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PUEBLO, Colo. – Sure enough, the battle between banks and credit unions was set to be “played out” here last week in a first-of-its-kind “Credit Union vs. Banks Benefit Softball Game” being held as a Katrina fund raiser. “I sure don’t want to lose to the bankers,” declared a confident John Carpio, president/CEO of Decibel CU, one of four CUs taking part in sponsoring the Oct. 13 evening event to be held at Runyon Field Sports Complex. The idea to hold the benefit aiding Katrina evacuees came from a local radio station sales executive who set up meetings between bank and CU marketing teams several weeks ago when Katrina refugees began streaming into the area. “We had our first practice yesterday and we’re all set,” said Ryan Ito, marketing representative of Decibel CU which has helped coordinate ticket sales. Minnequa Works CU said it will be fielding seven of the 12 players on the CU team with Jennifer Olmstead, marketing director, named as captain. “You know we are a close knit community where the banks and credit unions get along fairly well together but we do compete and so we thought this was a way of doing something good to welcome these people to our community,” said Olmstead. There are 100 relocated families in Pueblo, she said. In addition to Decibel and Minnequa, also providing players are Colorado State Employees CU and Nepco CU. There are seven banks that will be participating, said Ito of Decibel, led by Pueblo Bank & Trust. If he could, Carpio, the Decibel CEO, said in jest that he would have liked to “stack the deck” and bring in a ringer, a nephew of one of his employees who is a star player on a local ball team. “But the rules are they have to be employees,” laughed Carpio. Admission for the game and a follow-up concert was $2 with attendees asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be distributed to the evacuees. Olmstead said there are plans to make the CUs vs. Banks game an annual charity event “even if we lose.” [email protected]

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