NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/18/09)--Nearly 70 chapter leaders representing 17 of the Illinois Credit Union League's (ICUL) 25 chapters attended the annual Chapter Leaders Conference hosted by the league and the Illinois Quad Cities Chapter. This year's theme was "CUs … Naturally Better" and topics centered on promoting chapter activities and events related to environmental issues. Speaking at the event was Chat Pregracke, founder of Living Lakes & Waters, an organization to clean up the Mississippi River. Pregracke and his mother KeeKee told about how Pregracke founded the organization in 1998, starting with a small loan from a credit union in Quad Cities. Today the $1.3 million relief organization travels the country with several employees and a fleet of barges and workboats. Thousands of volunteers have cooperated to help with community cleanups, Riverbottom Forest Restoration, and Adopt-a-Mississippi River Mile programs. He was presented a $500 donation by the chapter Chairman Ray Rogers on behalf of the chapter and the league. The group also heard from local business community leaders about "How Credit Unions Can Help Their Communities Go Green." The panel consisted of the former mayor and current staff of Rock Island, Ill.; the manager of a local grocery chain; and editor of a local consumer environmental publication. They discussed their green initiatives and told how credit unions can become involved in discussing the projects with their communities. A silent auction during the conference raised $1,500 for the Credit Union Political Action Council, the Illinois Credit Union Foundation and an iBelong campaign in Illinois.