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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The spirit of giving seems to have really grabbed the hearts of many in credit union-land. Whether it is for the September 11th relief efforts or to celebrate International Credit Union Day here is a look at how credit unions are pitching in: * Empire Corporate FCU rang in International Credit Union Day with President/CEO Joseph P. Herbst handing a $10,000 check to New York CU League President/CEO Bill Mellin, for the New York Credit Union Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. The $10,000 reflects a commitment Herbst had made following the Sept. 11 disaster, when he promised that Empire Corporate would double-not just match-employee donations up to $5,000. “At last count, Empire Corporate staff members have contributed over $6,000,” Herbst said. “So this $10,000 check represents a portion of our total contribution to the Fund. We thought International Credit Union Day would be a good day to give the first installment so it can begin assisting the credit unions most affected by the terrorist attacks.” * Kemba Credit Union members have raised $3,109.11 for the American Red Cross Relief Fund. Donations were collected to support the family members and victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. One of the first members to contribute to the relief fund donated his entire IRS refund check totaling $300. Kemba CU President Steve Behler said, “The support from our members is overwhelming.” Younger KCU members also contributed to the relief efforts by coloring pictures of a cartoon firefighter. Each member of the Cubs Club, which is for children up to age 12, was handed a coloring page with an area to write a message. The pictures were delivered to schools, firehouses, and hospitals throughout the affected metropolitan areas. One Cubs member, Joshua Jacobs – age 8, wanted his classmates to participate so his mother copied and distributed additional pages to the students at St. Cecilia School in Oakley. Over 100 coloring pages were collected and sent to the people personally affected by the tragedies. * International Credit Union Week marked the debut of Georgia credit unions being featured in a 30-minute radio program. Georgia Focus, a public affairs radio program produced by Clear Channel Communications ,which airs on 114 stations throughout Georgia as part of the Georgia News Network, featured Mike Mercer, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates President & CEO; Marshall Boutwell, Gwinnett Federal Credit Union President/CEO; and Anna Copello, Operations Manager of The Coca-Cola Family Federal Credit Union. Listeners were provided basic information about credit unions, the benefits of membership and how to join one. Frequently throughout the program, Rob Maynard, program host, mentioned the Affiliates Web site address and phone number for those interested in finding a credit union. * The first post-Sept. 11 meeting of New York City-area credit unions was held on Credit Union Day, at a restaurant in Manhattan. The event drew an unusually large number of participants-more than 100-for an update on responses to the tragedy by the New York State Credit Union League, the NCUA, and CUNA Mutual. Metropolitan District President Mike Masi, Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue EFCU, organized the meeting. A panel discussion was featured, including Layne Bumgardner, NCUA Region I Director; Bill Mellin, President/CEO of the League; Frank Kerbein, Executive Director of the New York Credit Union Foundation, and Jeff Casper, Member Services Account Vice President, CUNA Mutual Group. Mellin recounted League efforts following the terrorist disaster. Kerbein gave details of the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which has already raised more than $600,000. He explained the grant application procedure, and gave details on how and when the Foundation Board would begin to make grants. Casper reassured his listeners that despite claims being paid by CUNA Mutual Group, the company expects to emerge from this period just as financially sound as ever. Casper took the opportunity to remind his listeners of the paramount importance of having a working disaster preparedness plan. * New Jersey’s first annual Credit Union Day was celebrated by credit unions from North Arlington to Trenton and even South Jersey with receptions and award ceremonies. To kick off the festivities Credit Union Association of New Jersey President/CEO Russell R. Clark joined Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer in presenting a plaque to the City of Trenton Credit Union to mark its 25th anniversary while Mercer County legislator, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15th District), presented a proclamation to the New Jersey Department of Transportation Credit Union in honor of the day. South Jersey Federal Credit Union has raised over $3,000 for the American Red Cross. * The Utah League of Credit Unions celebrated the credit union spirit by honoring nine individuals and organizations that have contributed to the development of individual credit unions in Utah during a dinner. Pete Crear, chairman of the National Cooperative Business Association and COO of CUNA & Affiliates spoke after the dinner. He addressed the importance of credit unions in the cooperative movement, and touted Utah’s credit unions and their involvement in political affairs. * The Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Alabama Credit Union League held a special celebration featuring guest speaker Dean Mahon, former Director of the European Office for the World Council of Credit Unions. Dean emphasized that credit unions are “schools for democracy” in many countries, giving lessons in finance and teaching democracy, which helps to build stronger nations. Dean also stressed that right now our nation is expressing a message of unity, and a place for belonging. Dean said, “Credit unions have not only walked this walk many times, but are based and founded upon people working together.” Other celebrations included the Birmingham-Jefferson Chapter meeting, which featured NCUA Regional Director, Alonzo Swann and entertainment provided by “The Diptones;” Muscle-Shoals Chapter celebration featuring a local comedian, Jack Voorhies; and the Cheaha Chapter celebration in Gadsden Alabama. * HawaiiUSA FCU President/CEO Ron Ogata spearheaded a collection drive to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In less than two weeks, HawaiiUSA FCU employees and members donated more than $11,800 to help those affected by the attacks. * The Washington Credit Union Foundation has raised $22,000 in disaster relief funds for the NYSCUF. Boeing Employees CU contributed $10,000 to this fund after CEO Gary Oakland pledged to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000. In addition, 47 pints of blood were donated. * First Financial Credit Union has recently contributed over $29,000 to the American Red Cross in support of their Disaster Relief Fund for New York City and Washington, DC. The credit union’s Board of Directors authorized a corporate donation of $25,000, and members donated over $4,200. * Dort Federal Credit Union has donated $17,876.39 to the American Red Cross. Dort Federal staff and their membership purchased paper United States Flags upon which a name or memorial was written and then displayed in the credit union’s lobbies for all to see. A local vendor, Metrographics offered to donate the flags when they discovered how they were to be used. The credit union lobbies are now draped in red, white and blue paper flags. * Space Coast Credit Union has raised over $10,600 for the national September 11th Fund. American Flag lapel pins have been handed out as a thank you to anyone who donates more than $10 to the September 11 Fund. Most recently the Titusville Soccer Club donated $560. Donations are being accepted through December 31. * Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union has donated $57,228 to the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund. * American Eagle Federal Credit Union has donated $10,000 to the Connecticut Credit Union Association Foundation Disaster Relief Account. The Foundation will allocate the funds to the appropriate charities in each city. * Wescom Credit Union has contributed $32,000 to disaster relief assistance underway in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. [email protected]

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