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BMO Harris Bank Unveils BMO200 Fountain and Announces More Than $11 Million in Donations to Programs throughout Chicago to Mark BMO's Bicentennial
  • BMO invites people to make wishes at the BMO200 fountain located outside The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Avenue
  • BMO will be fulfilling wishes made at the fountain over the course of the year in an effort to continue the bank's legacy of giving back to the communities in which it does business

CHICAGO, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - To mark BMO's 200th year, and to help communities throughout Chicago, BMO Harris Bank today announced that it is donating $11,200,000 to programs in the Chicago area in 2017. In the spirit of today's announcement, BMO invited everyone in the community to make their own wishes, in person or online, through the BMO200 fountain.

More than 500 local organizations will receive, or have already received, donations from BMO Harris Bank in 2017, including major gifts to:

  • Chicago Public Library YOUmedia Program, which includes collaborative and independent learning and discovery for teens at numerous CPL locations
  • Chicago Public School's "CPS SCORE!" Initiative, which promotes increased after-school sports program participation for elementary students
  • United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's Neighborhood Network initiative, which aims to address local community challenges and achieve lasting change

Individuals across North America are invited to join BMO in marking its bicentennial by making a wish at the BMO200 fountain, which stands 17 feet high and is located outside The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Avenue, on level 1 nearest the Nordstrom mall entrance. Those who are unable to visit in person can still make a wish by visiting BMO will be fulfilling a number of the wishes, both big and small, across a number of categories, including Green, Togetherness, Legacy and Community.

"For 200 years, we have been financing economic expansion and helping our customers achieve their ambitions along the way," said David Casper, President and CEO, BMO Harris Bank.  "A major component of our success has been our steadfast commitment to the communities we serve. From helping the city rebuild after the Chicago Fire with a $5,000 donation in 1871, to being the founding contributor to the Chicago Community Trust in 1915, our ties to the city run deep."

The bicentennial fountain is a modern twist on an old idea that pays homage to the centuries-old tradition of making a wish by tossing a coin into a fountain. That nod to the past is combined with a distinctive look to the future. The fountain has no water, but instead uses thousands of flip dots – the traditional technology used in destination boards at train stations – to create a unique ripple effect every time a wish is made. 

"I encourage everyone to visit our fountain, either in person or online, and make a wish," added Casper.  "We look forward to bringing some of those wishes to life."

BMO's History in Chicago

Bank of Montreal was established in 1817. In 1861, at the invitation of a group of local grain merchants, Bank of Montreal set up a permanent agency in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune observed that it "will afford proper and much needed facilities to our large and rapidly increasing Canadian trade." Bank of Montreal soon emerged as a leading source of finance for Chicago's export trade. Meanwhile, in 1882, Norman Wait Harris opened the N.W. Harris and Company in Chicago.  The firm started off selling municipal bonds to fund the building of roads, schools, waterworks and other such necessities. By 1907, the company became known as Harris Trust and Savings Bank. Years later, in 1984, Harris Bank was acquired by Bank of Montreal.

About BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through nearly 600 branches and almost 1,400 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local market knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are subject to bank and credit approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,500 branches, and CDN $692 billion in assets (as of January 31, 2017).

Media Contact: 
Patrick O'Herlihy,  (312) 461-6970  


SOURCE BMO Harris Bank