Credit Union Miracle Day

For Immediate Release

27 February 2013

Contact: Sarah Turner, Director, Credit Union Miracle Day
sturner@mddccua.org

Direct: 443.325.0778

Cell: 410.262.6480


Credit Union Miracle Day Wins the Credit Union Movement’s Most Prestigious Award

Washington, D.C.  – February 27, 2013 -- Credit Union Miracle Day, sponsor of the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, was awarded the Credit Union Movement’s most prestigious award at a gala celebration Monday night, February 25 in Washington, DC.  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) awarded Credit Union Miracle Day the 2013 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program.

CUMD Chairman Juri Valdov accepted the award and said that the program personifies the cooperative nature of credit unions. “CUMD is a collaboration of our credit unions, our business partners and our trade associations,” he said. “Together, Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., and our sponsorship of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and the family of races have given us a wonderful opportunity to show ­ not just talk about ­ the credit union difference. In fact, it’s enabled us to ‘be the difference,’” he added.

“Credit Union Miracle Day is one of those rare and special events that has 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!”

The award was presented at the Credit Union Foundation’s awards gala as part of the Movement’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference.  Although not its primary mission, raising Credit Unions’ visibility on Capitol Hill is a significant part of the CUMD program. To deepen Capitol Hill involvement, there is even a Capitol Hill Competition, which represents nearly 1,000 runners 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.

“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.”

“The outpouring of support by credit unions for the race and children’s hospitals across the nation­combined 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.

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. In 2011, CUMD expanded its cause to a Family of Races benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through Credit Unions for Kids, adding the 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 last 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 has conducted 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.

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 draws together 93 credit unions, 56 business partner organizations, including lead partner, PSCU, 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 last 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, former 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.

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About Credit Union Miracle Day

Credit Union Miracle Day is a partnership of credit unions, CUSOs and partner organizations united to sponsor a Family of Races benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals under the umbrella of Credit Unions for Kids. The Family of Races includes the April 7 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, D.C., the April 7 Credit Union SacTown Ten Mile Run in Sacramento, California, and two Freedom Runs for our troops overseas. For more information, visit www.miracleday.org.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network is an alliance of premier children’s hospitals across North America which treats 17 million critically ill children annually, regardless of their ability to pay.

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. http://www.ncuf.coop/home/events/wegner/pastawardrecipients/pastawardrecipients.aspx

About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):

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.

With the level of U.S. talent expected for the Championship, it is likely that the American record for a women’s-only 10-mile race will be set at the event. The current mark of 54:37 was set by the late Sally Meyerhoff in the 2009 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. (USATF’s rules distinguish between American record times set in women’s-only races and those set in mixed races.)

“The addition of the USA Women’s 10 Mile Championships to our slate of weekend activities complements and reinforces our mission, which is to be the only truly elite road race in our nation’s capital,” said Race Director Phil Stewart. “We appreciate the support of America’s Credit Unions, which made it possible for us to host the women’s championship, and are excited to host the very best American women distance runners, and look forward to them taking aim at the single-sex U.S. record.”

"The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run has been a spring institution for road runners for more than four decades," Max Siegel, CEO of USATF said. "We are thrilled to bring our Women's 10 Mile Championship to the nation's capital for what is sure to be a great day for elite women's racing."

Over 26,000 runners submitted applications to participate in the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K. With a field limit of 15,000 established by the National Park Service and selected by lottery in December, not everyone who hoped to run will be able to participate in this year’s “Runners Rite of Spring®”. There are, however, a limited number of openings for Charity Race Entrants, who need to register by March 1. Charity Race Entrants gain entry by raising a minimum of $500 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Information about becoming a Charity Race Entry participant is available at: http://www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/cucherryblossom/.

According to Race Director Phil Stewart: “Since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K have raised over $5.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and a significant part of that sum has been raised by Charity Race entrants. Charity Race entrants are required to raise a minimum of $500 by March 1, but lots of runners in the past have gone above and beyond the minimum; it’s not at all unusual for a Charity Entrant to raise thousands of dollars.”

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®.” The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children’s hospitals across the United States. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC’s own Children’s National Medical Center (“Children’s Hospital”). The event also funds two $5,000 Road Runners Club of America “Roads Scholar” grants designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk. PSCU is the lead financial partner of Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Supporting sponsors include Gatorade, Navy Federal Credit Union, New Balance, Potomac River Running, Gold’s Gym and E-Trade.

About USA Track & Field:

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.

About America’s Credit Unions:

Credit unions provide consumers choices for financial services such as checking accounts, investments and loans of all kinds including mortgages. Funds are federally insured, but unlike banks, there are no stockholders at credit unions. Earnings are returned to member-owners in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members’TM needs first is why more than 95 million Americans do their banking at one of America’sTM 7,000 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone-- no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs. To find a credit union near you visit:

www.asmarterchoice.org or www.culookup.com

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