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Pa. Wis. foundations CUs bet on Super Bowl teams
PEWAUKEE, Wis., and HARRISBURG, Pa. (2/4/11)--Credit unions and their state foundations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are making friendly wagers on the outcome of Sunday's Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers--and finding similarities between the teams and credit unions. The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation say the other foundation will provide a basket of state goodies to them when their team comes out on top. "We've seen the Steelers in action," said Wisconsin foundation Chair Carol Adler of Marshfield Medical Center CU in Marshfield. "So when the folks in Pennsylvania suggested we put a little skin in the game, we said, 'done deal.' You have to have a little fun with these things. And by that I mean have fun cashing in when we win." "Last time I looked, steel was stronger than cheese," said Pennsylvania foundation Chair Diana Roberts. "Likewise, the Steelers will surely prove to be the stronger team on Super Bowl Sunday." Regardless of the outcome, no one will be a loser. Both state foundations pledged to use their basket of state-themed goodies in an auction to raise funds for foundation programs. For example, Wisconsin's foundation provides free resources to all public high schools to help teens achieve state teaching standards for sound money management. The Pennsylvania foundation supports financial education and has projects to aid small credit unions and disaster relief. Both foundations saw similarities between their teams and credit unions. "The history of Pennsylvania credit unions and the Steelers mirror one another," said Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) Board Chair and season ticket holder Ray Brunner. "Both were officially formed in 1933 with roots in representing hard-working Americans," Brunner said. "Each has also demonstrated that success comes through team work. Following tough early days during World Wars, merger of the AFL-NFL and business pressures, the Steelers are an elite NFL franchise. Likewise credit unions throughout the decades have had to face down fierce competitors and overcome outside pressures. "The Packers, like all credit unions, are unique in that they are community-owned not-for profits," said Wisconsin's Adler. "The Pack is the only team in the NFL jointly owned by the fans. Similarly, credit unions are financial institutions whose depositors are the owners." At the individual credit union level, three credit unions--one in Pennsylvania and two in Wisconsin--also have made a friendly wager that will benefit a local hospital. The PA Healthcare CU, Sewickley, Pa., has teamed up with Green Bay, Wis.-based Horizon Community CU and Wisconsin Medical CU in the wager, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway 2/1/11). A Steelers victory will aid the Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver community-based health care initiatives. A Packers victory will benefit the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "We have had a few wagers like this over the years, and it is a great way to showcase how credit unions make a difference in our communities," Paul Fero, CEO of PA Healthcare CU, told PCUA.


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