In Other News
SynergyOne Federal Credit Union, Manassas, Va., was recognized at the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce Honor Roll Breakfast as the business partnership winner of the year for its work with Brentsville District High School and the Reality Store project in May 2006. Ms. Sally Martin, business partnership coordinator at BDHS and the Tiger Branch supervisor, and Miriam Rigal, director of communications and financial education at Synergy One, were recognized for their work in bringing this simulation game to the students of BDHS. The Reality Store was a collaborative effort amongst five partners: Synergy One FCU, BDHS, George Mason University, the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Cooperative Extension. They have joined efforts once again to bring the Reality Store to 200 Prince William County Public School students this year. Later that evening, the Virginia Credit Union League awarded Ms. Martin the Education Partner of the Year award for her work with Synergy One's in-school, student run Tiger Branch at BDHS.
The Credit Union Executive Society (CUES) recently bestowed a prominent industry honor upon Apple Federal Credit Union, Fairfax, Va. The integrity of Apple's Web site--www.applefcu.org--was recognized with a merit Golden Mirror Award for achievement in Web site Marketing. Each year, the CUES Golden Mirror Awards celebrates outstanding achievement in marketing and business development for credit unions of every asset size throughout North America. Out of the more than 800 creative, result-producing entries submitted for 25 separate marketing awards, the redesign, launch and subsequent spike in user growth for www.applefcu.org was singled out with merit honors by the CUES organization. Ultimately, Apple's hope for the new www.applefcu.org was to present a more fitting representation of the credit union's advancement, prosperity and growth as a financial institution, and to extend the scope of the website as a trusted member resource. Apple's Golden Mirror Awards recognition comes fast on the heels of another industry acknowledgement for Web design and achievement. Apple FCU received a Diamond Awards merit honor from CUNA for the look, feel and dynamic usability of www.applefcu.org.
Meriwest Credit Union, San Jose, Calif., recently announced the opening of the Cottle Financial Center in San Jose. The CU also announced that Cristina Valdovinos has been named manager of the Cottle Financial Center. Located on Cottle Road, the Cottle Financial Center is the sixth Meriwest location serving San Jose. Earlier this month, Meriwest unveiled its new Hillsdale Financial Center on the corner of Hillsdale and Ross Avenues in San Jose. Both locations were created to expand service to current members in the South San Jose and Cambrian regions, as well as to welcome new members who are looking for an alternative to traditional banking. Valdovinos, the new branch manager, has 10 years of experience in the financial industry, including her most recent eight years with Meriwest. Prior to her appointment as manager of the Cottle Financial Center, Valdovinos served as the lead financial services representative of Meriwest's Dublin Financial Center, where she helped manage the office and its staff, as well as identify financial needs and provide solutions to Meriwest members.
OMNI Community Credit Union, Battle Creek, Mich., recently formed a walking team of 20 staff members for the March of Dimes "Walk America 2007," held at Battle Creek Health System. The staff members walked six miles and raised $1,617. The money raised by the March of Dimes goes directly to research to find the causes of premature birth and how it can be prevented, to support families whose babies must spend time in neonatal care units and to provide women with the latest information on having a healthy pregnancy.
Focus One Community Credit Union, Monrovia, Calif., joined Huntington Hospital to host a blood drive at the CU's Monrovia branch office. The blood drive yielded 31 pints of blood and all donors received a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors certificate for a free pint of ice cream. The fact that Huntington Hospital has the only trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley persuaded many employees from the Credit Union and from local businesses to donate blood.
Volunteers from Los Angeles Federal Credit Union, Los Angeles, put on their walking shoes and took steps to help save babies by participating in the local WalkAmerica Event. WalkAmerica walking events are held nationwide to raise money for innovative research programs that combat premature birth, which is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States. Held early one Saturday morning in Griffith Park, an estimated 8,000 walkers participated in this year's WalkAmerica. Participants enjoyed numerous activities along the 5-mile walking route, including checkpoints that featured giveaways and refreshments. Many of these checkpoints were sponsored by local businesses like LAFCU, who relied on employees to donate their time to operate these checkpoints. The CU also donated over $7,500.
In support of National Credit Union Youth Week, Focus One Community Credit Union, Monrovia, Calif., celebrated all month long. All kids and teens that made a deposit to their accounts received a gift, and deposit amounts of $25 or more automatically entered them in a drawing for a chance to win $100 cash. Other activities during the month included money in the treasure chest guessing contest, and a weekly coloring contest. A total of 150 youths made a deposit to their accounts, which included 40 new youth members. Deposits totaled over $16,000.
Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union, Tampa, Fla., was one of 50 teams participating at this year's New Tampa Relay for Life. Relay For Life is an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs for the American Cancer Society (ACS). The Tampa Bay Federal team spent over three months fundraising for the Relay and collected over $15,500 for the ACS. Dozens of Tampa Bay Federal associates actively participated in the fundraising efforts by holding garage sales, bake sales, and raffles. In addition, the team collected donations online through their personal Relay for Life Web site. Robbie Snyderman, a true philanthropist and a Tampa Bay Federal associate for over 20 years, single-handedly raised $6,650 for the ACS. She was recognized as the top individual fundraiser at the New Tampa Relay for Life.
Afena Federal Credit, Marion, Ind., took steps to raise awareness and money to combat America's #1 cause of newborn death and chronic childhood illnesses--Premature birth--in "Walk America 2007." This marks the 15th year that representatives from Marion's hometown credit union have walked to help "stomp out" birth defects by raising money in support of March of Dimes programs that help fight threats to the health of the 470,000 babies in the U.S. who are born too soon every year. Marion's annual March of Dimes "Walk America" event covered a 7.5-mile course throughout the community. But Afena's Walk America team began months ago raising funds by encouraging employees to make a donation for wearing jeans on Fridays and selling bracelets to support their March of Dimes fundraising efforts.