KEARNEY, Neb. (2/18/13)--The Nebraska "Save to Win" $25,000 Grand Prize has been presented to KEE FCU member Laverne Brickner, announced the Nebraska Credit Union League.
| Laverne "Vern" Brickner, third from left, a member of KEE FCU, Kearney, Neb., is the $25,000 Grand Prize winner of the Nebraska Credit Union League's Save to Win program. At the check presentation were, from left: league President/CEO Scott Sullivan; KEE FCU President/CEO Cheryl Montgomery; Brickner; his wife DeAnn Brickner; Marion McDermott of the Kearney Chamber of Commerce; Kearney City Councilman Bob Lammers; and state Sen. Galen Hadley. (Photo provided by the Nebraska Credit Union League)|
Brickner was among 1,643 credit union members across the state who participated in the program. During 2012, Save to Win accounts opened saved more than $1.97 million, averaging about $1,200 per account.
"I want to thank credit unions for offering this program, which helped me save and helped all those members to save across the state," Brickner said at the check presentation. He said he and his wife plan to use a part of the winnings to remodel their home.
On hand for the presentation were league President Scott Sullivan, State Sen. Galen Hadley (NP-Dist. 37) of Kearney, Kearney City Councilman Bob Lammers, Kearney Chamber of Commerce representative Marion McDermott, and KEE FCU President CEO Cheryl Montgomery. KEE FCU is located in Kearney.
"The grand prize certainly changed the life of Mr. Brickner and his family, but we also believe it can help to change the lives of all participants in a positive way by helping them to begin saving or escalate their current savings habits," said Sullivan.
In addition to the $25,000 Grand Prize, Nebraska's Save to Win also awarded $18,000 total in monthly cash prizes throughout the year. For every $25 members deposited, up to $250 monthly, in their Save to Win account, their name was entered into the monthly drawing.
Ten credit unions from Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney began offering the savings program in 2012 by offering one-year share certificates or certificates of deposit, which the member could open with $25 and build by depositing into the account throughout the year.
The program was first launched in 2009 by the Michigan Credit Union League in partnership with Doorway to Dreams, the Filene Research Institute and eight Michigan credit unions. In 2011, the Nebraska Legislature passed legislation to allow Nebraska credit unions to offer a similar program. Throughout 2012, Michigan and Nebraska were the only states of offer Save to Win programs to credit union members.
The program's goal "is to show our members that building a savings nest egg is possible even in small amounts and that saving doesn't have to be boring, but rather, it can and should be fun," said the league's Sullivan.