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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – As more competitors crowd the financial services arena community involvement plays a more integral role in credit union success. From hosting seminars with professional speakers to sponsoring a movie, credit unions stand ready to serve. Here is a look at just a few of the more creative ways credit unions are building their presence: Dupaco Community Credit Union, KAT FM Radio and Cinema Center 8 Theaters have teamed up to sponsor a Halloween benefit movie. A part of Dubuque tradition for the past 12 years the event has grown in popularity and this year will feature two showings. Admission is 92 cents per person and tickets must be purchased prior to the event. All admissions proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to assist in the national disaster relief efforts. “In addition to providing assistance to the Red Cross in their continued relief efforts, this event will also provide us with an excellent opportunity to promote good citizenship amongst our young people,” said DCCU President/CEO Bob Hoefer. Arizona Media Credit Union has provided the PBS two-hour documentary “Electric Money” a grant. Best selling author, columnist and producer Robert X. Cringely, documents the rapid evolution and globalization of the financial marketplace. The program looks at how the computer revolution has transformed the way people save, spend and think about money. “We are committed to supporting programs that offer quality financial education and teach money management skills, said AMCU President/CFO Kathy Stamadianos. AEDC Federal Credit Union Public Relations Coordinator Greg Davis’ Money Management presentations are in demand by area schools. In the 2000-01 year Davis reached 1.061 students, which according to the National Youth Involvement Board tops all credit unions in the state of Tennessee and is more than 21 other states’ individual totals where credit unions conducted similar presentations. “Many students aren’t thinking about a job as being the end result of their education,” said Davis. “I tell them that one of these days they’re going to go to the refrigerator and the Magic Food Fairy won’t have visited the night before. It will be up to them to buy their own food. This presentation introduces them to that reality.” Teachers at more than nine schools are calling Davis for the presentations geared toward students in sixth through twelfth grade. Presentations generally focus on the key elements of setting financial goals, check writing, checkbook balancing and the actual versus the perceived cost of owning a vehicle. Charlotte-Metro Credit Union has teamed up with the Mecklenburg County’s Sheriff’s Office to be part of a new Lifeskills Training Program designed especially for Hispanic inmates. The program will focus on educating Latino inmates about local culture, laws and available community resources. Designed by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s office, the Lifeskills curriculum covers such topics as “The role of the local law enforcement officer”, “How to obtain a driver’s license”, “Understanding the current NC laws on DUI”, and “The need for auto insurance and NC vehicle registration”. The program will also provide information on community services, healthcare, employment, education, housing and financial issues. CMCU volunteered to develop the curriculum for financial Issues, which includes, “Basic information on savings & checking accounts”, “What you need to open a checking account”, “General information on how ATM cards work”, and “How to build a credit history and get a loan.” Charlotte Metro Credit Union will be developing the information in Spanish at a targeted literacy and visual level and will “train the trainer” on the financial issues facing Hispanic inmates. The actual training program will be rolled out to the Hispanic inmates in November 2001. Brockton Credit Union is reinforcing its community ties by literally pulling images from history. Each new branch will be topped by a special weathervane designed by popular New England artist Erik Bailey to honor each town’s unique history. In Canton, a trolley was chosen because the branch location was the original site of the Car Barn for the Blue Hills Trolley. The Middleborough branch will be topped off by a pair of herrings in commemoration of the annual Middleborough Herring Run on the Nemasket River. This summer Wescom Credit Union has hosted free public forums featuring such prominent guest speakers as UCLA Anderson Forecast Director/Business Economics Professor Dr. Edward E. Leamer; Author/University of California, Irvine Graduate School of Management Economics, Public Policy Associate Professor Dr. Peter Navarro; and Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Chief Economist Jack Kyser. Designed to provide information related to economic issues impacting California to consumers to help them make more informed financial decisions, the three seminars were held at the Pasadena Civic Center from July to September. During the hour-long sessions, speakers not only addressed such concerns as energy and the economy but also provided practical financial planning advice to attendees. “We are happy to provide this value-added service,” said Wescom CU President/CEO Darren Williams. “And we are thrilled that these leading experts could share their insights.” No stranger to community events, The Golden 1 Credit Union has always been a big sponsor of the California State Fair and even has a stage named after it. This year, The Golden 1 CU held a drawing for a 2002 GMC Envoy Sports Utility Vehicle and ten finalists from the over 60,000 entries were given the chance to start the SUV engine and win. Golden 1 member Angela Kellerman, who was the first person to try a key, won. The other nine finalists each received $250 from the credit union. [email protected]

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