Credit Unions in Alabama and Florida recognized for outstanding service to their members

BIRMINGHAM, AL and TALLAHASSEE, TN (October 15, 2014) — Each year the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates (LSCU), in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the national trade association for credit unions, recognizes credit unions in three award categories: Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility, Louise Herring Philosophy in Action, and Desjardins Financial Education. Nine credit unions in Alabama and Florida picked up state awards from the LSCU. Three credit unions were recognized in two categories.

The winners in each category displayed innovative service to their members through giving to a domestic abuse shelter, bringing a local park back to life, helping military members, and holding a mini billionaires camp. Credit unions live the philosophy of “People Helping People.” These awards are living examples of the types of work they do in their local communities. Each winner is listed below with a short description of the program they instituted that made an impact on their community.

Each first-place winner is sent to CUNA for national award consideration. The national winners are honored at the 2015 CUNA GAC in Washington, D.C. in March, 2015. The state winners received their plaques at ceremonies at the credit union.

Complete CUNA State Award Winners:

Dora Maxwell


1st – PBC CU (Palm Beach)

Entry: Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse fundraiser

This event was a true grassroots effort by the credit union in which teams at the credit union came up with their own fundraising ideas. Both members and employees donated to the cause through the various fundraising events which reached a total of $5,000 for AVDA and $2,000 for Safe Space. Through this process more people were exposed to the many issues surrounding violence and domestic abuse.

2nd – Florida State University CU (Tallahassee)

Entry: Borrow 4 less. Give back more.

An auto loan campaign that educated members and potential members on the benefit of financing or refinancing their auto loan with FSU Credit Union while highlighting the credit union’s commitment to the community by giving back. Ten dollars per auto loan closed was donated to a local charity. The campaign not only enabled the credit union to put consumers in a better position financially, but it also allowed us to set an example of what a credit union means to the community.


1st – First Commerce CU (Tallahassee)

Entry: Discovery at Cascades Park

Through a successful public-private partnership, First Commerce served as a champion to bring Discovery to life, showcasing its commitment to the community and supporting the ongoing revitalization efforts of Tallahassee. Discovery is a family-oriented playscape designed for the enjoyment of children and visitors of all ages at Tallahassee’s Cascades Park. The area represents a variety of Florida environments intended to engage the senses and imagination. Visual features include habitat gardens, a water play area, boulders, climbing logs, artwork and interpretative signage, plus an outdoor classroom.

$500m-$1 billion:

1st – Alabama CU (Tuscaloosa)

Entry: Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon

The Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon was created to promote healthy, active lifestyles to the youth of Alabama while also teaching them the importance of community service and to serve as a fundraising event to benefit the Secret Meals for Hungry Kids program (a three-time national CUNA award winning program). Not only was it the first youth triathlon for West Alabama, it was the largest in the state for 2013. It raised $7,000 at the 2014 event. The funds go directly toward the purchase of food packs. (In the 2013-2014 school year, Secret Meals provided more than 2,000 children in Alabama with weekend food packs.)

$1 billion+:

1st – CFE FCU (Orlando)

Entry: Tomorrow’s Investments Matter (TIM) Works program involvement/sponsorship

TIM Works’ goal is to ensure participants graduate from high school, with a secondary goal of helping the girls continue their education beyond high school. CFE’s goal was to teach them financial management skills through experience. CFE opened free checking accounts for each of the 20 participants and gave them instruction about how a checking account works, thus giving them the tools necessary to be successful at handling their finances in the future.

2nd – Pen Air FCU (Pensacola)

Entry: Charitable Golf Tournament benefiting local Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)

Although the credit union has hosted this golf tournament for over 10 years, this year was different in that a specific amount was planned to be raised to assist the NMCRS in helping those military families affected by ice storm Sandy. A total of $25,000 was raised in this effort.

Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award

$1 billion+:

1st – Pen Air FCU (Pensacola)

Entry: Flash Flood Project

Pen Air implemented Internal and external programs and initiatives to help staff and members during May’s flash flood. This included an emergency 12-month, zero interest loan program, collection of donated items, extensions and skip-a-payment options for employee loans, an employee emergency relief fund, donated PTO, and more.


2nd – Army Aviation Center FCU (Daleville, AL)

Entry: Credit Union Youth Council

The credit union initiated a youth council with the goal to bring junior and senior high school students together to give feedback to the credit union regarding their viewpoints of financial services as well allow AACFCU to educate these student before they begin the next phase of their life.

Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award

Less than $50m:

1st – Tallahassee-Leon FCU (Tallahassee)

Entry: Mini Billionaires’ Academy

Nearly 50 kids, ages eight to 16, attended this overnight camp that makes learning about personal financial management entertaining and engaging by turning typical summertime games into lifelong financial lessons. Activities such as S’mores Store competition, camp fire skits about budgeting, and a zip line that helped teach the mortgage process and a reality fair.

$150m – 500m asset:

1st -Legacy Community FCU (Birmingham)

Entry: Keeping It Real Program

A unique two-day experience that teaches high school freshmen in all Shelby County public high schools, and some private schools, the impact of education and financial decisions on family dynamics. The program is a two-part process that inspires students to begin thinking about practical applications of finances and education.


1st – Suncoast CU (Tampa)

Entry: Suncoast’s Biz Kid$ Money Bo$$

This program typically helps kids ages seven to 12 to take money matters into their own hands. The program teaches the importance of making smart money choices and what is involved with starting a business. Through lessons, video, and interactive activities, the kids have a chance to come up with and present their own creative business ideas to the Suncoast Sharks. As the program comes to an end, participants try to get “investors” to buy in to new business idea, determining with kids make it rich and become “Suncoast Biz Kid$ Money Bo$$es.”

Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award

$1 billion+:

1st – Army Aviation Center FCU (Daleville, AL)

Entry: Adult Financial Education Instruction

Army Aviation Center FCU conducts financial education working with local non-profit organizations providing adults with financial education to assist in creating better lives for themselves and their families. AACFCU’s program helps participants understand budgeting, building credit and credit scores, home buying, and types of accounts available at financial institutions. The classes are held in cooperation with various county offices in the Department of Human Resources and reach adults who are re-entering the work force after being on welfare or are trying to take care of a family on a low income. They also are part of monthly education sessions for new soldiers stationed at Fort Rucker.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 277 credit unions in Alabama and Florida with a combined total of $68 billion in assets and more than 6.7 million members. LSCU provides advocacy and regulatory information; education and training; cooperative initiatives (including financial education outreach); media relations and information; and business solutions. For more information, visit the League on Twitter at or Facebook.

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