SCU members were invited to the branch location for coffee and donuts on Thursday, as part of the Credit Union Day celebrations, and later welcomed to the always-popular Co-operator’s Fall Fair at the curling rink on Friday where they were treated to food, games and entertainment.
But it was a couple of cash windfalls that drew the most attention and interest of many local citizens.
For starters, SCU arranged a special cash giveaway to commemorate the organization’s 70th anniversary in the community, capped off on Friday night with the presentation of a cash prize worth $4,900.
The contest featured 28 finalists that were selected from credit union draws throughout the week (seven from each working day). That group was then asked to attend the Co-operative Fall Fair for the final knock-out round where organizers eliminated seven names from contention every 30 minutes starting at 5:30 p.m.
The final seven participants took to the stage just before 7 p.m. for the final elimination session. The anticipation and excitement increased with each elimination until the last person standing earned the $4,900 prize.
The $4,900, by the way, represented $70 for each of the 70 years the credit union has existed in Shaunavon.
But that wasn’t the only money that made its way into the pockets of local credit union members last week.
Earlier this year, SCU announced it would be paying out $1.2 million to all member equity accounts.
The payout – which will be the last of its kind – is linked to the upcoming merger with Affinity Credit Union. Affinity eliminated their equity program several years ago after members indicated a desire to get their benefits up front in the form of service pricing rather than through equity accounts.
Under the plan, about 1,200 members will receive a payout from SCU.
The $1.2 million payout represents an average of $1,000 per member, although the totals fluctuate from as little as a few dollars to a maximum of $7,500.
Anyone receiving less than $50 will simply have those funds credited to their account. About 400 of the 1,200 members fall under that category.
“We just felt that if the amount was for three dollars – for instance – there was no need to write a cheque,” explained SCU general manager Chuck Gartner.
Anyone set to receive more than $50 will get a cheque. Members could pick up their cheques last week at the branch locations – in conjunction with Co-operative’s Week festivities – as well as at the Fall Fair. Cheques that are not picked up will be mailed out to members.
The payout will give the local economy a nice boost just before the Christmas season.
“We wanted members to think local and spend it local because that is where it is earned,” said Gartner.
“The staff had a lot of work to do on this project, but they did a great job of putting it together and making it happen,” added Gartner.