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CUs in the News: May 2021

A Monthly Roundup of #TheCUDifference Across WI

CUs in the News May 2021
Jun 01, 2021
By Sammy Dennis
  • The CU Difference

Whether it's giving back, responding to COVID-19, awarding scholarships, or fostering financial literacy (and so much more), here's how Wisconsin's credit unions supported their members and communities in May.

Giving Back

Capital Credit Union Announces Elevate Communities Recipients
This year, Elevate Communities is providing over $100,000 worth of funding to a number of organizations. Since the inception of this program in 2018, $400,000 have been given to police and fire departments all throughout Northeastern Wisconsin. We are proud and hope to continue to enhance the quality of life in our communities. 2021 Elevate Communities Recipients include: Suamico Fire Department, Outagamie County Sheriff's Office, Freedom Volunteer Fire Department, Ashwaubenon Dept of Public Safety, Grand Chute Fire Department, Menasha Police Department, and Town of Clayton Fire Department. (Capital Credit Union, 4/26)

Nearly $500,000 in Emergency Grants Issued Through the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity
Beginning next week, 24 organizations will receive emergency grants totaling nearly $500,000 on behalf of the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity. Emergency funds are part of a larger $1.5 million investment in economic mobility, launched in partnership with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County earlier this year. (UW Credit Union, 5/1)

Dream Flight USA STEM Shuttle Visits Pacelli
On April 26, students from both Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (PCES-St. Steve's) and Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (PCES-St. Bron's) experienced the hands-on work stations on the unique coach bus resembling a space shuttle...."We're grateful to Connexus Credit Union and the Dream Flight USA Foundation for giving our students the opportunity to participate in some interactive, engaging space-related STEM activities outside of the classroom." (Connexus Credit Union, 5/1)

Connexus Cares Supports SVDP
Connexus Cares donated $13,750.00 to St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) in Merrill to be used as needed to help our neighbors in need. L to R: Joe Breaman, Frieda Swanson, Bailey Schepp-Connexus Community Relations Specialist, Dick Duginski-SVDP President, Boyd Gustke-President & Chief Executive Officer of Connexus Credit Union, Sue Norenberg, Judy Warren, Chris Malm, and Lisa Carlson. (Connexus Credit Union, 5/6)

Magic of Storytelling Campaign Brings Books to Douglas County
Books are passports into the world. And now, kids at two schools in Douglas County are about to start on new adventures, one page at a time. Thanks to the campaign called Magic of Storytelling, Bryant Elementary in Superior and Northwestern Elementary in Poplar received hundreds of new books on Wednesday....WDIO and Superior Choice Credit Union worked together to make a difference in our communities, by opening up a world of reading for the students at Bryant Elementary and Northwestern Elementary. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 5/11)

Capital Credit Union Holding Rooftop Fundraiser to Fight Homelessness
Capital Credit Union is holding a Rooftop Fundraiser to fight homelessness. Two members of Capital’s management team are camping on the rooftop overnight Thursday at the 825 Morris Avenue Branch in Green Bay. (Capital Credit Union, 5/13)

Eau Claire County Launching Starlink Broadband Access Initiative
An Eau Claire County pilot program will test the viability of SpaceX Starlink satellites to expand high-speed internet access in rural areas. The $87,500 initiative will pay for equipment and a year's worth of service fees for 50 households. At a press conference Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers announced that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will contribute $27,500 to the Starlink pilot program. A coalition of local businesses, health systems, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and Royal Credit Union are also contributing to the effort. (Royal Credit Union, 5/14)

Click, Bid & Win! PBS Wisconsin's Online Auction is May 28-June 6!
Support PBS Wisconsin’s programming, education resources and engagement activities as you bid on more than 1,000 items generously donated by over 300 donors during the 46th annual online PBS Wisconsin Auction....Support for the PBS Wisconsin Auction is provided by J.H. Findorff & Sons, UW Health, and Summit Credit Union to highlight the diversity within Wisconsin’s business community. (Summit Credit Union, 5/17)

Rock the Riverfront: Annual Charity Classic Race Slated for June
Rock on! The 27th annual Royal Credit Union’s Rock the Riverfront race Charity Classic is slated for June 5-June 28, offering a virtual 10k, 2-mile, and half-mile race option that awards winners prizes while raising funds for local charities. (Royal Credit Union, 5/17)

All in for the Animals Zoo Fundraiser
From Tuesday, May 18 to Thursday, May 20, Racine Zoo will be hosting their All In For The Animals fundraiser. Through the generosity of the RUUD Family Foundation, Educators Credit Union, and McDonald’s of North Racine, each donated dollar up to $5,000 will be matched. This means each donation will have four times the impact to help Racine Zoo continue making a difference in the community. (Educators Credit Union, 5/18)

Royal Credit Union Hosts Shred Events
Royal Credit Union will be hosting shred events that allow members and the general public to dispose of their personal documents and files for free. (Royal Credit Union, 5/21)

Dozens Volunteer Saturday to Repair Homes in West Appleton Neighborhood
Volunteers sacrificed their Saturday to fix several homes for those who don’t have the means or resources to do it themselves. Dozens gathered at Linwood Park in Appleton at around 7:30 a.m. They were there to modify and repair houses in Appleton’s westside for low-income, disabled, or veteran homeowners....Fox Communities Credit Union sponsored five of the houses. Homeowners needed to apply through the non-profit Rebuilding Together to be considered and their income is weighed before approval. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 5/22)

Diaper Drive Raises $39k for Chippewa Valley Families
Volunteers spent Tuesday morning counting the thousands of diapers collected the past two weeks while Royal Credit Union along with several business partners in the Chippewa Valley combined to raise $39,000 for the Junior League of Eau Claire Diaper Bank. (Royal Credit Union, 5/25)

Wisconsin Nonprofit Wins FHLB Award
A Wisconsin nonprofit has won a $10,000 grant to increase affordable housing after being nominated for the award by Community First Credit Union of Neenah, Wis., 40 miles southwest of Green Bay ($4.5 billion in assets, 146,454 members). The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago awarded one of its “Community First Awards” to Pillars of Appleton, six miles north of Neenah in northeastern Wisconsin. It was one of three nonprofits receiving the annual award. (Community First Credit Union, 5/26)

Awarding Scholarships

More Than Potentially $1.6 Million in Scholarships Awarded to Ripon High School Seniors
Members of the Ripon High School Class of 2021 met in the auditorium last week Wednesday for the annual senior recognition night and took home more than a potential 1.6 million in scholarships. (Golden Rule Credit Union, 5/23)

Supporting Financial Literacy

Educators Credit Union Celebrates Thirty-One Saver's Sweepstakes Winners
The latest Saver’s Sweepstakes drawing was held on Thursday, March 15, and 31 Educators Credit Union members were winners! Three members won $1,000 in the quarterly drawing while 28 members won $100 in the monthly drawing. (Educators Credit Union, 4/24)

Junior Achievement Business Challenge Held
100 Students from seven south central Wisconsin high schools were CEOs for the day while competing in the virtual Junior Achievement Business Challenge on April 14. Participating schools included Beloit Memorial High School, De Forest High School, Dodgeland High School, Janesville Craig High School, Janesville Parker High School, McFarland High School, and Sun Prairie High School....Regional sponsors for the south-central Wisconsin JA Business Challenge included BMO Harris Bank, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Festival Foods, Lycon, Inc., One Community Bank, OneNeck IT Solutions, Trachte, LLC, TDS, Inc., Bret Wagner and Alison Glienke (in honor of Mike & Melissa Wagner). (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, 5/3)

Rafters Promote Early Savings with Connexus Jr. 
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and Connexus Credit Union, announce the return of Connexus Jr., a savings prize punch card initiative for Rafters fans 12 and under, for the 2021 season. The program provides kids the opportunity to win fun prizes while saving for the future. (Connexus Credit Union, 5/22)


Fostering Excellence 

Credit Union Leaders Graduate From Foundation's Virtual DE Program
In April and May, ninety-five credit union leaders were designated as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) after completing the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training. Wisconsin graduates included: Kim Bauer (Altra FCU), Aisha Everett (CUNA Mutual Group), Kshipra Kulkarni (CUNA), Susan Parisi (CUNA), Alexzandra Shade (CUNA Mutual Group), Cassandra Thom (Members First CU), Mandy Pom (CUNA Mutual Group), Eddie Rivera (CUNA), Opal Tomashevska (CUNA Mutual Group), and Heather Wessley (Fox Communities CU).  

Pam Haller Honored by Wisconsin State Senate
Royal Credit Union (Royal) EVP - Chief Digital Experience & Marketing Officer Pam Haller has been honored by members of the Wisconsin State Senate with a legislative citation. Haller was nominated by Senator Jeff Smith for the contributions she makes to her community through outstanding and selfless philanthropy. (Royal Credit Union, 4/30)

Summit Credit Union Tops Mortgage Lending in Wisconsin
For over a decade, Summit Credit Union has been the #1 Mortgage Lender in Dane County. Now, according to new data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), the member-owned financial cooperative has become the top mortgage lender in the state of Wisconsin by funding the most home loans statewide in 2020. (Summit Credit Union, 5/19)

Wisconsin's Credit Unions Report Strong First Quarter Financial Performance
Wisconsin’s 118 state-chartered credit unions continue to exhibit strong financial performance through the first quarter of 2021, according to data released today by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).(5/20)

Unity Project Receives Grant with Assistance from FCCU
On behalf of the Unity Project, Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) recently secured a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago in the amount of $15,000 to provide direct support to those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis as well as organizations that promote equity and opportunity for communities of color. (Fort Community Credit Union, 5/23)

Creating Community

Fort Farmers Market to Open for its 19th Season 
After a delayed start due to the ongoing pandemic, Fort Farmers Market is proud to be opening for its 19th season on Saturday, May 1, with its Spring Preview Market Days...Limited children’s programming also will be returning to the market this year. Fort Community Credit Union is sponsoring the market’s kids’ art tent with weekly take-home art projects starting immediately. (Fort Community Credit Union, 4/27)

Summit Credit Union Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of Inaugural Women's Leadership Summit
Madison-based Summit Credit Union will be the presenting sponsor of the first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit, scheduled for June 16 and 17. The online event will feature dozens of women of color from across Wisconsin discussing important issues from health disparities to entrepreneurship to motherhood in times of crisis. (Summit Credit Union, 4/30)


About The Author

Sammy Dennis is the Director of Communications for The Wisconsin Credit Union League. Interested in having your credit union's news considered? Contact me!