AWARDS Bayer Federal Credit Union, Elkhart, Ind., was recently awarded first place in the Desjardin Youth Financial Education Award program and second place in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award Program by the Indiana Credit Union League. For the Desjardin award, Bayer FCU was recognized for its continual dedication to financially educating teenagers in the community. And for the Dora Maxwell award, Bayer FCU was recognized for the seminars it offers on financial literacy to educate the community on building and repairing credit, home ownership, budgeting and saving. Bayer FCU's first place in the Desjardins Youth Financial Education will advance it to CUNA's national competition. First Financial Federal Credit Union, Wall, N.J., recently started a new award as part of its "Going the Extra Mile" (GEM) award program, which recognizes staff members for going above and beyond in their every day duties. The new award is called the "Sales and Service Excellence" (SASE) Award, acknowledging those employees who demonstrate a superior quality in sales and service. The first SASE award was presented to First Financial's E-Services team recently. The Clark County Chapter of Credit Unions, Vancouver, Wash., was honored with the "Chapter of the Year" award at the recent Washington Credit Union League Annual Convention. The chapter was recognized for its Web site development and contribution to this year's Vancouver Parks Foundation Golf Tournament, both of which showed its ability to bring together area credit unions in unique and innovative ways. The Clark County Chapter of Credit Unions is made up of 10 credit unions from Southwest Washington and is led by Kay Colclesser, who works in Training and Staff Development at Columbia Credit Union. Redwood Credit Union, Santa Rosa, Calif., was recently selected as one of the "Best Places to Work" in the North Bay by the North Bay Business Journal. Winners were selected based on several criteria including an employer questionnaire, employee survey ratings, number of employee responses, and written comments by employees. A full two-thirds of RCU employees responded to the confidential online survey, which far exceeded the publication's minimum criteria. Employees of the CU cited many reasons RCU was a great employer, including the way it treats its employees with trust and respect, the culture, the focus on service, the organization's focus on "doing the right thing", the compensation and benefits, the company's commitment to the community and the fun employee events the CU hosts annually. BRANCHING OUT Watermark Credit Union, Seattle, recently opened the doors to its newest office in Burien. The grand opening festivities included a Family Fun Day with free food, games and giveaways. Several local civic leaders were invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony along with members of the community. The new branch is a state-of-the-art facility with three lanes of drive-thru access, 28 parking stalls, 24-hour ATM machine and safe deposit boxes on site. This is the first of two new branches that Watermark is constructing this year. A branch in Shoreline is currently under construction and is scheduled to open January 2007. Group Health Credit Union, Seattle, announced the opening of its newest branch in the South Lake Union area. GHCU celebrated the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by Washing State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Washington State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson; Mark Minickiello, vice president legislative affairs of the Washington Credit Union League; GHCU senior management and employees; and community members. As part of the grand opening, people who opened a checking account received their choice of a Target GiftCard, Restaurnt's Unlimited gift card or a Shell gas card. C-E Federal Credit Union, Houston, recently opened its third branch. C-E FCU celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and served refreshments to its members. Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union, Rio Grande, N.J., recently opened a new branch in Rio Grande. The Cape May County Branch represents the third location for the credit union, which also operates offices in Northfield and at the William J. Hughes Technical Center. The public was invited to attend the CU's grand opening festivities, which included refreshments, gifts for children, special giveaways for new account holders, special rates on personal loans and new and used vehicle loans, and chance to win prizes ranging from Starbucks and Wawa gift cards to an iPod. Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union, Alcoa, Tenn., recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of it is first in-school branch. In partnership with Maryville Christian School, the in-school branch, named "The Money Tree" by its students, opened its doors for business. The branch is managed and operated by volunteers from the school. The students were chosen by the school from the Math Honors Class. In other news at Alcoa Tenn FCU, the CU recently held its Annual Member Appreciation Day celebrating 70 years of service to Blount County. The served hotdogs, chips, coke and cookies to the 1,500 attendees at the celebration. Prizes and promotions were also offered to attendees, all in the 70th anniversary theme. DONATIONS Staff members and young people from Afena Federal Credit Union, Marion, Ind., recently joined several hundred other walkers in Marion's 2006 Kidney Association Walk raising $145. The purpose of the annual event is to raise funds for research and to help patients and their families, as well as to help the public understand the need for early detection of kidney disease. Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union, Clinton Township, Mich., recently sponsored the "Gear for the School Year" School Supplies Drive for disadvantaged students in Oakland and Macomb Intermediate School districts. The CU collected over 600 school supplies for less fortunate children including: backpacks, pens/pencils, rulers, calculators, binders, notebooks and many more school necessities. Memphis Area Teachers' Credit Union, Memphis, Tenn., recently presented $500 to Connie White, a teacher at Georgian Hills Elementary, as part of the CU's One Class At A Time Grant. The money will be used for what White calls "Poetry, Prose and Puppets." Specifically, the money will be used to purchase a puppet stage and three 29-inch puppets for a program designed to allow the fifth and sixth graders to write and perform their original skits for their peers and parents. Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna, Va., recently had employees from its Pensacola Express and Northcross Village branches participate in the 23rd Marine Corps Aviation Association's 5K Run for charity by distributing information to attendees; providing awards to the top male and female finishes;a nd presenting a donation to New Horizons of Northwest Florida. The MCAA's Roy S. Geiger squadron has held a 5K run in Pensacola since 1983 to support New Horizons, an organization that has provided over 64 years of service to people with developmental disabilities through operation of their group homes and a 24-hour care residential facility. The CU donated $1,000 to the organization. ART: Hansen & Madeline Cropped.jpg CUT: Ramona Hansen (left) was nominted by Madeline Baker (right) for Numerica's First Class School Champion Award. Numerica Credit Union, Post Falls, Idaho, Silverwood Theme Park and KXLY's Kalae Chock made the first presentation of the First Class School Champion Award recently at Ponderosa Elementary. Madeline Baker, a Ponderosa fourth grader who helps out in the school's kitchen, nominated Ramona Hansen, a baker at Ponderosa, for September's School Champion title. The First Class School Champion Award is given every month through May and students can nominate their favorite school employee who works within North Idaho. A committee will select a winner once a month. Hansen, the 29-year food service baker with the school district, received $100 to be used at the school or in her department, along with a plaque, gift bag, two Silverwood Theme Park passes and a $45 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse. MILESTONES Mutual Savings Credit Union, Birmingham, Ala., recently offered two special seven percent certificate of deposit specials to celebrate 70 years of service. Orginally created to serve employees of U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works, Mutual Savings Credit Union has been serving communities since 1936. MSCU offered two special CDs: seven percent for seven months and seven percent for 12 months. ART: CEO and cake.tif CUT: United Health CU Board Chairman Tony Violanti and President/CEO Linda White proudly display a cake that was 50 years in the making. United Health Credit Union, Burlingame, Calif., recently celebrated 50 years serving members. The CU gave away 50 vacation packages and shared a birthday cake with the credit union's 50th anniversary logo with members. There was also an after-hours open house for local officials, colleagues and longtime members at the main branch. About 50 guests enjoyed a light catered meal and drinks and each received a souvenir key chain with the CU's 50th anniversary logo. Altura Credit Union, Riverside, Calif., recently reached a significant milestone–achieving $800 million in assets as of July 31, 2006. This is a $100 million increase in asset size in less than a year. Altura reached $700 million in assets as of Aug. 31, 2005. In less than 10 ears, Altura has grown from $240 million in assets. West Community Credit Union, Brentwood, Mo., celebrated its 70th anniversary recently with a '70s-themed disco party at its Brentwood branch. Credit union members and the public were invited to enjoy music food and prizes, including $70 gift cards, a digital camera, CD player and iPod. West Community also raised money at the celebration for Children's Miracle Network. Members were invited to try out a new self-serve coin counter in the lobby; West Community matched all coins deposited to donate $2,066 to CMN. Catholic Federal Credit Union, Saginaw, Mich., recently announced the celebration of its 50th anniversary. What started out 50 years ago in the rectory of St. Mary's Cathedral has grown into a $200 million credit union with five locations to serve its growing membership of 22,000. Summit Credit Union, Madison, Wis., is celebrating 75 years of service to its members in south central Wisconsin. The credit union has grown to 11 locations in five counties and helps more than 61,000 members reach their financial goals. Discovery Federal Credit Union, Wyomissing, Pa., recently announced that it has reached assets totaling more than $100 million, a 34% increase over total assets for the same period in 2005.

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