MADISON, Wis. (10/20/10)--Many activities related to International Credit Union (ICU) Day, to be celebrated Thursday, have begun, including governors’ proclamations, state credit union leagues’ events and individual credit union celebrations. This year’s theme is “Local. Trusted. Serving You.” Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell issued a Credit Union Day Proclamation, declaring Oct. 17-23 as Credit Union Week in the state, and Thursday as Credit Union Day in connection with the worldwide celebration of ICU Day (Life is a Highway
Oct. 18). Rendell commended credit unions for “their continuing interest in the welfare and development of credit union members and for the many contributions credit unions make to the larger community.” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels declared Oct. 17-23 as Cooperative Week in Indiana with the support of several cooperative organizations, said the Indiana Credit Union League. Daniels said that “the cooperatives in Indiana generate significant income, employment and revenue and function as engines of economic growth for local communities and the economy of Indiana.” Daniels’ proclamation will be on display throughout the week in the Indiana Farm Bureau Building in Indianapolis, which is home to several cooperative organizations that provide financial services, insurance products, energy exploration and other services. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a proclamation this week declaring Thursday as Credit Union Day in the state. It said, “Credit unions develop strong alliances that transcend political and geographical boundaries, making financial democracy possible in many countries around the world.” It goes on to proclaim, “Credit unions encourage a regular habit of saving, foster the desire to repay loans so members have access to credit when needed, and empower individuals to improve their financial standing.” More than 180 volunteers from Ohio credit unions will celebrate ICU Week by educating nearly 1,000 high school students on the importance of budgeting, saving, and differing wants from needs at financial education “reality games” in Dayton, Toledo and Columbus, said the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL). Credit unions understand the financial health of Ohio’s youngest citizens is at risk, and are working to make financial education an important aspect of a well-rounded education, OCUL said. “International Credit Union Week is a time when we reflect on how credit unions are different, and this is a prime example of the credit union difference,” said Paul Mercer, OCUL president. “Financial education, especially key concepts like budgeting and saving, is crucial to the financial future of our youth. Credit unions’ believe it is our duty to share our financial education expertise, to help educators fulfill this need, and serve as a conduit to financial success for Ohio youth.” The Maine Credit Union League is joining with Maine’s credit unions in celebrating and highlighting the credit union difference. In his Credit-Union-Week message to the staff and officials at Maine's credit unions, league President John Murphy praised their commitment and dedication (Maine Credit Union League’s Weekly Update
Oct. 15). “While many segments of the financial services sector have come under intense scrutiny for putting profits above people, credit unions have remained steadfast in focusing on doing what is in the best interests of the members and, in many cases, going above and beyond to serve members,” Murphy said. Throughout the week, most Maine credit unions are marking the occasion with special events and activities. Some credit union events and festivities to celebrate ICU Day include:
* Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, invited about 100 students Monday to play a hands-on “game of life,” called Life After High School, created by Universal 1 CU, Dayton, and funded in part by the Ohio Credit Union Foundation. Students made important decisions during the game that impacted their financial futures: job selection, higher education, living choices, car purchases and everyday monthly expenses. The Ohio Credit Union League donated the 25 Life After High School board games used during the event to area high schools. * ICU Day is an annual tradition at Belco CU, Harrisburg, Pa., with events including a free hot dog lunch, prize drawing for a $100 Visa gift card, free giveaways and an employee bake sale at all branches, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness. * Educational CU, Topeka, Kan., is asking members what they would do if they were given $20 dollars to “pay it forward.” In honor of International Credit Union week, the first 25 people who answer the question will get $20. Their intentions will be videotaped and uploaded to Facebook so the community can vote on them (ktka.com Oct. 18). * Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa., is celebrating the grand opening of its new Corporate Center during ICU Week. Throughout the week, employees and members will volunteer their time at six local service organizations, including the Danville Child Development Center, Ronald McDonald House, Hope Enterprises, Inc., Montour Area Recreation Commission, House of Care, and the Gate House Shelter (Life is a Highway Oct. 18). * The employees of Wildfire CU, Saginaw, Mich., have chosen October as “Month of Giving Back to the Community” in conjunction with ICU Week. October is the credit union’s kick-off for United Way and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. To raise awareness and have some fun, the employees also donated money to wear blue jeans to work in exchange for supporting United Way, among other fundraisers.