Collier (pictured above, lower midde). “They’re going to be entrepreneurs when they grow up so this is a good start for them.”
Fourth-grader Rondell Monroe (pictured above, upper left and center), joined two other students in welcoming the guests and was chosen to be the first student to ride on the stagecoach. It was his first incounter with a horse and a stagecoach, but he loved the ride. “At first it was a little scary, but then I got used to it. Once you got to sit down and let the horses pull, it kind of felt like a rollercoaster when you’re going really fast.”
During the ceremony Wells Fargo Vice President Candy Moore announced the delivery of $60,000 in donations to local non-profits, who were the winners of voter surveys. The metro Atlanta chapter of the American Red Cross received $25,000; Grady Memorial Hospital received $15,000; the Atlanta Community Food Bank received $10,000; and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and CredAbility (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling) each received $5,000.
“At Wells Fargo, education is always No. 1 as far as our philanthropy [efforts],” said Sue Williams, Wells Fargo community affairs manager.”
Funded by partners such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation and the Atlanta Housing Authority, the facility provides an educational foundation for children between the ages of six weeks and 10 years of age.