Arizona credit union leaders Wednesday joined in expressing their support for victims of Saturday's Tucson shooting with a number planning to attend tonight's memorial ceremony led by President Obama with CUs also contributing to various local funds.
Arizona State CU of Phoenix said it was closing early one of its Tucson offices at a hospital facility to allow staff to attend the memorial and also out of concern members would be unable to reach the branch amidst police barricades. There was also worry about potential protesters in the area, a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Arizona Credit Union League, Robert D. Ramirez, who also is president/CEO of Vantage/West CU of Tucson, said that "in memory and in honor of the victims, and heroes, Vantage West will follow the suggestion of Gabby Giffords' husband, Captain Mark Kelly, by making a contribution to the Tucson Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter."
Arizona State said it already contributed $500 to the food bank following the same family request of the critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Like other CU execs, Brian Barkdull, president/CEO of American Southwest CU of Sierra Vista, said his CU was making plans to contribute to Giffords funds while accounts were being set up at his branch offices to accept public donations.
"It is quite an emotional time in our community which is part of her district," Barkdull said, adding that Giffords' district office sits right across the street from Amercican Southwest's main office and "so we can see the display of flowers" and the other mementos placed on the doorstep.