Educational Community Credit Union and its staff raisemore than $1,100 for the Great Lakes Burn Camp

KALAMAZOO, MI (July 14, 2014) — Educational Community Credit Union (ECCU) has donated $1,154 to the Great Lakes Burn Camp (GLBC) to assist more than 60 Michigan kids attending the summer session, August 9-15, 2014, at Pretty Lake Vacation Camp, Mattawan. Children ages 6 to 17 who have survived traumatic burns can relax at camp, have fun and connect with one another. Funds were raised by ECCU staff during a recent ‘pay to wear jeans week’ and will be used to support a variety of camp activities.

GLBC was formed in 1995 by firefighter Mike Longenecker and burn survivor Chris Klavon, who had visited a similar camp in Minnesota. “Our mission is to bring together children who’ve suffered similar injuries for friendship and fun,” says Longenecker, who now serves as Camp Director. “Here, kids feel comfortable and realize they’re not alone with their scars.”

Kids will enjoy swimming, water skiing, kayaking, arts and crafts, archery, and a special drive-in movie night with a giant 40’ by 30’ inflatable screen. Mental health professionals will also be on-hand to oversee the campers’ emotional well-being. Unique to GLBC is registered therapy dog, Lady, a burn survivor herself who plays with the kids and creates a positive bonding experience.

ECCU became acquainted with the camp through ECCU member, Bub Sherwood. “We’ve supported the GLBC through Bub for several years,” says Financial Services Representative Lisa Blankenship. “This year, staff raised funds by wearing jeans to work to help Bub reach his goal.” Sherwood raised additional funds, nearly $9,000 total for the GLBC, by sponsoring a classic car show, raffle, and other activities at the Texas Corral Restaurant Backyard BBQ on June 29th.

Sherwood, who owns Bub Sherwood’s Auto Repair in Galesburg, has been an ECCU member since 2001. “The credit union always supported the GLBC through Comstock Daze and they’re still behind the camp and community 100 percent. They’ve always been there for me and my family, too.”

This year marks GLBC’s 20th Anniversary, with many campers returning each year and some becoming camp counselors. “Building lifelong relationships is why so many of us believe in and work for the camp,” adds Longenecker.

ECCU supports the GLBC and a variety of causes close to the hearts of members and staff. “‘Do the Right Thing’ is a core value for us and part of our mission in giving back,” concludes Blankenship.

With seven convenient locations, ECCU is a full service financial institution serving anyone who lives or works in a 21-county area in West Michigan. For details on credit union membership, visit

About ECCU

 Established in 1935, ECCU has grown from serving only Kalamazoo school employees, to serving the greater educational community, to now providing a full range of financial products and services to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in any of our 21 Michigan counties. The credit union exceeds $412 million in assets and serves more than 36,000 members. Visit to learn more about membership and why ECCU just feels right, and our members feel right at home.

About the Great Lakes Burn Camp

Since 1995, Great Lakes Burn Camp (GLBC) has been a special place for children ages 6-17 to meet, heal, grow, and support other burn survivors. Kids share their stories and bond with each other in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Camp sessions are held twice annually, during winter and summer. Unconditional love and acceptance are only part of what each camper receives at GLBC. To learn more or donate, visit

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