Credit Union Miracle Day Wins Wegner Award for Outstanding Program

Josie Collins

National CU Foundation to Present Three Awards on February 25, 2013

Madison, Wis. – Through its family of races benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Credit Union Miracle Day has made a significant impact in the credit union industry. In recognition of its efforts raising national awareness of credit unions, local community partnerships and fundraising, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Credit Union Miracle Day as the winner of the 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program.

This will be one of three Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by NCUF at the Grand Hyatt Washington on February 25, 2013, which is Monday night of the Credit Union National Association’s 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference. Online registration for dinner tickets will be available later this year on the NCUF website (

“Credit Union Miracle Day is one of those rare and special events that seems to grown into a level of influence and prominence in such as small amount of time that is hard to comprehend its entirety,” said NCUF Awards & Recognition Committee Chairman Bob Schumacher. “It encompasses not only raising funds for a worthy cause, but also has an impact on credit union advocacy that is almost unmatched in its power. It is certainly a Wegner winner!”

“We are so honored to be recognized and to receive this prestigious award,” said Credit Union Miracle Day (CUMD) Chairman Juri Valdov. “It’s been a tremendous team effort which entails countless volunteer hours from our board and committee members, but it is all worth it for the children, the credit unions and the community.”

Raising over $5.5 Million for Children’s Miracle Network
Credit Union Miracle Day is the largest national credit union event for Credit Unions for Kids, which is a nonprofit collaboration of credit union organizations engaged in fundraising activities to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. CUMD started with the 2002 credit union sponsorship of its now flagship event, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® in Washington, D.C. Last year, CUMD expanded their cause to a family of races benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through Credit Unions for Kids, adding the new Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run in Sacramento, Calif., and two Freedom Runs for American troops overseas, including one at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and one at Wiesbaden Army Garrison, Germany, all held on or around the same day. To date, Credit Union Miracle Day has generated over $5.5 million for 136 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.

“The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is the most successful in terms of dollars raised for a one-day Credit Unions for Kids event benefiting Children’s Miracle Network,” said Tom Sargent, Director at First Tech Federal Credit Union and former Chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Board of Trustees. “The race started with $50,000 raised in 2002 and continues to reach new heights. In fact, just this year, $515,000 was raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide through the Credit Union Cherry Blossom and SacTown Runs.”

Inspiring Community Partnerships & New Events
CUMD’s efforts have spawned collaboration and community partnerships not only on the national level, but the local level as well. Funds collected during this national event stay in the credit union’s community to benefit the kids served by the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Many credit unions have used this opportunity to create a community event and partner with their local hospital to raise awareness about the needs of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

In addition to fundraising, CUMD conducts a special event at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The event brings together credit union leaders who join with hospital personnel and patients to highlight the successes of children’s hospitals. A similar event is hosted in California. CUMD has also inspired communities throughout the nation to create their own events. One example of this is a statewide walk in Ohio that supports Credit Unions for Kids.

Raising Credit Unions’ Visibility on Capitol Hill

“Building awareness on Capitol Hill is integral to credit union’s future and CUMD is one of only a few events that highlight credit unions in the mainstream,” said Dan Mica, Principal at The DMA Group and former President/CEO of Credit Union National Association. “The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is quite visible in Washington, and having this Capitol Hill connection provides credit unions with a great opportunity to convey to Congress the credit union difference.”

To deepen Capitol Hill involvement, there is even a Capitol Hill Competition, which represents nearly 1,000 runners this year from Capitol Hill with 43 Senate teams and 37 House teams. Also in 2012, a record breaking 188 Members of Congress signed up to serve as Honorary Cherry Blossom Race Chairs including 32 U.S. Senators. The run is also featured in widely read and circulated Capitol Hill publications.

“The outpouring of support by credit unions for the race and children’s hospitals across the nation—combined with the highest-ever participation from the Hill – ensures that the impact of event will resound throughout credit unions and Washington,” noted Bill Cheney, President/CEO of the Credit Union National Association.

Highlighting the Credit Union Difference to Consumers
Aside from the visibility on Capitol Hill, CUMD helps bring national exposure of credit unions to consumers in many ways. The races are nationally recognized and the partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals adds to the national recognition and credit unions’ positive impact on communities.

“CUMD has brought awareness to consumers that credit unions are an alternative financial institution,” said Tom Dorety, President/CEO of Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.

Each year, the website, promotional material and signage for the races prominently note the credit union connection, furthering the credit union message. Media exposure extends beyond Capitol Hill publications and there is live video streaming which portrays credit unions in a very positive light. The races are covered by national media, giving credit unions a further boost.

“This nationwide collaborative effort showcases the cooperative nature of the credit union movement, the benefits of credit union membership, and a commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” said John Lauck, President and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Supported by Credit Unions in Many Ways
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run draw together 93 credit unions, 56 business partner organizations, 16‚000 runners and over 700 volunteers who are credit union members from across the country in support for children in need. Credit unions from 13 states participated in this year’s race activities, helping the race become more than a regional event. It is also estimated that about half of the runners are credit union members.

“This race isn’t just about the runners,” said Gerrianne D. Burks, President/CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union. “It’s an opportunity for credit unions across the country, like Northwest Federal, to volunteer in support of the run to show our cooperative spirit and commitment to providing hope to children and their families.”

About the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards:
The awards are named in honor of the late Credit Union National Association CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication, innovative ideas and deeds truly revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities.  The awards that bear Wegner’s name recognize his spirit of “innovative, creative, risk-taking” leadership. View past award recipients here.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.

NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Corporate Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual.  All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make financial freedom achievable through credit unions.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.

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