Taking part in a moving ceremony Tuesday night, North Carolina credit unions, winding up the annual convention of the North Carolina Credit Union League were celebrating one major triumph: beating a fundraising goal and collecting $161,000 for a support the troops charity.
At the same event, they got a live video feed from one of their own, U.S. Army Reservist Thomas Heyden, a CUNA Mutual Group account executive stationed in Iraq who spoke via Skype thanking the convention assemblage for cards, letters and packages of support in the months he has been deployed.
Dressed in a "Team Little Guy" jersey, he also encouraged a team of CU executives "to ride hard to Jacksonville" on Thursday in a 230-mile race supporting the Hope for the Warriors charity benefiting injured Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers.
"It was a moving presentation by representatives from Hope for the Warriors followed by credit union staffers and chapter officers proudly walking up to the microphone announcing their gifts and how they raised the money," said a league spokesman at the Pinehurst convention site.
One by one, they shared how they held raffles, conducted a March bike ride, got volunteers to help out, said the spokesman noting "gifts of all sizes flowed in, including a $35,000 contribution from Palmetto Cooperative Services and $43,000 from Marine Federal Credit Union."
"Every gift was very meaningful," he said adding "we're amazed that we set a $100,000 goal and now we're over $160,000."