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COPAIGUE, N.Y.-A capacity crowd of local residents and dignitaries gathered jubilantly on Saturday, February 21 to celebrate the opening of the newest branch of the Polish & Slavic FCU. With headquarters in Greenpoint, N.Y., Polish & Slavic FCU now has nine locations to serve its members in Brooklyn, Queens, Northern New Jersey and, with the opening of the Copaigue facility, the largest Polish ethnic community in Nassau County. “It’s a great honor to welcome you to another milestone in the history of the Polish & Slavic FCU,” said Chief Executive Officer Danuta Sieminski. “We have blossomed into one of the largest and most successful institutions of its kind, and as evidenced here today, we will continue to grow.” “Our goal is to underwrite a lot of loans,” added Tomasz Bortnik, chairman of the Polish & Slavic FCU board of directors. “It’s what our credit union needs. We want to support our community through residential housing and other services.” As a result of opening the new facility, Polish & Slavic FCU will be adding the Polish Friends of Copaigue to its base of sponsoring organizations; the application is in process. As a sponsor, Polish Friends of Copaigue will help the credit union expand its membership as well as serve as a community liaison-for example, directing community members to resources for immigration services. The credit union’s current sponsors are the Polish & Slavic Center located in Brooklyn and the Polish Cultural Foundation of Clark, N.J. “We’re very excited that we’re finally here,” said Miranda Zimnoch, a director of the Polish Friends of Copaigue and a local business owner. “We’ve waited seven years. We saw this building when it was not in such good shape, and we supported you [the Polish & Slavic FCU]. We welcome you to our community.” In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, highlights of the afternoon included a blessing of the new facility by Father Michael Flynn, pastor of Our Lady of Assumption Church, and a performance by Polish singing star Irena Jarocka, who sang the Polish National Anthem and other songs. Attendees were invited to open new accounts, make use of teller services and generally celebrate at a reception on the facility’s second floor. In addition, Steven Bellone, Town Supervisor of Babylon, presented Sieminski with a special plaque and the official papers of occupancy. “We’re so proud that this institution-which has a history of growing and prospering-is opening here in Copaigue,” Bellone said. “If she [Danuta Sieminski] runs this credit union as well as she ran this construction job, then your money is very safe and in good hands,” Peter Casserly, Commissioner of Planning for the Town of Babylon, added in a lighthearted moment. Polish & Slavic FCU is one of the world’s largest ethnic credit unions, with more than 60,000 members and approximately $1 billion in assets. With the opening of the new facility, Sieminski expects to add several thousand new members over the next few years.

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