CHARLOTTE, N.C. (9/6/12)--Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a top Democratic leader in the U.S. House and former House Majority Whip, commended credit unions Wednesday for their tradition since 2000 of leaving behind a charitable project for the host city when they participate in national political conventions, like the Democratic National Convention taking place in Charlotte, N.C., this week.
John McGrail, of the Caroline Credit Union Foundation, Martha Whitecotton, president/CEO of Levine Children's Hospital, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is the third ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney, Steve Fowler, president/CEO of the South Carolina Credit Union League, and John Radebaugh, president/ CEO of the North Carolina Credit Union League cut the ribbon to declare the renovated rooftop playground at Levine open for fun. (CUNA Photo)
Clyburn made his remarks when he was on hand at the Levine Children's Hospital for a ribbon cutting ceremony for a project made possible by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the North Carolina Credit Union League, the South Carolina Credit Union League, the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group, CO-OP Financial Services and others who have been involved for months in renovating a rooftop playground at Levine to provide a stimulating and therapeutic environment for youngsters being treated there.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney, welcoming Clyburn, noted that the playground project is emblematic of the credit union philosophy of "people helping people."
He noted that hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in North and South Carolina and across the country in support of the project.
Clyburn called it "important" that credit unions have decided that when they participate in these conventions they should leave the community even better off than they found it. "Congratulations to you for doing this," he added.
Clyburn shared a personal story about the impact a project to help a children's hospital can have on a community. He noted his family's joy when, after raising his three, one daughter presented Clyburn and his wife with their first grandson. However, the child arrived three months premature and had three operations before he weighed even 10 pounds.
"Now he is a freshman in college," Clyburn said. He did not just survive, he thrived, the South Carolina Democrat declared.
Clyburn, who noted he is a member of two credit unions and his wife a member of a third, commended Levine Children's Hospital and credit unions for working together on the project to benefit young patients.
The Charlotte project, to honor the DNC held here this week, mirrors another sponsored by CUNA, state leagues, credit unions and their partners that was unveiled last week at All Children's Hospital to honor the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
The two 2012 projects cost a combined $600,000, and credit unions nationwide, as well as the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions Foundation, have raised funds to cover the costs of the projects.