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BEND, Ore. – It’s not unusual for a credit union to win an award from its local chamber of commerce. However, when Bend-based Mid Oregon Credit Union won business of the year from the Redmond, Oregon chamber, the $95 million institution had something to crow about. “One of our board members said `it’s really an accomplishment considering we’re not headquartered there,’ and it is,” said Kyle Frick, vice president marketing and sales. The credit union has a branch in Redmond, but it was Mid Oregon’s work in the community that caught the chamber’s eye. Mid Oregon employees donated about 2,000 hours to community projects and civic organizations in central Oregon during 2005. The credit union also donates money, including participation as the title sponsor in the Redmond Chamber’s Music on the Green summer concert series. In addition to high visibility in the community, the credit union also utilizes creative strategies to solicit donations from members. When promoting skip payment this past holiday season, the credit union asked members to donate $5 to Portland’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital if they skipped their payment. Nearly 200 members obliged, resulting in close to $1,000 in donations. “Last year, we got $411, which isn’t bad, but this year we remarketed it, tweaked it around and made the hospital and the charity the focus,” Frick said. Redmond isn’t the only city taking note of Mid Oregon’s community participation. The credit union’s hometown of Bend named the credit union a finalist in its Business of the Year competition last year, and may do so again. “We could actually win two business of year awards this year. We’ll know in March,” Frick said.

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