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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » Contact » 4th Quarter » CUs & People  

Members of the Mid-Michigan Chapter donate $19,350 to Habitat for Humanity on-site at the deconstruct/reconstruct “green” house project.


Left to right: Amanda Schultz, BTCU; Briege Gish, TCU; Chandra Ashby, Four Flags Area CU; Dave Van Strien, Greater Niles CU; and Kent Figy of United FCU.


Front row, from left: Tracey Miller of Kellogg Community FCU; Liz Amundson of Battle Creek Area FCU; LuAnn Schott of Grand Trunk CU; and Jennifer Fopma of SAFE Place Shelter.  Back row, from left: Chris Overbeek and Ted Parsons of
OMNI Community CU.


OMNI Community Credit Union's Diane Buckley (left) and Carla Tungate (right) deliver backpacks to Lakeview Middle School's Administrative Assistant Tammy Bicknell (middle).


Left to right, Central Macomb Community CU CEO Drema Isaac; scholarship winners Kelly Beversdorf and Emily Shortt; board secretary/treasurer Christina Nuttall.


Karen Dahl (second from right) and Richard Gatiss (far right), representatives of the UP Chapter of the MCUL present Beacon House president Renée Prince (left)and executive director Marcy Griffen (second from left) with a donation raised during the U.P. Chapter’s annual golf outing.

Mid-Michigan Chapter credit unions are participating in Habitat for Humanity’s first deconstruct/reconstruct “green” house project, which will ultimately provide the house at 1825 Lessur Street in Saginaw to a Saginaw-area family. The home was donated to Habitat for Humanity by the Saginaw County Land Bank, and will be deconstructed inside and out and then reconstructed using eco-friendly and energy-efficient resources. “Habitat for Humanity is very excited to be partnering with the Mid-Michigan Chapter on our first green house deconstruct/reconstruct,” said Habitat for Humanity Development Manager Cameron Brady. “With the support of the credit unions, it has been made possible for another deserving family to receive a Habitat house.” Participating credit unions will be providing volunteers to work on the house three days each week and will hold additional fundraising efforts. Deconstruction has already begun with a projected completion date of May 2010. “The Mid-Michigan Chapter is pleased to be sponsoring such a perfect cause to demonstrate the credit union motto of People Helping People,” said Greg Wischmeyer of Frankenmuth CU and credit union spokesman for the project.

During October, five Niles area credit unions partnered to collect coats, mittens, boots, and hats for students PK-6 in the Niles and Brandywine School districts. The five credit unions worked with community members, school administrators and area businesses. The effort culminated with a community-wide collection on Oct. 24 at the Riverfront Amphitheater in Niles. “Today’s economy is challenging for many families” said Dave VanStrien of Greater Niles Community FCU. “Within the financial industry, credit unions are known for their commitment to working side by side to benefit the community.” The five credit unions collected more than 70 coats to be distributed to area children. Additional donations will be used to purchase nearly 100 new coats. Concord Custom Cleaners of Niles donated dry cleaning services and The UPS Store of Niles provided support with collection boxes. Due to tremendous community support, “Coats for Kids” will be an annual event. The five credit unions included Berrien Teachers CU, TCU, Four Flags Area CU, Greater Niles CU and United FCU.

The Battle Creek Chapter recently presented a $3,000 check to the SAFE Place Shelter of Battle Creek, marking the tenth year the chapter has donated to the organization that provides temporary shelter, crisis intervention, support counseling and other services for victims of domestic violence. “Through the cooperative efforts of the Battle Creek Chapter, we are able to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Battle Creek Chapter Chairman Tracy Miller. “This donation also supports the founding principle of credit unions, and that is People Helping People.” Jennifer Fopma, SAFE Place Shelter director, said that with donations down overall, the badly needed funds would be utilized immediately to help domestic violence victims. The chapter has raised about $30,000 for the shelter over the past ten years. Battle Creek Chapter credit unions include: Battle Creek Area Community FCU, Grand Trunk Battle Creek EFCU, Kellogg Community FCU, Marshall Community CU, OMNI Community CU, Post Community CU, and United Educational CU.

OMNI Community CU has completed its fifth annual Project Backpack program, in which the credit union purchased 500 backpacks and invited members and area students to make donations of school supplies at any of its branches. OMNI then dispersed the backpacks to those children in need throughout their communities. “Thanks go to OMNI and their membership that supported this collection,” said Roger Rathburn, superintendent of Three Rivers Community Schools. “In these uneasy financial times, we appreciate partnerships with the local business community even more.”

Central Macomb Community CU launched its first ever scholarship programs in 2009. They include the Macomb County Community Action Scholarship, which honors the achievements of young adults who have demonstrated exemplary efforts to volunteer in the community, and the Macomb County Military Honor Scholarship, which assists the children of those who have in the past or are currently serving our country in the military. “We are pleased to offer these scholarships to young adults who are enthusiastic about furthering their education,” said Central Macomb Community CU President/CEO Drema Isaac. “We began as a credit union on Selfridge Air National Guard Base and we continue to strongly support the efforts of those who serve our country. As we have grown to serve all of Macomb County, we felt it was also fitting to grant an award to an individual who makes a difference in the community by the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’” Emily Shortt earned the Macomb County Community Action Scholarship. Shortt will be attending Wellesly College near Boston, Mass., where she plans to go into the medical research field. Kelly Beversdorf, winner of the Macomb County Military Honor Scholarship, plans to attend Eastern Michigan University. Beversdorf graduated among the top students of her class with a near perfect grade point average. Her father is a veteran of the United States Air Force. Her aspirations are to become an occupational therapist. A special luncheon was held in honor of the two scholarship recipients on Aug. 25.

The U.P. Chapter donated more than $2000 raised from its annual golf outing to support Beacon House operations. Beacon House is the U.P.’s only hospital hospitality house. Richard Gatiss of the Munising Community CU, Karen Dahl of Northern United FCU and Erik Bessonen of the Delta County CU chaired the event, which was the first charity golf outing that the group has held. “This donation was made possible through the generosity of our sponsors and our golfers who took the time to participate in this event,” Dahl said. “We were pleasantly surprised at the event’s success and the support our golfers gave to the effort.” Beacon House expressed thanks for the U.P. Chapter’s generous donation. “We are so thankful that Beacon House was chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s outing,” said Renée Prince, president of the Beacon House board of directors. “Each group that lends its support to Beacon House helps ensure that patients and their families seeking medical treatment in Marquette County have a place to stay, should they need it.”

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