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CUs in the News: June & July 2021

A Monthly Roundup of #TheCUDifference Across WI

CUs in the News June & July
Aug 10, 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 June & July. 

Giving Back

Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union Raises $1,752.82 Through "Pie in the Face" Fundraiser for Marshfield Children's Hospital 
Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU) raised $1,752.82 last month in a special fundraiser for Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation. In total, MMCCU collected $752.82 and both President David Murphy and MMCCU contributed $500 for a total donation of $1,752.82. All funds were donated to MCHS Foundation to support Child Life and Expressive Therapies at Marshfield’s Children’s Hospital. (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 6/3)

Registration Open for "Bike to the Beat"
“New starting lines, an updated route, great music, and amazing food are just a few things to look forward to this year,” said Heather Wessley, community engagement manager and event organizer at Fox Communities Credit Union. “With a multitude of new bike riders since the pandemic, this event may fill up quickly, so we’re encouraging interested participants to register early.” (Fox Communities Credit Union, 6/10)

WESTconsin Credit Union Holds Summer Food Drive
To help aid those in the community facing food insecurity, the WESTconsin Credit Union Summer Food Drive will kick off on Monday, June 14, and run through Saturday, June 26. WESTconsin will accept donations of non-perishable food items in offices. Additionally, monetary donations can be made at any WESTconsin office with a teller or through drive-ups. Proceeds will be distributed by the credit union to local food pantries. (WESTconsin Credit Union, 6/11)

Capital Credit Union Donates Over $43k to Area Homeless Shelters
Capital Credit Union branches throughout Northeastern Wisconsin took the entire month of May to engage the community in understanding issues surrounding local homelessness. In addition, fundraising activities and games were held at all locations, with special events like the Rooftop Fundraiser, helping to drive further awareness. All of these efforts ended up producing a record year with over $43,000 total raised for St. John’s the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in Green Bay and Pillars in Appleton. There was uncertainly in how this fundraiser would progress with the community coming out of the pandemic, but staff prepped for this early in the year to make it a success. (Capital Credit Union, 6/21)

Connexus to Hold Fundraiser for American Cancer Society 
Connexus Credit Union’s sixth annual Connexus Invitational will be held at the Central Wisconsin Expo Center in Rothschild and SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.(Connexus Credit Union, 6/22)

Magic of Storytelling: "The New Royal Detective"
Books are passports into a new world. Earlier this year, WDIO participated in a campaign called the Magic of Storytelling, and with the help of Disney Publishing Worldwide and the non-profit First Book, two local schools received new books for some of their students. Superior Choice Credit Union sponsored the campaign. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 6/23)

New Local Cooking Show Helps Raise Money for Hmong Farmers
La Crosse Local and For Independent Hmong Farmers Corp. launched a cooking show to help support local Hmong farmers and vendors hit hardest by the pandemic.(Altra Federal Credit Union, 6/24)

Register for Wisconsin Strong Women Webinars in July 
Check out these Wisconsin Strong Women morning webinars, which are free of charge and presented by Summit Credit Union, a Wisconsin Strong partner. Register now! (Summit Credit Union, 6/29)

Virtual Rock the Riverfront Event Raises $27k for Charities
Three Chippewa Valley charities are splitting more than $25,000 thanks to Royal Credit Union’s virtual Rock the Riverfront event. Participants of the event’s festivities received a free vote to decide how the money would be split. Votes could also be purchased for $2.(Royal Credit Union, 7/20)

FCCU Cookout Proceeds Donated to Jefferson County Cancer Coalition
To ensure that 100% of the proceeds went to the Jefferson County Cancer Coalition, supplies were donated by FCCU team members, Kent’s Big Bars, Kwik Trip, and Klement Brats. FCCU team member Deanna Ugalde was instrumental in the coordination and execution of the event. FCCU raised a grand total of $1,616.16 for the Jefferson County Cancer Coalition! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to support such a great cause! (Fort Community Credit Union, 7/13)

Credit Union Launches Back to School Drive
WESTconsin Credit Union begins its annual support of local students through their Back to School Drive running now through July 31.WESTconsin will accept donations of school supplies at all offices in the Kindness Counts collection bins near lobby entrances. Additionally, monetary donations can be made at any office with a WESTconsin Credit Union Representative or through drive-ups. (WESTconsin Credit Union, 7/19)

FOCUS Launches Capital Campaign
“Recently, Connexus Credit Union’s philanthropic program, Connexus Cares, announced a dollar-for-dollar match of donations up to $125,000 for the FOCUS community capital campaign.” (Connexus Credit Union, 7/20)

$1.43 Million in Grants
Other grants include a total of $10,000 from Community First Credit Union and the Rotary Club to support Downtown Placemakers, a group that raises funds for improvements to accompany the city's Main Street reconstruction efforts. (Community First Credit Union, 7/21)

Responding to COVID-19

Treasury Awards $1.25 Billion to CDFIs
The U.S. Treasury Department awarded $401.8 million COVID-19 relief funds to 244 credit unions on Tuesday. Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen announced the awards at the White House as part of $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to 863 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). (CoVantage Credit Union, Prime Financial Credit Union, Royal Credit Union, 6/16)

 Payday Loan Alternatives Becoming More Widely Available
Even if you have a traditional bank account elsewhere, membership at a credit union has its advantages. The nonprofits may charge lower banking fees and offer higher interest rates on savings. Some credit unions are tied to work or professional organizations; others can be joined by paying a small initiation fee. Royal Credit Union was recently awarded $1.8 million from the CDFI Rapid Response Program. Residents of Minnesota or Wisconsin may join the credit union with a $5 donation to the RCU foundation and a $5 deposit to open a savings account. (Royal Credit Union, 6/29)


Awarding Scholarships

Craig High School Releases Names of Annual Scholarships, Award Winners 
Craig High School students received these awards and scholarships at a ceremony Wednesday, May 2. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, 6/1)

THS Class of 2021 Graduates Receive Diplomas, Awards, Scholarships
The Tomahawk High School Class of 2021 received their diplomas, as well as Senior Awards and scholarships, as their senior year came to close. (Park City Credit Union, 6/3)

Onalaska Teen Receives $10,000 Altra Foundation Scholarship
Onalaska High School senior Katherine Dahlke received a $10,000 scholarship this week from the Altra Foundation. Dahlke is the first-ever winner of the Financial Education scholarship from the foundation. (Altra Federal Credit Union, 6/3)

TrueStone Financial Foundation Awards $15,000 in Scholarships
The TruStone Financial Foundation recently awarded $15,000 in scholarships to 12 high school seniors from Minnesota and Wisconsin who are members of the credit union. Ten students received a $1,000 scholarship, while the two students with the highest scores on their scholarship applications received $2,500. The applicants were scored on their academic merit, extracurricular activities, work experience and an essay response regarding financial management. (TruStone Financial Credit Union, 7/1)

Fort Community Credit Union Announces Scholarship Winners
Fort Community Credit Union has announced five scholarship recipients have been selected to receive $2,000. The scholarship program was designed to help members achieve their educational dreams. (Fort Community Credit Union, 7/13)

Supporting Financial Literacy

 And the Competitors in the Newest Summit CU Project Money Competition Are...
Summit Credit Union is reporting it has launched the 13th season of its Project Money competition with the announcement of its 2021 participants. Four teams have been selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in this year’s program, where they will compete to reduce debt and increase savings on the way to achieving their financial goals, Summit CU said. (Summit Credit Union, 6/16)

Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union President David Murphy Named a CU Magazine "Rock Star"
Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU) President David Murphy has been named a Credit Union Magazine 2021 Credit Union Rock Star. Each year, Credit Union Magazine recognizes unique, innovative, and creative people in the credit union movement. (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 7/21)


Fostering Excellence 

Be the CEO of Your Own Personal Journey, Advises Mark Volz
I am a reformed banker and was doing commercial lending for a community bank in southeast Wisconsin. An old middle school friend was the financial analyst at Guardian Credit Union in Oak Creek, Wis., and he said they were looking for a new commercial loan officer. (Corporate Central Credit Union, 6/9)

Klug to Retire from Fort Community Credit Union
After more than 20 years of service to Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) and its members, Chuck Klug will be retiring on Friday, July 2. Klug has built his career at the credit union serving members who have become friends. During his years as the FCCU Jefferson branch manager, he was part of the move from Center Avenue to the current location on Main Street. He has seen and assisted FCCU’s growth, starting from $89 million to $340 million in assets today. (Fort Community Credit Union, 6/10)

VIDEO: #CUYP Career Advice
Credit unions aren't just rewarding places to work. They also foster passionate communities of young professionals with career-changing advice to give. Leaders in the industry want to see the next generation thrive in their roles and take on increasingly rewarding projects and responsibilities. The importance of supporting future leaders is a defining value of the credit union movement, and young professionals carry great advice with them as they hone their skills and advance in their areas of expertise. (Corporate Central Credit Union, 7/1)

Forbes Names CoVantage the Top Wisconsin Credit Union
CoVantage Credit Union is proud to announce that with the help of members and staff, and the support of local communities they serve, the financial cooperative has been rated the best credit union in Wisconsin. (CoVantage Credit Union, 7/1)


Providing Innovative Solutions

Nearly $1.5 Million in Program Grants Distributed on Behalf of UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity 
UW Credit Union, in partnership with United Way, will award 27 organizations located throughout the greater Milwaukee and Madison areas with racial equity program grants totaling $1.5 million. The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity is a collaborative effort with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County to remove barriers to economic mobility. (UW Credit Union, 6/4)

Brett Thompson: Credit Unions Forging Ties with Community
Here are some recent examples of how Wisconsin’s credit unions have leaned into their credo of “people helping people” to create just and inclusive communities across the state. (The League, 6/20)

Progress Center for Black Women to move to Capitol Square
The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity recently awarded the Progress Center with a 2-year $50,000 grant for The Financial Health Academy, a hybrid, six-week challenge to improve the financial health of Black families in Dane County. (UW Credit Union, 6/24)

"Everyone Comes Up Short Sometimes": UW Credit Union to Lower Overdraft Fee to $5
UW Credit Union, effective immediately, is reducing all overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees to just $5.UW Credit Union previously charged $30 per occurrence, according to a news release. The bank said simplifying its policies across the board will help create a more equitable banking experience. (UW Credit Union 7/13)


Creating Community

Food Truck Extravaganza Returning
T-Mobile is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Food Truck Extravaganza. Royal Credit Union will sponsor the Kid’s Activity Area; First State Bank & Trust and Kickled Mary are sponsors of the Music Stage. More sponsorship opportunities are available.(Royal Credit Union, 6/1)

Teacher Appreciation Night
Tonight is Teacher Appreciation Night, hosted by Educators’ Credit Union. To purchase tickets, call 262-653-0900, log on at or go to the ticket office at Simmons Field. (Educators Credit Union, 6/7)

Lakeshore Balloon Glow Returns to Manitowoc
The Lakeshore Balloon Glow is run by volunteers from Downtown Manitowoc and is sponsored by Fox Communities Credit Union. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 6/8)

Concerts on the Square Return to Wausau Wednesday
After a year off due to COVID-19, live music is returning to Wausau’s 400 block this week. Pacific Coast Highway will take the stage for the first Concert on the Square in 667 days, or nearly 100 weeks. (CoVantage Credit Union, 6/15)

Racine and Vicinity Show 2021 Award Winners Announced 
On June 15, 2021, Racine Art Museum’s (RAM’s) Wustum Museum of Fine Arts continued a longstanding Racine tradition with a twist—this year’s opening reception and awards presentation for Racine and Vicinity Show were virtual. (Educators Credit Union, 6/18)

Gazebo Nights at Normal Park are a "Go" for 2021
The organizers of Gazebo Nights at Normal Park have announced their summer concert line up for 2021. (Park City Credit Union, 6/16)

Local Rockstars Capture Hunt
The RCU Foundation’s Rock the Riverfront Classic Rock Hunt sponsored by Market & Johnson ended on the evening of Friday, June 25. Wyatt Eiden and three friends from Chippewa Falls found the rock hiding along the Ice Age Trail near the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area in New Auburn. The four young men enjoyed what has become their summer tradition and plan to split the $500 award evenly. (Royal Credit Union, 7/1) 

Bayside Sounds Kicks Off in Superior Neighborhoods
Live music shows are back to a full season when Bayside Sounds launches its 2021 concert series in Superior parks. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 7/4)

Mural & Busker Festival 2021
On Broadway, Inc. is happy to announce our first Mural & Busker Festival, presented by Fox Communities Credit Union, coming up August 26-29 in the Broadway District. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 7/29)

Mile of Music
Fox Communities Credit Union, which has been a key sponsor from the very first Mile, is back for a second time as presenting partner of the festival for Mile 8. Fox Communities moved into the presenting partner sponsorship slot in 2019 for Mile 7 and reprises that important support role for the much-anticipated return of The Mile. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 7/29)

Kiel Picnic Ready to Start 4-Day Run August 12-15
The picnic concludes in a big way on Sunday with the Kiel Area Association of Commerce parade starting at 11:30 a.m. followed by Vic Ferrari playing from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in the main tent. Sargento is the major sponsor of the Vic Ferrari appearance with Premier Financial Credit Union and Matt’s Heating & Cooling also sponsoring the hits band. (Premier Financial Credit Union, 7/28)

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!