2012 – Another Big Year for Alliant Civic Affairs 01/23/2013 Established in 2004 to formalize Alliant Credit Union's commitment to community service and charitable causes, the Civic Affairs Committee now consists of 24 dedicated Alliant employees who volunteer their time and talents to an array of programs and events. In 2012, Civic Affairs once again arranged opportunities for the credit union and its employees to assist the community and charities. During the year, Civic Affairs planned and coordinated numerous helpful initiatives for causes that support needs related to education, financial literacy, healthcare, poverty, and more. Congratulations to Our Civic Affairs Team Sherry Allen Martha Arriaga Kim Ball Sandy Beckman Jackie Bessert Kim Busche Elsa Campos Kevin Daly Crystal Wyatt Joan Foerster Tiffany Fustar Angelica Garcia Terry Hagio Rich HOlke Janet Meinheit Albert Obay Jill Okilita Nicole Venerable Colleen Panzino La Wanda Pender-Bey Terrence Powell Rob Russell Danielle Snowden Daniel Tovar Financial Literacy for Teens 2012 Civic Affairs activities started with coordinating the first of many financial literacy schedules taught at public schools in the Chicago area by Alliant volunteer teachers. These employees conducted the "Banking on Our Future" program developed by Operation HOPE, a national organization dedicated to financial literacy and economic empowerment. Super Bowl Chili Day In late January, Civic Affairs partnered with Alliant's Recognition Committee to sponsor a Super Bowl Chili Day charity event. Nearly $5,000 was donated to Bears Care, a charity established by the Chicago Bears. Contributions included Alliant employee donations through chili lunch purchases, fun contests and raffle ticket sales, along with a matching grant by Alliant Credit Union Foundation. Bears Care is committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Chicagoland community, especially disadvantaged children and their families. Chili Day was organized by Civic Affairs team members Sherry Allen, Janet Meinheit and Jill Okolita. Several Alliant employees pose with former Bears Pro Bowl lineman James “Big Cat” Williams, our special guest for Super Bowl Chili Day. Spring Fling Clothing Drive During April, Chicago area employees participated in Alliant's 5th Annual Spring Fling Clothing Drive. They contributed hundreds of gently used clothing items, which were donated to Hephzibah Children's Association, Oak Park, IL. Many thanks to Martha Arriaga and Jackie Bessert, who led this initiative on behalf of Civic Affairs. Breast Cancer Fundraiser 40 Alliant employees helped raise money to assist those affected by breast cancer, by volunteering for a fundraising race in downtown Chicago. Alliant's Foundation donated $4,000 ($100 on behalf of each employee volunteer). The Alliant employees participated on the United in Pink team from United Airlines, a major sponsor of the event. Civic Affairs members Jackie Bessert, Kevin Daly and Albert Obay coordinated our involvement. Prescott School Service Day Alliant employees, friends and family volunteered for the 3rd Annual Prescott Service Day. They painted, planted and participated in other beautification projects at Prescott Elementary, Alliant's partner in the Chicago Public Schools Corporate Partnership program. Civic Affairs not only arranged for Alliant volunteer participation, but provided a free lunch for Alliant and other Service Day volunteers. Thanks to Sandy Beckman for coordinating this Civic Affairs initiative. Charity Golf Outing Civic Affairs helped coordinate Alliant's involvement in the Bob Panzino Memorial Golf Outing. Civic Affairs, along with participating employees and our Foundation contributed $5,500 to this major Chicago area charity event, which benefits Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Employee Volleyball Tournament Along with co-sponsor Alliant Recognition Committee, Civic Affairs coordinated Alliant's 7th Annual Employee Volleyball Tournament. Employees contributed over $5,500 in team T-shirt purchases and raffle ticket donations for tournament beneficiary, National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In addition, our Foundation made a $5,000 grant bringing the total MS Society contribution to more than $10,500. MS Special Events Director Elle Ullum presents a plaque of appreciation to Alliant President and CEO David Mooney. Also pictured are event coordinators (from left) Jackie Bessert, Terry Hagio, Sandy Beckman; (from right) Albert Obay and Jill Okolita. "Plane Pull" for Special Olympics On September 15th, two Alliant teams of 20 employees each participated in the 2012 Plane Pull to benefit Special Olympics Illinois, held at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The Alliant teams competed among some 25 others from Chicago area public safety, service and business communities by pulling a 99-ton UPS cargo aircraft in a tug-of-war style event. Alliant's Foundation donated $2,000 to Special Olympics on behalf of Alliant's employee volunteers. Alliant's involvement was coordinated by Kim Busche. Alliant volunteers pull a 99 ton cargo jet toward the finish line at the Plane Pull for Special Olympics, held at O’Hare Airport. "Stuff for the Poor" Shoe Drive Civic Affairs sponsored Alliant's 3nd Annual Shoe Drive during October. Many generous, thoughtful Alliant employees donated gently used shoes that were given to Stuff for the Poor, a charity that assists underprivileged people in developing countries. This initiative was organized by Alliant's Nicole Venerable again this year. March of Dimes "Blue Jeans for Babies Day" Well over 100 Alliant employees donated $5 to wear blue jeans to work on November 15th, taking part in the annual March of Dimes "Blue Jeans for Babies" Day. Alliant's Foundation matched employee donations, bringing the total contribution to $1,330 to help prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Many thanks to Kim Busche for coordinating Alliant's involvement. Holiday Food Drive Civic Affairs coordinated Alliant's Annual Holiday Food Drive. Employees contributed food, household supplies and money for the Maine Township Food Pantry serving Des Plaines, Illinois and other northwest suburban Chicago communities. In addition, Alliant's Foundation contributed $500 to the food pantry to purchase food and supplies for those in need. Alliant Food Drive Coordinator Colleen Panzino (2nd from right) poses with Civic Affairs team members. (From left) La Wanda Pender-Bey, Sandy Beckman, Albert Obay. (Far right) Sherry Allen. United Airlines "Fantasy Flights" Alliant Credit Union employee volunteers provided assistance to United Airlines Fantasy Flights held during December at major airports across the country. Coordinated by employees of the airline, Fantasy Flights to the North Pole provide a joyous holiday experience for many seriously ill or disadvantaged children and people with disabilities. Sandy Beckman and Elsa Campos of Civic Affairs arranged Alliant volunteer decorating activities at O'Hare Airport. Civic Affairs also provided funds to assist with decorating and promotional expenses in some other locations. Meanwhile, Alliant's Foundation made $1,500 grants to 10 Fantasy Flights, a $15,000 total donation. (1st photo) Alliant Chicago employees Cherry Carter (left) and Diane Keller (Center), and Diane’s daughter, Emily, help decorate the North Pole departure gate at O’Hare.) (2nd photo) Alliant Los Angeles employees help out at the LAX Fantasy Flight. (Left to Right) Matthew McMillon, Scherrell Stephens, Branch Manager Kia Herd, Ana Munoz and Marcos Magana Education Awards Programs Civic Affairs, in conjunction with Alliant's Marketing Department, conducted two annual programs that provide education related awards to young members of the credit union. Alliant's Member Scholarship Program awards five, $2,000 scholarships to Alliant member students enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program at a college, university or vocational/technical institution. Contest entry materials include school transcripts, extracurricular activities and an essay about belonging to Alliant Credit Union. Alliant's National Education Program awards over $5,000 in computer gift certificates to young Alliant members. In all, nine gift certificates are given to students in three age groups. Entrants use any media they desire to describe what they want to be when they grow up and how a computer can enrich their education. © 2013 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.