Montana CUs Work to Can Hunger
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Those credit union folk in north central Montana have a can-do spirit.
Their efforts to aid the hungry and build a giant Disney car character out of 3,000 cans of nonperishable food items could bring them national recognition later this spring.
"We're all excited at how credit unions in our Great Springs Chapter have been able to do good in really helping our local food bank and coming up with a prize-winning design," explained Lael Humble, one of the coordinators of the CANstruction project and vice president of marketing and training at Montana Federal Credit Union.
The Great Springs Chapter, representing eight CUs in the Montana Credit Union Network, displayed their can sculpture at a Great Falls mall winning the top Juror's Choice prize, making it eligible for the national competition in May sponsored by the Society for Design Administration CANstruction.
The group is made up of architects, engineers and designers devoted to supporting food bank donations through the can-building competition with structures in more than 100 cities made entirely from full cans of food later distributed to food banks.
Humble said CU staffers, volunteers and members from the eight CUs spent seven hours assembling the cans into the Lightning McQueen character from the Disney-Pixar film, Cars.
The display in the Holiday Village Mall was titled, "Together We CAN Win the Race Against Hunger," with a goal "to emphasize that a concerned public can be the driving force to combat hunger in our community," said Humble.
In addition to Montana FCU, which submitted a separate can display, other members of the Giant Springs Chapter include: 1st Liberty FCU, Electric City FCU, Fergus County FCU, Lewistown, Great Falls Teachers FCU, Russell Country FCU, Family First FCU and Tricounty FCU, Harlowton.
The CU chapter group, said Humble, brought in a local designer, Corey Juden, from a Great Falls steel firm, for its entry and then shopped for the cans before doing the actual assembly.
Gayle Carlson, executive director of the Great Falls Community Food Bank, said she appreciated the contributions of the CU Can teams in drawing attention to raising local awareness.
Great Falls was the only Montana city to have the can exhibits this year, she said, noting that other business groups producing sculptures included the Great Falls Association of Realtors, National Association of Women in Construction, Northwinds Publishing, Great Falls Public Library and Faith Lutheran High School Youth Group.
Under the rules, each team working in tag-team fashion could have no more than five members to do the actual build and had seven hours to do it.
"This was the third year that some of us have done this but our recent merger with Community Federal brought in a lot more volunteers and helped us win," said Humble. Montana FCU merged with the $42 million Community FCU in January creating a $142 million institution.