Menu Toggle Search

CUs in the News: May 2022

A Monthly Roundup of #TheDifference Across WI

CUs in the News May 2022
Jun 10, 2022
By Hannah Higgins
  • 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.


Creating Community

The Derby is Coming to the Broadway District
An upcoming wine-tasting event is bringing some Kentucky Derby fun to downtown Green Bay. “This is a great way for folks to see what the Broadway District has to offer,” said Allie Thut, Director of Special Events for On Broadway, Inc. “You might end up inside a restaurant or shop that you’ve never been to before. We hope the next time you have a gift to buy or want to go out to eat, you’ll come back to one of the establishments you visited along your route during this wine walk.” (Unison Credit Union, 5/3)

Local credit union helps transform downtown trash cans
The fourth annual Trash Canvas event is already painting downtown Stevens Point with a splash of color. (Simplicity Credit Union, 5/5) 

Community-wide Diaper Drive kicks off, benefiting area families
The Diaper Bank is a project of the Junior League of Eau Claire and through a partnership with Feed My People, JLEC collects and distributes a steady supply of free diapers to poor and low-income families living in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties. Last year, $39,000 in donations was raised with more than 21,000 diapers along with 6,000 wipes collected. Those were dispersed through Feed My People Food Bank and other pantries. (Royal Credit Union, 5/6) 

Fort Atkinson painted yellow for Lemonade Day
The Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce partnered with Fort Community Credit Union and an after-school enrichment program to create the initiative. Lemonade Day teaches kids how to start, own and operate their own businesses, like a lemonade stand. Event organizers said this is much more than just a typical lemonade stand kids put together in a day. Instead, it is a months-long process that teaches kids financial literacy. (Fort Community Credit Union, 5/7) 

Electronics and paper-shredding drive set in Two Rivers
The Junior Optimist/Octagon Club, Two Rivers Optimist Club and Fox Communities Credit Union will offer an electronics drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 21 at the J.E. Hamilton Community House parking lot. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 5/9) 

Fifth-graders graduate Fort Atkinson schools’ DARE program
On Tuesday, April 26, fifth grade students from the School District of Fort Atkinson were celebrated as they graduated from the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. Each year the Fort Atkinson Police Department, School District of Fort Atkinson and multiple area businesses team up to sponsor the 10-week DARE program. The DARE program was founded in the early 1980s to bring students tools and education to make healthy choices. (Fort Community Credit Union, 5/10) 

Businesses Invited to Create Can Sculptures to Support Hunger Relief
MARSHFIELD, WI – With the success of “United We Can 2021,” the event’s organizers (members of the 2021 Leadership Marshfield Class) decided to plan the event again for this year, and into perpetuity. United We Can (UWC) will continue to be virtual, due to the flexibility it offers to participants. Canned food sculptures can be built on-location in the business, organization or home of each participating team. Building this year will take place May 9 – 20, 2022. The community will have the opportunity to vote on their favorites May 23-27, 2022. Winners will be announced June 1, 2022. (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 5/12) 

Diaper Drive raises $21,000 in donations; 7,461 diapers & 3,968 wipes collected for families in need
For the second straight year, WEAU partnered with the Junior League of Eau Claire, Feed by People Food Bank, Royal Credit Union, United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, Festival Foods and several area businesses for a Diaper Drive to help families in need in both Eau Claire and Chippewa counties. One in three families within our community struggle with the need for diapers, wipes and other baby needs. This year’s drive raised $21,000 in donations and collected 7,461 diapers and 3,968 wipes for those families. (Royal Credit Union, 5/19) 

Milwaukee Brewers and their corporate partners team up for charity
The Milwaukee Brewers are proud to team up with corporate partners who are committed to support numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Club’s charitable arm, Brewers Community Foundation (BCF). The 2022 season brings a variety of charitable activations seen throughout American Family Field and in the community. (UW Credit Union, 5/26) 

Have Fun While Flying Kites
Scott Fisher, of Gift of Wings and Kailee Frick from Wilde Subaru join us to talk about the 35th Wilde Subaru Family Kite Festival, presented by UW Credit Union... BACK IN THE AIR! The featured guests include The Chicago Fire Kite Team and the 5 member Windjammers who will make their 10th visit to Milwaukee. You can come out and use your own kite or pick one up from Gift of Wings in the park on the day of the festival. Visit Gift of Wings at their Greendale or Franklin locations if you want a kite ahead of the festival. (UW Credit Union, 5/26) 

 RCU Foundation Youth Rock Hunt starting June 3
The RCU Foundation is announcing the start of an annual scavenger hunt just for kids, Youth Rock Hunt. According to a media release by Royal Credit Union, the Youth Rock Hunt, part of Rock the Riverfront 22, intends to encourage families to “get outside and explore their communities while searching for custom-engraved rocks.” RCU notes in their media release winners are set to receive a Royal Credit Union Piggy Bank and $50 cash. The Youth Rock Hunt is scheduled to start the morning of June 3. (Royal Credit Union, 5/26) 

Superior's Tim Foster selected to throw first pitch at Brewers game
The Milwaukee Brewers have picked Superior Choice Credit Union CEO Tim Foster to throw the first pitch July 24th against the Colorado Rockies. On Thursday Foster tagged along to practice with the Superior Spartans baseball team to get in a few throws ahead of hitting the big mound at American Family Field. The game he is throwing the first pitch in is the night the Brewers are honoring all Wisconsin credit unions. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 5/27) 

Ernie Pope Art Show underway
FORT ATKINSON — The 31st annual Ernie Pope Art Show is on display in the windows of downtown Fort Atkinson businesses as a walkable art exhibition on Main Street, and online at until June 1. Fifteen students from each art teacher in the School District of Fort Atkinson and St. Joseph’s Catholic School were chosen to have their artwork on display to recognize their creativity, talent, and hard work. Mediums of art on display include paint, pencil, papercraft, photography, jewelry, garment making and sculpture. This event is sponsored by Fort Community Credit Union, AC Business Media, and NASCO. (Fort Community Credit Union, 5/30) 


Fostering Excellence

A Commercial Success
 As vice president business loan officer at Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., Gretchen Hudacek spends her workdays developing business relationships and delivering financial expertise to business members at the $4 billion asset credit union. The longtime commercial banker recently talked with Credit Union Magazine about her transition to credit unions, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, diversity, and her interests outside of work. (Royal Credit Union, 5/2)

Superior Choice Credit Union Celebrates 90th Anniversary
Superior Choice Credit Union opened its first branch location Feb. 8, 1932, in a former grocery store in Superior, Wis. Since then, the company has grown to serve more than 30,000 members, with $600 million in assets and nine branch locations across Wisconsin and Minnesota. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 5/9) 


Giving Back

Cloverbelt donates to Patriot K9s of Wisconsin
Cloverbelt Credit Union in April donated $600 to Patriot K9s of Wisconsin to make a positive change in the community. Credit union members raised $300 by collecting spare change and the financial organization matched that contribution. Patriot K9s of Wisconsin provides help to both veterans and active military service members by pairing them with highly trained support dogs. (Cloverbelt Credit Union, 5/3)

Connexus Credit Union donates to Community Food Pantry of Merrill
Connexus Credit Union’s philanthropic program, Connexus Cares, recently donated $12,500 to the Community Food Pantry of Merrill. The Community Food Pantry of Merrill provides reliable access to food for those experiencing food insecurity. In addition to their food pantry, they provide support to local student projects, a local backpack program, a summer lunch program, the Tomahawk Soup Kitchen, and the MAC Home in Merrill. This donation was designated to the area of greatest need and will be used for general operating costs. (Connexus Credit Union, 5/19) 

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Reaches Act 2 Fund Goal
With the loss of performances, events and patron services, and therefore all associated earned revenue, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center took immediate action to reduce expenses by $2.5 million including renegotiating contracts, transitioning the workforce and more. Even with reduced expenses, delivering the Center's mission virtually, addressing the fixed costs of maintaining the building and making upgrades for health and safety to prepare for reopening, resulted in $5.89 million of expenses over the course of the building closure. The Act 2 Fund was established in 2020 to address this loss and in July 2021 a group of generous community leaders created a gift match challenge to fulfill the need. This group included Kate and Tom Burgess, Ryan and Marissa Downs, Angelo and Jennifer Ninivaggi/Plexus Corp., Kathi Siefert and Cathie Tierney/Community First Credit Union. (Community First Credit Union, 5/4)


Investing in Communities 

Fort Chamber’s Project LEAD recognizes sponsors of street lights project
As part of the activities planned for the first Fort Farmers Market of the season, participants in the Fort Atkinson Project LEAD (Leadership Enhancement for Area Development) class of 2022 hosted a ribbon-cutting and community reveal in Market Square on Saturday, May 7, across from the U.S. Postal Service office. Their project, entitled “Light Up the Town,” involved replacing 24 street lights with energy efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights around the city. In addition to providing sustainability and public safety, the project will save approximately $3,500 in energy costs the first year after implementation. (Fort Community Credit Union, 5/9) 

Superior Choice Credit Union breaks ground in Rice Lake
Superior Choice Credit Union broke ground Monday morning on a site just west of Walgreens in Rice Lake where it plans to build a 7,000-square-foot training center, according to Chief Operating Officer Shane Asbel. Hoeft Builders is the general contractor and HTG Architects is the architect. (Superior Choice Credit Union, 5/23)

CVTC budget approved, sees almost 19% decrease
Accommodating for the opening of a new Transportation Education Center and the expansion and remodel of the Emergency Services Education Center, the budget calls for total expenditures reaching almost $114 million. The Royal Credit Union Foundation announced on Friday that it has gifted CVTC an additional $100,000 in support of the Emergency Services Education Center expansion and remodel. Currently located at 3623 Campus Road, the center houses college programs relating to law enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical services. An indoor firing range, equipment bays, classrooms and a student common area are among the spaces planned for improvement under the referendum. (Royal Credit Union, 5/29)


Awarding Scholarships

Connexux Credit Union gives back to two Merrill-based organizations
Connexus Cares made a $7,750 donation to the MAC Home. “The MAC Home provides safe housing and basic needs to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. They operate a warming center, as well as temporary transitional housing. Connexus Cares also made a $5,000 donation to St. Vincent de Paul of Merrill. “St. Vincent de Paul of Merrill supports community members through their Outreach Office, as well as a free clinic for those who do not have access to affordable health coverage.” (Connexus Credit Union, 5/11)

UnitedOne Credit Union Reveals Scholarship Award Winners
UnitedOne Credit Union has revealed the recipients of their scholarships for the 2022-23 school year. Sheboygan native Kylie Mallmann and Manitowoc Lincoln High School Senior Zachary Zdziarski will each receive $1,000 toward their education. Mallmann is a forensic anthropology major at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and has a goal to work for the F.B.I. one day. Zdziarsk plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and study psychology. Both students thanked the Credit Union, with Kylie saying they have “always supported my needs in teaching me how to better manage my finances.” Zach called UnitedOne a “great organization” that offers “so many unique services.” (UnitedOne Credit Union, 5/17) 

Milton High School seniors receive scholarships, awards
Milton High School students received these awards and scholarships at a scholarship ceremony May 18. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, 5/25) 

Heritage Credit Union Legacy Fund donates $30,000 to club, food shelf
The Heritage Credit Union Legacy Fund announced its recent donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Barron County and the Chetek Food Shelf. The Heritage Credit Union Legacy Fund was established as part of the merger between Heritage Credit Union and Connexus Credit Union effective March 1. To provide a greater impact to the community, Connexus Credit Union’s philanthropic program, Connexus Cares, matched the Heritage Credit Union Legacy Fund donation. The Boys and Girls Club of Barron County received $15,000 from the Heritage Credit Union Legacy Fund. The funds were further matched by Connexus Cares for a total of $30,000. These funds will be used to provide a positive, fun environment for students K-12 that allows them to explore their potential by helping understand good character and citizenship, as well as academic success. (Heritage Credit Union, 5/27)


Providing Innovative Solutions

Credit Union, law enforcement team up in Fraud Squad
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Local law enforcement agencies are joining forces with a credit union to protect the public from scammers. This follows a spike in financial fraud reported to law enforcement in recent years. Verve, a Credit Union, says Americans lost nearly $6 billion to scammers in 2021.The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and both Appleton and Fox Crossing police departments are working together with Verve, a Credit Union, to educate people on how to protect their money. To get people’s and businesses’ attention, Verve, a Credit Union, released a movie-style trailer for its new “Fraud Squad” initiative. (Verve, a Credit Union, 5/12)

About The Author

Hannah Higgins is the Communications Assistant for The Wisconsin Credit Union League. Interested in having your credit union's news considered? Contact us!