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CUs help kick off hospital project for conventions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (4/6/12)--When the 2012 Democratic National Convention ends, credit unions will leave behind a rejuvenated children's playground on the rooftop of Charlotte, N.C.'s Levine Children's Hospital.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state credit union leagues, credit unions nationwide and the National Journal are working with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) to complete the project in time for the September convention.

Click for slide showThere was a significant contingent of Carolina credit union representatives at the kickoff event for the rejuvenation of the rooftop playground at Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte. Shown here from left are: John Radebaugh, president/ CEO of the North Carolina Credit Union League, Raleigh, N.C.; Judy Tharp, president/CEO of Piedmont Advantage CU, Winston-Salem, N.C. ; Maurice Smith, chair, Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C.; John Carlson, president/CEO of Sharonview FCU, Fort Mill, S.C.; John Slack, former Carolina Credit Union Foundation (CCUF) CEO; Jennifer Parker, senior vice president, Founders Federal Credit Union, Lancaster, S.C.; Steve Fowler, president/ CEO, South Carolina Credit Union League, Columbia, S.C.; Beverly Gagne, president/CEO, SAFE FCU, Sumter, S.C.; and, John McGrail, CEO, CCUF, Kernersville, N.C. (CUNA Photo)
Credit union volunteers are expected to lend hands-on support to help convert the existing rooftop space on the hospital's 12th floor to a dynamic play area with new features such as a touch-activated light and color "bubble wall," a deck and pavilion, outdoor play equipment and environmental improvements.

The project was launched with a ceremonial "water sprinkling" of freshly planted seeds that will become flowers on the finished playground.

"We're excited to put the credit union philosophy of people helping people into action by helping with this worthy project, and in the process join with the Democratic National Convention to shine a light on the amazing work that Levine Children's does for the communities it serves," John Radebaugh, North Carolina Credit Union League president/CEO, said.

A similar playground renovation project is planned for All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. That project, which will retrofit an existing playground with special play equipment for ill and injured children suffering from a variety of illnesses and accidents, will honor the 2012 Republican National Convention, which will take place in nearby Tampa.

"Credit unions really see this as an opportunity to leave something positive behind that will continue to benefit the Charlotte and Tampa communities long after the balloons have dropped and the convention ended," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said.

Since 2000, credit unions have honored the host cities for each national convention with a "leave behind" project that benefits local communities.

The two projects will cost a combined $600,000, and credit unions nationwide, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, CO-OP Financial Services, and CUNA Mutual Group have begun fundraising efforts.


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