Fast Money Blog

The Lifeblood of a Community


Palmer, Nebraska is the home of the Dinsdale family and the birthplace of Pinnacle Bank. It is a community of about 450. At its center is a K-12 school with about 220 students. Good students. Hard working students. Students that have different visions for their futures, but an identical commitment to each other.

The school is the heart of the community. When you walk its sidewalks, you hear the locals talking about the basketball game or the bake sale. And up until a few months ago, you heard them talking with Gary Monter. He was part of the fabric of the community. Until one day, while riding his bike, he had a sudden aneurysm and passed away. He was 53 years old.

Today, people from the town talk not with Gary, but about him. They tell stories about how one time in Atlanta, he bought dinner and a hotel room for a homeless family he just happened to meet on the street. They talk about the charity bike race they rode in his honor. And the scholarship fund set up in his name at the Merrick Foundation in Central City.

That’s right. Gary is still helping the students of Palmer.

If Palmer Schools are the lifeblood of the community, Gary Monter was the lifeblood of Palmer Schools. But the town has been around for more than 100 years and the people there know how to find strength in each other. They have grieved together. And begun to heal together. That’s why community matters.