FAIRLAWN, Ohio (2/10/09)--Towpath CU and five other financial institutions urged Akron, Ohio-area residents to turn their loose change into savings by bringing it in for deposit. The campaign netted $266,000 in coins at Towpath. The recent campaign, conducted by the $63.8 million asset Fairlawn, Ohio-based credit union, took the initiative a step further by placing coin-sorting machines at its two locations for members’ convenience (eLumination Newsletter Feb. 4). Towpath also made a 10% matching deposit on up to $1,000 in coin deposits. The added bonus required that deposits be placed in new or existing accounts and remain for 30 days. The member who made the largest deposit of change received a $100 three-month certificate. During the week of the campaign, Towpath accepted 833 deposits, opened 188 new accounts and collected $266,000 in coins. One area resident deposited more than $4,120 in loose change that her husband had accumulated over several years. Another resident--striving to win the $100 certificate-- deposited $4,279 in coins collected over 10 years, with pennies alone accounting for $1,300. The credit union told the Ohio Credit Union League that it was overwhelmed by the community’s participation in the program. “It was way more than we expected,” said Towpath CEO Alan McArthur. He assisted a member who brought in a five-gallon jug filled with coins, which was too heavy to put in the coin-counting machine. McArthur solved the problem by using a hammer and screw driver to punch a hole in the jug’s bottom so the coins could slide out. The credit union said it received significant media attention for the savings program.