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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » Contact » 2008 » 4th Quarter » CUs & People  

From left: Extra CU employee Lisa Lowe and daughter; Robin McGuckin; Kathy Wampler; daught of another employee; Extra CU Vice President of Financial Services, Carol Visconti.

The check presentation by Lansing credit unions to the Youth Action Committee

United Educational CU members browse the materials the credit union presented for their Financial Survival Fair.

Berrien Teachers CU employee Robin Wilson gets help from a student at Morton Elementary School in Benton Harbor

Melvindale resident Jan Miller, left, along with granddaughter Brianna Kowalcyzk and daughter Melissa Kowalcyzk of Garden City, are all smiles as they wait in line to take advantage of lower gas prices at Co-op Serices Credit Union's "Fuel Your Dreams Gas Giveaway" event.

Richard Leverette at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro

John Sink (right), Kalamazoo Chapter chairperson and Allegis CU President/CEO, presents William Pell, executive director of Gryphon Place, with a $2,500 donation at the chapter's Annual Golf Outing.

From left: Jane Savoy, president of The Links Inc., Ms. Ewing, principal of James Madison Middle School; Wendy Yang, student branch manager; Bob Bell, Pontiac branch manager; Hooper, Detroit Pistons

 Extra CU (ME) employees spent their fall Friday nights handing out hot chocolate, hot dogs and candy at local high school football games, allowing booster club parents the opportunity to enjoy the game and see their children rather than run busy concession stands. “It’s fun to see the students, parents and faculty outside of school in an environment where we typically don’t interact,” said Carol Visconti, vice president of financial services for Extra CU and a Sterling Heights High School parent. “We have always supported our partner schools. We just found another opportunity to show that commitment.” Although the credit union typically spends time in high schools with the goal of promoting financial literacy, they have also looked for other ways to show their support.

The Lansing Chapter presented a check to the Youth Action Committee (YAC) of the Capital Region Community Foundation in Lansing for $18,780. YAC is an advisory committee consisting of high school students from the greater Lansing area that supports youth programs through grant making and community service in the tri-county area of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties. The funds were raised by volunteers from the Lansing Chapter and partners who put on the 20th Annual Lansing Area Credit Union Charity Golf Outing. During the past 20 years, the Lansing Chapter has donated more that $170,000 to local charities with this annual event. The check was presented to the YAC advisor and the high school students

United Educational CU (BC) held a “Financial Survival Fair” on Oct. 17 at each of their offices in Battle Creek, Albion and Coldwater. The credit union cooperated with Neighborhoods, Inc. to provide information on foreclosure rescue and homeownership preservation; GreenPath Debt Solutions to provide budgeting and debt counseling; and Michigan State University Extension to provide grocery and meal planning advice, money saving tips and more. “This was a great opportunity to help members, from those who really need it, to those who just want to save a little money,” said Joan Miller of United Educational CU. “It also sends the message that we are willing to help and that we understand that things are tight for a lot of people right now, which is a great PR message in my mind. It is something I would like to do each year.” The credit union left print materials out the week following the event and many members took advantage of their ability.

The Southwestern Chapter partnered with United Way in September’s United Way Day of Caring. “People helping people - that’s what credit unions are about,” said Bob Clark, Southwestern Chapter Chairperson and Berrien Teachers CU Vice President of Operations. “Our combined effort can strongly impact our communities.” The chapter had 43 staff volunteers working at five different locations throughout Berrien County offering their time and labor to help those in need.  Tasks included cleaning up an area playground, landscaping and painting at a local church camp, helping at the YMCA and Youth Center and reading to students at area schools. Overall, 500 volunteers came together to complete 77 projects in Southwestern Michigan. The Southwestern Chapter includes Berrien Teachers CU, Country Heritage CU, Dowagiac Area FCU, Four Flags Area CU, Greater Niles Community FCU and United FCU.

Co-op Services CU (MW) held six gas giveaway events in partnership with gas stations located near the credit union’s branch offices to lower the price of gas by $0.25 per gallon for area drivers. The “Fuel Your Dreams Gas Giveaway” events attracted drivers who were happy to save extra dollars at the pump. “This was a great way to help people in our community, especially during tough economic times,” said Lisa Fawcett, Co-op Services CU marketing director. “These events also gave us an opportunity to let everyone know how our services can save them money.” Melissa Kowalczyk, a Garden City resident, brought her daughter Brianna and mom Jan Miller, a Melvindale resident, to line up early for the gas giveaway event that was held at a BP station on Allen Road in Melvindale. Both joined the credit union last spring after leaving a bank. The gas giveaway events were publicized by the credit union through local papers, television and radio stations. Lines formed early at the participating gas stations as drivers, who included members and non-members, were treated to the lower gas prices until 4,000 gallons of gas were sold at each event. The credit union will host another gas giveaway on October 14.

Richard Leverette, a member of Public Service CU (MW), traveled to Mt. Kilimanjaro in an attempt to reach the 19,431 foot summit. Leverette took a small Public Service CU banner along with him to “share the Credit Union Difference with others he met along the way.” After traveling through various other locations, including Tanzania, he began to scale the mountain with a guide, a cook and three porters. Leverette eventually reached the 14,000 foot mark, when he became ill and was forced to stop. Upon returning to Tanzania, he was able to make a difference in the life of a needy child by purchasing shoes, socks and clothes. “Richard is more than a world traveler, he is a shining example of what Public Service Credit Union represents through its philosophy of People Helping People,” said Public Service CU President/CEO Dean Trudeau. “We are very proud of his accomplishment and his representation of PSCU to citizens of other countries.”

The Kalamazoo Chapter held their 20th Annual Golf Outing on September 8, and for the fifth consecutive year donated proceeds to an organization in the community. This year, $2,500 went to Gryphon Place in Kalamazoo, which connects people to information and resources to help them through crisis and life challenges. “Gryphon Place has helped many of our employees deal with the trauma and stress of going through a robbery,” said Allegis CU President/CEO and Kalamazoo Chapter Chairman John Sink. “The executive committee wanted to do something to show our appreciation for the support they have given area credit unions during tough times.” Other proceeds from the event will help fund the chapter’s community involvement programs, such as the Financial Awareness Task Force.

Genisys CU (OC), along with James Madison Middle School and the Oakland County Chapter of The Links, Inc., hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the new Genisys CU in-school branch on October 28. Genisys CU Junior Manager Trainer Sarah Slusher spoke to over 400 students to generate excitement for the branch and to discuss the importance of savings. "We are excited to be able to partner with James Madison Middle School and The Links Program to teach kids about financial literacy," said Robert Bell, Pontiac branch manager for Genisys CU. "It's important to reach students at this age so they understand budgeting and can get a head start." Students are given several incentives to open an account and save. Genisys provides a prize and an entry into a quarterly drawing to every student each time they make a deposit. As a bonus, the teacher with the most participation during each promotion will receive a pizza party and a $75 gift card to buy classroom supplies. The Links Program is also offering an incentive to any student who opens an account by Nov. 11 – the choice of a $3 McDonald's gift card or money placed into their account.



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