Fifth Third surprises families of babies born on May 3 with $1,053 for college

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Damian Stoel was one of the 31 births on May 3, Fifth Third Day. Courtesy Fifth Third Bank

A local bank recently celebrated “Fifth Third Day” by giving away money to help parents start college funds for their newborns.

Fifth Third Bank celebrated its namesake day (5/3 on the calendar) by surprising the families of 31 babies born in participating West Michigan and northern Michigan hospitals with $1,053 to open a college savings account, as well as giving them a Fifth Third signature onesie.

For more than 27 years, the bank has used May 3 as a day to recognize employee contributions, thank customers and support communities.

The hospitals it partnered with to surprise parents with babies born on May 3 included Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Mercy Health Muskegon, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health, Munson Medical Center Traverse City and Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.

“Finding ways to strengthen families is our mission, and I can’t think of a better way to support parents and children than helping them start saving for a college education,” said Tom Welch, West Michigan regional president at Fifth Third Bank. “What a great way to celebrate Fifth Third Day and recognize the newest members of our community.”

This year’s celebration was slightly different due to COVID-19 protocols. Fifth Third worked with hospital staff to provide a Fifth Third baby gift box to each family that included instructions on how to receive the $1,053 to open a 529 savings account through GiftofCollege.com in a state or educational institution of their choosing. Fifth Third is working with Gift of College to distribute the funds and to provide easy online setup of the account for these new parents.

One of the 31 births on May 3 was Damian Stoel, born at Metro Health-University of Michigan Health hospital.

“5/3 has become one of the most important days in our lives with the birth of our second child, Damian,” the Stoel parents said. “We are honored that Fifth Third wanted to share in that special day by investing in his education. Thank you very much for this generous gift.”

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