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Central CU Fund Foundation names trustees

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (12/26/08)--The Central Credit Union Fund Foundation, which services former credit unions of The Central Credit Union Fund and other credit unions in Massachusetts, announced its board of trustees. Officers for this year are:
* Chairperson Barry F. Crosby, president/CEO, Freedom CU, Springfield, Mass.; * Vice Chairperson Debbie C. Guiney, president/CEO, AllCom CU, Worcester, Mass.; * Treasurer Daniel E. Waltz, president/CEO, Southern Mass CU, Fairhaven, Mass.; and * Secretary Ann. M. Theberge, CEO/treasurer/manager, Plymouth County Teachers FCU, West Wareham, Mass.
Other trustees include:
* C. David Surface, president/CEO, St. Jean’s CU, Salem, Mass.; * Richard E. Wright, treasurer/CEO, RTN FCU, Waltham, Mass.; and * Dirck C. Van Deusen, senior vice president, corporate relations, Members United Corporate FCU.
The foundation, established by Members United Corporate FCU, Warrenville, Ill., funds initiatives that support credit unions and their efforts to improve consumers’ financial well-being.

LGFCU helps fire department with MBL

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/26/08)--Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C., provided a member business loan to the Swannanoa Volunteer Fire Department so it could purchase its first ladder truck, said the North Carolina Credit Union League. The loan also inspired the department’s firemen to join Local Government FCU, according to Fire Chief Anthony Penland. “Thirty-seven of our firefighters are members,” he said. “It’s just a great place to be.” It was much easier getting a loan with the credit union for the truck than it was with other financial institutions. “[At the other institution] we had to jump through a lot more hoops,” Penland said. “What a great loan, and what a great rate we got also.”

Swannanoa VFD Ladder Truck from Jeff Hardin on Vimeo. To see a video of Penland talking with the league about the loan, use the link.

Louisiana CUs advocacy efforts set a record

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HARAHAN, La. (12/26/08)--The Louisiana Credit Union League’s (LCUL) Political Action Committee (PAC) is closing the books on its most successful year ever. LCUL PAC 2008 receipts total more than $100,000, a 12% increase from 2007 receipts. The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) will use the resources to contribute to and support state and federal officials that support the goals and priorities of the credit union movement. “We have soared past the goals that people thought were unreachable,” said Sidney Parfait, CULAC chairman, attributing the efforts to hard work by CULAC representatives in each chapter and individuals in credit unions. All nine chapters exceeded their goals for the year by holding fundraisers and special events. League President/CEO Anne Cochran commended the volunteers, professionals and members for supporting the credit union movement. “Thanks to the exceptional efforts we have been able to support credit union friendly candidates at the state and federal level,” she said.

Texas foundation disperses more than 1 million

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DALLAS (12/26/08)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation dispersed more than $1 million in grants, scholarships and programs during 2008. Nearly $400,000 of grants awarded went to provide specialized training for credit union professionals and allowed them to participate in community outreach initiatives to the unbanked and underserved, as well as deploy financial education in schools and communities. The foundation also provided more than $100,000 in free financial education training for teachers, community groups and credit unions. “These grants enable our credit unions to implement life-altering initiatives,” said Jill Pharr, executive director of the foundation. The foundation also dispersed $640,000 in emergency relief grants to nearly 1,000 credit union employees in Southwest Texas who suffered personal loss from Hurricane Ike, which struck Southeast Texas in September. “Many of these employees and their families literally lost everything but the clothes on their backs,” Pharr said. Since 2002, the foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to Texas credit unions and community organizations providing financial literacy.

IWall St. JournalI picks up CUNA comment on market

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NEW YORK (12/26/08)--The Wall Street Journal has picked up an article about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s rate cut on money-market funds. The article includes a comment by a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist. The Journal published the item on Monday. It originated with Dow Jones Newswires. In it CUNA senior economist Mike Schenk said other funds are nervous about breaking the buck. “They’re staying short term and avoiding credit risks. That’s driving yields down” beyond the effect of the last week’s Fed’s rate cut, he said. News Now reported on the original article last week.

N.C. league letter to editor on CU difference

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/26/08)--A letter to the editor from North Carolina Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh sets the record straight in response to a banking association’s statement in an earlier article that large credit unions have grown beyond their original purpose. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Radebaugh’s letter. It was published in the Fayette Observer (Dec. 20) and was prompted by an article concerning Navy FCU’s expansion into Fayetteville, N.C. (Fayette Observer Dec. 16). In the original article, the North Carolina Bankers Association said large credit unions have grown beyond their original purpose and were masquerading as a “tax-free means of competition.” Radebaugh outlined credit unions’ not-for-profit structure, cooperative philosophy and their reason for existence--“to help their member-owners reach their financial goals. Meanwhile, banks are for-profit entities set up for the benefit of the shareholders who own them. “These key differences have been on display in the recent credit crisis,” Radebaugh said. “Some large banks recently received a taxpayer bailout for risky loans they made, and yet many of these same institutions have been curtailing lending to consumers. Meanwhile, credit unions have focused on lending to their members and have been a key source of credit to people unable to get loans from banks. They have done so with no taxpayer assistance,” he said.

CUs boost holiday spirit in tough times

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MADISON, Wis. (12/26/08)--On Monday, the Kyle family and the O’Hearn family, all members of Dort FCU in Flint, Mich., were taken by
Citadel FCU, Thorndale, Pa., provided the Chester County United Way with a check for $50,000 to help families during the holidays. (Photo provided by Citadel FCU)
Kansas City (Mo.) CU brought Santa Claus to the credit union to visit the young members. The credit union hosted a holiday party Dec. 6, where youth could get pictures taken with Santa. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
limousine to see what the credit union had given them for Christmas. Kara O’Hearn told WJRT-TV that she was “speechless” when she realized that the credit union was giving each family a new home--with the mortgage paid. Dort FCU provided the families with the homes, which a local contractor remodeled. The Kyles’ home is in Davison Township, while the O’Hearns will reside in Flint. The credit union chose the families from a pool of 100 applicants. In addition to receiving the home, both families must pay property taxes, household bills and attend homeowners counseling, the station said. Like Dort FCU, credit unions nationwide are helping their members and communities weather tough economic times by providing them with help during the holidays. Here are a few examples:
* LGE Community CU, Marietta, Ga. employees raised $35,097 with a matching donation from the credit union to help needy families; * Beaver Valley FCU, Beaver Falls, Pa., adopted a family. Employees and directors donated money to buy gifts for the family, and filled two large bins with food and paper goods (Life is a Highway Dec. 23); * GHS FCU, Binghamton, N.Y., collected children’s winter clothing and personal care items; * Health Care Family CU, Richmond Heights, Mo., decided to forego its annual Christmas party at a restaurant and donate the money to help build a specially adapted home for Specialist Scott West through the Missouri Homes For Our Troops Program (The Missouri difference Dec. 10); * Kent (Ohio) CU provided new shoes for 230 disadvantaged Portage County children in partnership with the Salvation Army; * Belco Community CU, Harrisburg, Pa., collected 6,200 bears and stuffed animals that will be distributed to families and children in need; * A-K Valley FCU, Lower Burrell, Pa., donated $3,000 to help families purchase food and gifts for the holiday season; * The Pittsburgh Chapter of Credit Unions raised $1,800 for Children’s Miracle Network at its annual Christmas party; * Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., is sponsoring holiday food and toy donation programs at all of its Bay Area branch locations; * Altura CU, Riverside, Calif., held a food drive at all of its branches; * Northeast CU, Portsmouth, N.H., gave $4,550 to the New Hampshire Food Bank. The check total was based on donating $25 for every employee, volunteer and board member; * Lakeview FCU, Ashtabula, Ohio, donated $5,000 to a local food bank; * Community Trust CU, Gurnee, Ill., donated $1,000 to the toy fund for the annual George Watson Memorial Rotary Children’s Christmas party; *Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., provided $3,000 in gift cards to service members and their families at the Andrews AFG Fisher House. The house is a place for families and patients to live while receiving medical treatment at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center; * The St. Louis Chapter of Credit Unions coordinated the Warners’ Warm-Up effort to provide winter coats to low-income residents. The credit unions collected more than $2,000 in donations (The Missouri difference Dec. 3); * The Texas Credit Union League is offering its Adopt-a-Family program to help needy families. The league posted profiles of credit union families who need adopting on its website (LoneStar Leaguer Nov. 21); * The Credit Union Mortgage Alliance (CUMAnet) donated to Homes For Our Troops instead of sending cookies, candy and other gifts; * IC FCU, Indiana, Pa., sold its IC Cookbook with employees’ recipes to raise money for local families. All proceeds benefited Ginny’s Helping Hand, which helps low-income families; and * Heartland CU, Madison, Wis., in partnership with NBC 15 and Second Harvest Food Bank, will provide 131,300 meals to needy residents because of fundraising efforts at Madison-area credit unions.