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Bank pulls plug CUs save winter festival
BURLINGTON, Vt. (2/16/09)--Three credit unions stepped in after a bank pulled its support at the 11th hour on the 2009 Winter Festival in Burlington, Vt.
(Photos provided by the Association of Vermont Credit Unions)
Chittenden Bank had been a long-time major sponsor of the event. Festival organizers had been told the bank would fund the event again this year. However, the former Vermont bank was purchased last year by Connecticut-based People's United Bank, which pulled the funding for the sponsorship (Newslines Express Feb. 13). Three credit unions--Caswell CU, New England FCU (NEFCU), and NorthCountry FCU--all signed on to fill the void when panicked organizers contacted them a few weeks ago. Caswell CU, an $11.3 million asset credit union based in South Burlington, was already signed up to sponsor the festival for a third year in a row. The credit union, assisted by Association of Vermont Credit Unions (AVCU) Vice President Bryan Kent, connected the event's organizers at the University of Vermont (UVM) with the other two credit unions. NorthCountry FCU, a $218.3 million asset credit union based in South Burlington, and the Williston-based, $654.2 million asset NEFCU quickly added their sponsorship support, providing organizers with the funds needed to ensure the event took place as scheduled, said AVCU. This was the 17th year of the festival, which is organized by the event planning class of UVM's Community Development and Applied Economics Department. The event includes the Penguin Plunge to support Vermont Special Olympics, the Ice Walk on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, and other area events. The snow sculptors competed to represent Vermont in the National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. As a major sponsor, NorthCountry’s carving was located adjacent to the Church Street Marketplace piece which traditionally marks the start of the Ice Walk. A dozen sponsored carvings, including those done for Caswell and NEFCU, were located along a three block length of Church Street, with the Marketplace’s fourth and final block reserved for competitive snow sculptures.
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