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CUs in the News: December & January

A Monthly Roundup of #TheDifference Across WI

CUs in the News Dec & Jan
Feb 03, 2022
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 December & January. 

Giving Back

Simplicity CU Donates $25k to Lake Pacawa Improvement
Simplicity Credit Union, headquartered in Marshfield, WI, is grateful for the opportunity to donate $25,000 to the Celebrate Plover Foundation toward renovations to Lake Pacawa Park. The project will include a six-thousand square foot inclusive and ADA accessible Splash and Play area, beach and lakefront renovations, and a paved multi-use trail around Lake Pacawa. (Simplicity Credit Union, 12/3)

BMHS Students Help BMOW Prepare for We Care Distribution
Beloit Meals On Wheels (BMOW) volunteers will be delivering 130 We Care bags during the second week in December thanks to donations from individuals and local businesses. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union & First Community Credit Union, 12/7)

One Big Check: Simplicity Donates for Mid-State's New Training School
Simplicity Credit Union Has Donated $25,000 to Mid-State Techincal College toward the building of an Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, and Apprenticeship Center in Stevens Point. (Simplicity Credit Union, 12/12)

Royal Credit Union Donates $30,000 to Tree Trust
Royal Credit Union is donating $30,000 to Tree Trust, a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives and landscapes, located in St. Paul, MN. The funds will be used to enhance job skills and work capabilities for program participants through the purchase of a compact utility loader. Tree Trust provides employment training programs for promising young people ages 14-28. (Royal Credit Union, 12/20)

TruStone Financial Donates Nearly 1,800 Toys and $3,000 to Toys for Tots
 TruStone Financial Credit Union, the TruStone Financial Foundation and TruStone Home Mortgage (a division of TruStone Financial) recently donated nearly 1,800 toys and $3,000 to Toys for Tots. Donations of new, unwrapped toys as well as cash were gathered at the credit union’s 23 branches, administrative center and corporate center. (TruStone Financial Credit Union, 12/31)

Little Chute Area School District Raising Money for Artificial Turf Field
In the first few months of fundraising, there have been large donations from local partners. Unison Credit Union will have naming rights and the Bank of Little Chute will have signage because of the size of their contributions. (Unison Credit Union, 12/21)

UW Odyssey Project Receives Funding from CUNA Foundation's Investment in South Madison
Jenny Pressman, Odyssey’s director of development and community partnerships, added, “Another significant aspect of this generous funding is that it is grounded in partnership and trust. CUNA Mutual Group Foundation, along with other area funders such as UW Credit Union and American Family Insurance, are redefining philanthropy in Madison to ensure that it centers and empowers low-income, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other historically marginalized communities. We are honored and grateful to be a part of that change.” (UW Credit Union, 12/20)

Fox Communities Credit Union Hosts Christmas Drive at Resch Complex
Several community partners joined forces at the Resch Complex Saturday for an annual community Christmas drive, but with a few adjustments for the current climate. “It’s just really been wonderful and of course with covid, we started to do it as a drive-thru and that has just really worked out so well for the families that come. It’s just become a well-oiled machine there,” said Susan Nagel, Community Development Officer with Fox Communities Credit Union. “We’re serving 125 families this morning, and I believe over 500 individuals, so it’s really a great start to what I think is going to be a wonderful program.” (Fox Communities Credit Union, 12/18)

Royal Credit Union Supports Community Health Internships
Royal Credit Union is pleased to announce its support of the Community Health Internship Program (CHIP), through an $11,200 grant awarded to North Central Area Health Education Center (NC AHEC). (Royal Credit Union, 12/20)

House of Mercy Homeless Center Thanks Community for Holiday Support
Staff of the House of Mercy Homeless Center would like to thank the many individuals and organizations for their donations this holiday season. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, 1/1)

News 8 Now, Co-Op Credit Union Partner for "Chase the Chill" Donation Effort
News 8 Now is partnering with Co-Op Credit Union for the drive at locations in Onalaska and Galesville. Community members donated scarves, hats and gloves. (Co-op Credit Union, 1/7)

Local Credit Union Donates to Wild Instincts
American treasure Betty White would’ve turned 100 today, so a local credit union wanted to honor her legacy. Park City Credit Union employees stopped by Wild Instincts this morning to donate essential items.(Park City Credit Union, 1/17)

Read-a-Thon in La Crosse Encouraging Readers, Helping Make Books More Accessible
 The La Crosse Public Library is hoping a new challenge keeps people reading this winter. It takes just 15 minutes day between now and February 15th as part of Read-A-Thon. (Altra Federal Credit Union, 1/18)

Angel Tree Project in Abbotsford Delivers Gifts to 70 Youths Over the Holidays
Prospera Credit Union celebrated the 2021 holidays by collecting gifts for almost 70 youths in need through their 10th annual Youth Angel Tree Project. (Prospera Credit Union, 1/19)

CoVantage Cares Foundation Provides Over $344,000 to Local Organizations
The Board of Directors for CoVantage Cares Foundation announced that checks totaling $344,616 were presented to local non-profit groups that serve communities where CoVantage Credit Union has branches. (CoVantage Credit Union, 1/19)

Supporting Financial Literacy

 Nearly 30% of Shoppers Haven't Paid Off Last Years' Holiday Debt
According to finance company NerdWallet, one in three shoppers still have holiday debt from last year. That’s more than 35 million Americans. Three-quarters of people use credit cards to pay for their holiday gifts. It’s something Park City Credit Union saw first hand. “We really do see an increase in credit card and debit card transactions from November to December year after year, so we know that people are busy shopping last minute,” said Sarah Sturm, Business Development Manager at Park City Credit Union. The community financial education coordinator at Royal Credit Union said last-minute shopping can be a culprit of debt. “My number one tip is to always have a plan,” said Cooper Larson, community financial education coordinator at Royal Credit Union. (Park City Credit Union & Royal Credit Union, 12/14)
CVTC and RCU Providing Free Tax Assistance
If you're dreading this upcoming tax season, a new local resource could help make the process easier for you. Royal Credit Union and Chippewa Valley Technical College are partnering to provide volunteer income tax assistance. (Royal Credit Union, 1/12)

Local Credit Union Offers Advice for Holiday Shopping Debt
It's been a few weeks since the holiday season. People could be seeing credit card bills coming in around this time. Ripco Credit Union in Rhinelander is offering financial advice to those who overspent. (Ripco Credit Union, 1/18)

Financial Literacy in the Lunchroom: Educators Credit Union Branch Opens Inside Horlick High School
Noe Hernandez, a Horlick High School junior wearing a furry hat, couldn’t have been more excited Friday. Normally, he has to ask his parents for a ride to an Educators Credit Union branch to deposit or withdraw money. Now, he only has to go to the school cafeteria.(Educators Credit Union, 1/28)

Fostering Excellence 

PODCAST: Opportunities Abound in 2022
A new year doesn’t just mean new calendars in the branch lobbies. It’s also a chance for credit union leadership to discover new opportunities and find ways to improve. “It’s easy to focus on the changing of a year,” says David Murphy, president of $82 million asset Marshfield (Wis.) Medical Center Credit Union. “But I look at it as a continuation of what we’ve started to do. I’m excited to see what happens, what opportunities we have as a credit union, and where we can improve.” (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 1/20)

UW Credit Union Earns Perfect Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2022 Corporate Equality Index
Madison-based financial cooperative UW Credit Union received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. The credit union joins the ranks of over 840 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year. (UW Credit Union, 1/27)

Providing Innovative Solutions

CoVantage Returns Record $5 Million in Patronage to Members
A record of over $5 million in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union. This is the largest patronage payment in the history of CoVantage Credit Union, and an $800,000 increase over what was provided to borrowers and savers the year before. (CoVantage Credit Union, 1/3)

RCU Gets $525,000 Grant to Help Low-Income Areas
A U.S. Treasury program has awarded a $525,000 grant to Royal Credit Union, which will be used to boost lending in target markets with low-income, distressed and underserved people. (Royal Credit Union, 12/27)

Core Processing App Stores Thrive on Collaboration
It’s been a decade since core processors introduced their own app stores to client credit unions, and the results since then reflect the collaborative nature of the movement itself.(Cloverbelt Credit Union, 1/15)

Midwest CUs Pay Members $27.7M in Special Dividends 
Rising net income allowed three Midwest credit unions to return $27.7 million to their members in December as special dividends despite the challenges of another pandemic year. (Summit Credit Union & CoVantage Credit Union, 1/6)

FCCU Announces Annual Patronage Dividend to Members
The Fort Community Credit Union board of directors has announced the annual Member Loyalty Cash Reward patronage dividend in the amount of $300,000 divided among 8,300 qualifying members on Dec. 31, 2021. (Fort Community Credit Union, 1/24)

Creating Community

Hudson Hot Air Affair: Let the Fun Begin
Hudson Hot Air Affair announces its 2022 event theme of “S’Mores and More, Balloons Galore” for the 33rd annual celebration on February 4—6, 2022. Known as the premier hot air balloon rally and winter festival in the Midwest, this fun, family-friendly community event is presented by WESTconsin Credit Union and supported by hundreds of sponsors, partners and volunteers. (WESTconsin Credit Union, 1/3)

Black and Gold Scholarship Ball: Sesquicentennial Culminating Event a Success
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s signature scholarship event returned in November after postponements prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Black and Gold Scholarship Ball—the culminating event of UWO’s sesquicentennial—was held Nov. 13 at the Gibson Social Club in Oshkosh. (Prospera Credit Union, 1/21)

Get Tickets to--Or Sign Up to Compete In--OnMilwaukee's Adult Spelling Bee
OnMilwaukee will host an Adult Spelling Bee on Friday, Feb. 25 at The Cooperage, 822 N. Water St., from 7 to 10 p.m. And note that when we say "Adult" we mean the competitive spelling slam is open to anyone 21 years or older, not that it will include profane words. (Educators Credit Union, 1/25)

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!