CSCU Awards $10,000 to Community Outreach Scholarship Winners

TAMPA, Fla. (June 28, 2013) Card Services for Credit Unions’ (CSCU) Community Outreach Scholarship program has awarded $10,000 to credit union members that are building relationships and giving back to their own communities. The scholarship program was started in 2008 to recognize and reward credit unions of all sizes for exceptional community outreach efforts and provide scholarship funds to allow the credit unions to continue supporting important community projects.

“The Community Outreach Scholarship program exemplifies the credit union philosophy of people helping people,” said Kristi Mackey, AVP Client Services and Products, CSCU. “CSCU is proud to support our credit unions that in turn positively impact their own communities.”

This year, 76 credit unions submitted applications, of which 16 were selected to receive scholarships totaling $10,000. Back by popular demand, the ‘fan choice’ award allowed credit unions to vote for their favorites on Twitter, with the winners receiving a $500 scholarship award.

2013 Community Outreach Scholarship winners and brief descriptions:

First Place - $3,000 award toward outreach efforts

Liberty Bay Credit Union  Braintree, MA

Upon recognizing a significant level of need among the Greater Boston not-for-profit community for both affordable banking services as well as fundraising support, Liberty Bay CU developed a community outreach program that focused on delivering a comprehensive package of banking solutions designed specifically for not-for-profits, as well as an action-oriented plan to give back to member charitable organizations by way of event and fundraising support.

Second Place - $2,000 award toward outreach efforts

KimCentral Credit Union  Neenah, WI

KimCentral CU is asking school booster clubs, organizations, groups or teams to create a two-minute video highlighting an anti-bullying message. It must include one line for texting a crime tip to Winnebago CountyWide Crime Stoppers, “IGOTYA to 274637”. The winning video will receive $1500 for their group and $3500 for the school they represent.

Third Place - $1,000 award toward outreach efforts

PortAlliance Federal Credit Union  Norfolk, VA

PortAlliance FCU is teaming up with Granby High School's new course for young girls hoping to shape up physically and financially. The credit union will be providing financial literacy training in addition to providing water bottles, towels and pedometers. The girls enrolled in P.E. Enhancements earn academic credit to learn about financial stability and nutrition, and perform physical activities.

Fourth Place - $500 award toward outreach efforts

Delta County Credit Union  Escanaba, MI

Delta County CU has become a major sponsor of its local animal shelter. In addition to the monetary donations provided regularly, they have teamed up to host an adoption event each month at the branch where they bring in adoptable animals and offer discounts on adoption fees to members.

CoastHills Federal Credit Union  Lompoc, CA

In September CoastHills FCU will hold the 7th annual "Rancho Vino" event. This event has raised more than $175,000 for the community over the past six years. For the third year in a row, the beneficiary will be a local cancer center, Mission Hope Cancer Center. The food and wine tasting event features a live and silent auction.

Northwest Georgia Credit Union  Rome, GA

Northwest Georgia CU has created its own copyrighted financial literacy program for local classrooms called Embark. After experiencing phenomenal success, they decided to take the program to the next level in 2010, and established the “learn.grow.” umbrella brand for an entire financial literacy initiative, which included work, community and classroom efforts.

Fox Communities Credit Union  Appleton, WI

Fox Communities CU could have completed the Stock the Shelves food drive and received many accolades all on their own, but thought there would be strength in credit unions. So, they took a leadership role and contacted all of the credit unions in the area to request participation as a team rather than individually. They partnered with 17 local credit unions for the drive.

Mid Missouri Credit Union  Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Mid Missouri CU is gearing up for the 8th Annual Military Appreciation Night at the Springfield Cardinals game, Saturday, June 22, 2013. Last year they were able to put over 2,000 service members and their families in a seat at no cost to the families.

Fifth Place - $100 award toward their outreach efforts

New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union  Metairie, LA

Each year, New Orleans Firemen’s FCU (NOFFCU) partners with Children’s Hospital Guild of New Orleans to host an event that brings joy and smiles to children that are hospitalized. It originally started as a Christmas gift-giving event, along with countless other organizations visiting the hospital in the same season, and has now been moved to the summer months. Last year more than 200 gifts were distributed throughout the hospital.

Gates Chili Federal Credit Union  Rochester, NY

Last year, Gates Chili FCU partnered with a local elementary school to develop a savings program, the Spartan Savers Club, for students. They began by asking parents to enroll their children into the program by opening a savings account for them. The classroom that opened the most accounts won a pizza party. Now they visit the elementary school on the first Thursday of every month for a Savings Day.

Western New York Federal Credit Union  West Seneca, NY

Every year for the past ten years, WNYFCU has been involved with the American Cancer Society through the West Seneca Relay for Life. This year it will try to exceed the $15,000 raised in 2012 with fundraising such as: 40 inch TV raffle donated by the WNYFCU, Beer Blast and Chinese Auction, Pet Fashion Show, Bake Sale, candy bar sales, and a lot of team and individual fundraising.

CORE Federal Credit Union  East Syracuse, NY

CORE Federal Credit Union has offered a community grant program to groups and organizations in Madison County, NY. When they ran the program in 2012 they offered $2,500 in grants to the community, and in return received requests for more than $25,000 in community needs.

VacationLand Federal Credit Union  Sandusky, OH

VLFCU is committed to making a positive impact on its surrounding communities. Major sponsorships for the year included the Bay Area Soccer League, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl 4 Kids’ Sake, United Way of Erie County, Great Lakes Chapter March of Dimes Walk, Cystic Fibrosis Jail Break 5K, Stein Hospice & the Good Grief Camp, Teen Leadership Corps, Sandusky State Theatre’s Children Matinee Series, Wightman Weiber/Firelands Regional Medical Center Hearts in Flight, and Girls’ Night Out Bras for a Cause. Contributions were also made to the Foundation for Firelands and the NOMS Women’s Center to assist cancer patients with treatment.

Twitter Fan Favorites - $500 award toward outreach efforts

AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union  Mechanicsburg, PA

AmeriChoice FCU’s Family Fun Extravaganza is an annual community outreach event held at AmeriChoice during the summer months. The primary goal is to provide current members and the surrounding community with a fun-filled event for children of all ages. The Family Fun Extravaganza attracts hundreds of people in the surrounding community by offering free food, a bounce house, a visit from AmeriChoice's mascot Dollar Dog, and a balloon man, among other activities. This outreach promotes local businesses in the area and offers giveaways throughout the event. The purpose of this event is to reach out into the community and become Central Pennsylvania's trusted partner in helping members of the community achieve their financial goals.

Lafayette Schools Federal Credit Union  Lafayette, LA

This year Lafayette Schools FCU will host Money$mart Kids Camp. This inaugural summer enrichment camp will inspire youth to learn about personal finances in a fun environment. Camp sessions will be held at the credit union for K-2nd and 3rd-5th grade levels. Lessons and activities will meet Louisiana state education standards utilizing resources from Jump$tart Coalition, Biz Kid$ and other national programs. This one-of-a-kind program will help strengthen youth’s financial literacy in the community.

Members Credit Union  Winston – Salem, NC

The Wig Walk is a 5K walk and fun run to benefit the Wig Bank of Caldwell County in North Carolina. The Wig Bank is a nonprofit cancer services center that provides prosthetic wigs for cancer patients, promotes the importance of cancer screenings and provides funds to cancer patients for transportation to cancer treatment centers in Winston-Salem and Tennessee. They do not charge for these support services and they help everyone who asks for support.