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CUs in the News: January 2024

A Monthly Roundup of #TheDifference Across WI

jan banner 2024
Feb 01, 2024
By Hannah Higgins
  • The CU Difference

Whether it's giving back, awarding scholarships, creating community, providing innovative solutions, or fostering financial literacy (and so much more), here's how Wisconsin's credit unions supported their members and communities in January.


Giving Back

Local American Red Cross Blood Drives
The American Red Cross is hosting several blood drives in the area. The American Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and blood cell components for patients who need surgery, cancer treatment, and transfusions due to blood loss from traumatic injuries. The Red Cross is offering the chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. (Shoreline Credit Union, 1/4)

CoVantage returns $6 million in patronage to members
A record $6 million in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union in 2023. This is the largest patronage payment in the history of CoVantage Credit Union. In the last five years, $25 million has been returned to members specifically through patronage. Patronage is a concept that originated many years ago as a way for cooperatives like CoVantage to give extra value to those who use their services. This marks the 43rd consecutive year that CoVantage member-owners have received this benefit. (CoVantage Credit Union, 1/5)

Blood Drive in Elkhorn
The Walworth County Democratic Party is sponsoring a community blood drive on January 26, 2024 at Advia Credit Union, 837 N. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Advia’s community room. The blood drive is run by Versiti Blood Center. Be A Hero! Blood products are in critical need and your donation to Versiti Blood Center will be used to help sick and injured people here in Wisconsin. (Advia Credit Union, 1/14)

Athens Area Credit Union Sponsors New Trailhead Sign
The Athens Area Trail Association met on Jan. 9, with the meeting called to order at 7:02 p.m. The treasurer’s report was read with no additions or corrections. Several donors were highlighted in the last month, including Athens Area Credit Union, Nicolet Bank Foundation, Peter and Trina Barbella, Booster Club, Thrivent Financial and the Gobble Wobble. (Athens Area Credit Union, 1/23) 

$30K FOR 30 YEARS: Rock the Riverfront to Donate to Animal Rescue Orgs
Royal Credit Union Foundation’s annual Rock the Riverfront-Charity Classic run/walk is slated for Saturday, June 22, in Phoenix Park. The three-decade milestone year is also set to support three local animal rescue organizations with a $30,000 donation. Chippewa Humane Association, Dunn County Humane Society, and the Eau Claire County Humane Association will benefit from the donation. Run/walk participants will each get one vote toward who they think should get the largest chunk of the donation, the charity with the most votes will get $15,000, the second $10,000, and the third $5,000. (Royal Credit Union, 1/24) 

MMCCU Launches Special Membership Drive in Honor of Leap Day This Month
In celebration of Leap Day on February 29, MMCCU (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union) is excited to announce a special initiative aimed at giving back to the community while welcoming new members into its fold. During the entire month of February, MMCCU invites individuals to “Leap to action” by opening a new membership with the credit union. For every new membership opened, MMCCU will donate $50 per new membership on behalf of the new member to the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical care, research, and education to children facing illnesses and injuries. (Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 1/30) 

St. Vincent De Paul of Merrill Raises $78,000 During Recent Fund Drive
Ahead of the holidays we shared information on the annual fund drive for St. Vincent de Paul Conference of Merrill. The dollars have now been counted and they brought in an impressive total. According to Director of Operations, Sue Norenberg, around 170 donors contributed just over $42,000. That number was boosted by their corporate donors who matched up to $36,000. That brought their overall total to $78,315. (Connexus Credit Union, 1/30) 


Supporting Financial Literacy

Improving financial literacy one question at a time
Students from five Northwoods high schools tested their knowledge of personal finance and economics at the 12th annual Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl held last week at Nicolet College. The quiz bowl style competition is a program by the nonprofit Asset Builders of America. It was founded over 20 years ago by two men working in financial investor protection who wanted to overcome negative effects that a lack of wealth and financial literacy was creating. Asset Builders’ mission is to improve financial literacy across the state. (Ripco Credit Union, Covantage Credit Union, 1/12)


Creating Community

Unique penny press machine now resides at Colby Community Library
A machine unique to Colby has been installed at the Colby Community Library which will allow attendees to receive their own commemorative pressed penny. The penny machine was donated by the family of James (Jim) Brill and will be the only penny press machine within a 92-mile radius. (Royal Credit Union, Taylor Credit Union, 1/2) 

Green Bay’s Winterfest on Broadway Brings Fun for the Whole Family
Winterfest on Broadway presented by Green Bay Packers Give Back is set for Saturday, January 20 from 11a.m. – 3p.m. in the Broadway District. This family-friendly event will offer plenty of winter-themed sights, smells, sounds, activities and fun for all ages. (Fox Communities Credit Union, 1/19) 

Sixty-plus ice sculptures to be on display at Kenosha's Snow Daze Festival Jan. 27
Frozen fun and plenty of photo opportunities will be in the spotlight Saturday, Jan. 27, as more than 60 ice sculptures will be on display in Downtown Kenosha. The 2024 Snow Daze Festival returns for a 10th year, presented by the City of Kenosha and Visit Kenosha. Additional support comes from area businesses and the Lakeshore Business Improvement District. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, 1/24) 

Rockin’ at Hot Air Affair in Hudson
Hudson Hot Air Affair kicks off on Friday night, Feb. 2, with the Hot Air Affair Torchlight Parade at 7 p.m. The parade starts at the Wells Fargo parking lot and travels down Second Street, turning down Walnut Street and ends at the Hudson Arch. This year’s grand marshal is long time Hot Air Affair volunteer Mary Martin. It may be short, but this parade is packed full of fun. With blasts of flames from the balloon units to help warm the crowd, spectators will see marching kazoo bands and “Rockin’ with the Coldies” themed parade units. Immediately following the parade there is a fireworks display at Lakefront Park sponsored by Andersen Corporation. The 35th annual Hot Air Affair, a family friendly winter festival and hot air balloon rally, is a weekend packed full of activities. WESTconsin Credit Union returns as the corporate sponsor.  (WESTconsin Credit Union, 1/24) 


Fostering Excellence

Royal Credit Union Program Receives Two Desjardins Adult Financial Education Awards
 Royal Credit Union’s (Royal’s) Correctional Facility Financial Education (CFFE) program received a first place 2023 Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award (DAFEA) from the Wisconsin Credit Union League and third place DAFEA at the national level from Credit Union National Association (CUNA). (Royal Credit Union, 1/3)

Royal Credit Union receives two award for correctional facility financial ed program
The Correctional Facility Financial Education program, created by Royal Credit Union, was recognized both state-wide and nationally with two awards that recognize the program’s commitment to financial literacy. Named after the credit union pioneer Alphonse Desjardins, the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award highlights the credit union industry’s commitment to financial education for all ages. (Royal Credit Union, 1/7) 

Eau What a Night: 109th Chamber annual meeting award winners announced
he Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce hosted Eau What a Night, the Chamber’s 109th annual meeting, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (Royal Credit Union, 1/30) 

Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin celebrates over a decade of empowering young girls in STEM at the 11th annual GEMS Conference
Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin is proud to announce a successful 11th Annual Girls Empowered by Math & Science (GEMS) Conference, held on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. This year’s landmark event, was proudly sponsored by SC Johnson, American Association of University Women-Racine Branch, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Racine Unified School District, PPG Foundation, Inclusity, We Make T-shirts,United Way of Racine County, Community State Bank, Summit Credit Union, Gateway Technical College, Educators Credit Union, Ameriprise and SAFE Haven of Racine, featured 550 middle school girls from the Racine Unified School District. Students participated in campus tours, interacted with a college student panel, and engaged in three STEM workshops. (Summit Credit Union, Educators Credit Union, 1/29) 

Summit Credit Union: Recognized as a leading SBA lender
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Summit Credit Union a 2023 leading small business lender in two different categories. Specifically, Summit received two awards for FY 2023; the most 7(a) loans by a credit union in Wisconsin and the greatest lender participation with 504 loans in Wisconsin. The credit union loaned more than $23,000,000 between these two SBA vehicles. (Summit Credit Union, 1/22) 


Investing in Communities 

Educators Credit Union to build new headquarters to Mount Pleasant
Village of Mount Pleasant officials on Wednesday gave early approval to a new Educators Credit Union headquarters building, which designers said will break ground in spring of 2024. The credit union wants to build a 42,000-square-foot, three-story building on an undeveloped lot on East Frontage Road, according to building plans. The build-out value is anticipated at around $17 million. “Educators is excited and overjoyed to stay in Mount Pleasant,” said Ryan Schmitz, project manager of Plunkett Raysich Architects. “They love being a member of the community,” he added. (Educators Credit Union, 1/18)


Awarding Scholarships 

$10,000 in scholarships available through FCCU 
Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) has announced that it will be awarding $10,000 in scholarship money for the 2023-2024 school year. According to a recent news release, representatives from the nonprofit institution, with locations in Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Watertown, and Whitewater, noted that the scholarships are a reflection of the organization’s mission statement, which they further stated as: “To help our members be in a better financial position than when we met them.” (Fort Community Credit Union, 1/22) 

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!