ELMIRA, N.Y. (7/18/14)--Several New York state credit unions recently collaborated to turn one of the most traumatic experiences of working at a financial institution--robbery--into an example of friendship and support.
In the aftermath of two robberies last year, Bob Mace, president/CEO of Finger Lakes Health Care FCU, Elmira, with $24 million in assets, decided to make structural changes to make his branch safer, the Credit Union Association of New York reported (
July 17). In total, new bulletproof glass, camera systems and steel-enforced doors cost the credit union more than $40,000--a significant, but necessary cost, according to Mace. "We had to ensure the safety of employees and our members," he said.
Mace also had the support of his local credit union colleagues. "After our robberies, I immediately heard from our fellow credit unions inquiring about our well-being and offering to help in any way," he said.
Unbeknownst to Mace and the staff at Finger Lakes Health Care FCU, several other area credit unions--ServU FCU, Painted Post, with $246 million in assets; First Heritage FCU, Painted Post, with $297 million in assets, and Corning FCU, with $1 billion in assets--had begun collecting donations to help offset the costs Finger Lakes Health Care FCU incurred in upgrading its facility. In a matter of weeks, the three credit unions were able to raise $10,500, which was then donated during a surprise visit to Finger Lakes Health Care FCU's Elmira office.
"One positive aspect of our two recent robberies is that you surely find comfort in the kindnesses of others," said Mace. "In our case it's been the remarkable involvement and camaraderie of our fellow credit unions."
Kenneth Peworchik, Finger Lakes Health Care FCU board chairman, added,"Makes me proud to be associated with the credit unions of our area."