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YORKTOWN, Va. – Given the past experience with Hurricane Isabel, 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union staffers and members stepped up to donate $205,614 to help Gulf States residents impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The need to help was also a personal one for 1st Advantage FCU President/CEO Adrian Duplantier, Jr., who is a New Orleans native and was visiting relatives down in the area when the storm struck and witnessed the devastation first hand. Throughout September, 1st Advantage FCU partnered with local American Red Cross chapters to raise money for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. To encourage donations from the community, the credit union matched contributions up to $75,000. Donations came from many different sources. Hilton Elementary School students and staff donated $1,313. Students willingly gave up snack money, allowances and their savings for the cause. Hampton Roads Academy and Country Day School each donated $1,000 through 1st Advantage. In addition, leftover Mardi Gras beads from a past trip to New Orleans became more than just souvenirs for Country Day School student Reagan White -who sold them at lunch and collected $500. John Hollenbeck, a Boy Scout from Troop 180 in Williamsburg opted to earn his Eagle Scout Award by hosting a series of car washes over one weekend-raising over $6,000. In addition, the York County Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club of Grafton each donated $2,000. Members of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the International Special Events Society donated $1,625. By far, the largest group of donations came from the residents and staff of Williamsburg Landing. In just nine days, they collected an astounding $44,710. “The Red Cross truly appreciates 1st Advantage’s help in raising funds for the Disaster Relief Fund,” said Hampton Roads Chapter CEO Heather Livingston. “Hurricane Katrina and Rita presented monumental service delivery needs and Red Cross chapters nationwide have responded in turn. Locally, we’ve assisted over 625 evacuee families and we’ve sent over 60 trained volunteers to help directly in the affected Gulf States.”

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