WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – So just how did credit unions celebrate International Credit Union Week? Here is a look at the many ways credit unions chose to honor the day: For Dupaco Community Credit Union nothing says International CU Day like treats. And what could be a better treat than the free publicity generated from sending giant cookies to local area disc jockeys? A couple of CU leagues followed along those "sweet" lines including the Ohio Credit Union League. Dubbed, "Media Sweet Week," cooperative advertising and marketing committees in 10 of Ohio's 16 Chapters volunteered to deliver gift bags of "America's Credit Unions" candy bars to newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations to raise media and consumer awareness of the credit union difference. The League purchased the chocolate and almond candy bars, which featured a custom designed red, white, and blue wrapper with the "America's Credit Unions" logo, along with facts about Ohio's credit unions. The League assembled the gift bags, which in addition to the chocolate bars included flyers on the "Credit Union Difference" and International Credit Union Day, and a copy of the President's International CU Day recognition. Credit union representatives simply added their business card and made the deliveries to local media outlets. Media Sweet Week fell in the midst of a series of media luncheons the Ohio League coordinated across the state between media outlets and credit union representatives. Michigan Credit Union League's Blue Water Chapter welcomed Canadian credit union leaders from neighboring Sarnia and three special guests from the Macedonian credit union movement in Southeastern Europe. While CUNA christened the day "Building a Better Tomorrow," the Michigan credit union movement created the theme, "You're Worth More at a Credit Union," in a special billboard campaign coinciding with this year's celebration. Coordinated by the Michigan Credit Union Marketing Alliance and the MCUL, the month-long billboard campaign was launched Oct. 1 on nearly 200 billboards across the Lower Michigan Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula focused instead on special newspaper sections since the scarcity of high-traffic billboards in that area U.P. make print ads more effective. Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives and the Mayors of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg joined other states and cities around the nation in declaring October 17th as International Credit Union Day. In addition, members of the state's Senate, House and Banking Department joined credit union leaders in honoring International Credit Union Day at a reception in the Capitol Rotunda. Missouri Governor Bob Holden also signed a proclamation making Oct. 17 Credit Union Day throughout the state. Electro Savings Credit Union, Mid-Missouri Credit Union and Missouri Central Credit Union all hosted member appreciation events at branches complete with food, prizes and special International Credit Union Week decorations. Other credit unions across the state such as Clay County Teachers' CU and Community Financial CU opted to celebrate by hosting grand opening festivities. CTCE Federal Credit Union, which received the 2002 People's Choice Award for best credit union in Berks County, chose to extend the celebration with four days of free activities and educational events for the community including providing free credit reports, a free seminar, "Buying Your First Home," and free DNA fingerprinting for children. Five Illinois credit unions marked International Credit Union Day by signing on with the Financial Service Centers Cooperative, Inc. international shared branch network. The five CUs will bring 12 new outlets to the network. The twelve branches are expected to open in April 2003. Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan has praised five credit unions and a California CU network provider, Financial Service Centers Corp. for "contributing to the prosperity of our country" through shared branching. (See page 26 for more International Credit Union Day coverage). [email protected]

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