CU Has Wizard Of An Idea For Drawing Crowd To Meeting

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There's no place like the Sun, there's no place like the Sun, there's no place like the Sun.

OK, so that's not what the real Dorothy said, but it got the point across during Sun Federal Credit Union's 53rd Annual Meeting, which featured a skit called "Follow the Yellow Brick Pathway."

More than 320 members watched as staff members of the $200-million credit union performed their own version of the classic Wizard of Oz. Only in this altered version written by the CU's VP of Finance, Brian Hughes, the Wicked Witch cast evil spells of financial hardship on Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as they made their way along the yellow brick pathway to the Wizard of Sun.

Paula Saunders, VP of Marketing (also known as Dorothy) said the skit was part of SFCU's successful attempt to attract more members, younger ones in particular, to the annual business meeting.

"With the credit union being around 53 years, a lot of the older members know they own the place," Saunders said. "But, I think, the younger members are not quite as informed on CU philosophy and membership."

She said the skit coupled with entertainment from local celebrities, Darryl and Allie Gatlin, and an "Auntie Em" style dinner made for a successful turnout of both young and old members.

Advertising included lobby posters, life-size cutouts of Glenda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, ruby slippers and little baskets with stuffed Toto's peeking out.

"We think the annual meeting is supposed to be fun," Saunders said. Previous years have included a "formal' for its 50th anniversary celebration, and a 50s theme.

The Wizard of Sun helped the Scarecrow get an education with a student loan, the Tin Man get a home with a low-rate mortgage, and the Cowardly Lion get security with laddered certificates and a financial planner.

Dorothy, who accidentally killed the Wicked Witch (in the usual manner), was reunited with her family via her magic ruby slippers.

Saunders said students from Clay High School in Oregon, Ohio-among the CU's sponsors- painted the backdrop that included Sun Federal's logo prominently displayed within the yellow brick pathway and Emerald City.

Saunders said expenses for the event were kept at a minimum because members purchased tickets to pay for their meals and entertainment. "I think the fact that they paid to come shows their loyalty and love of the credit union," she said. "They also knew they had the opportunity to vote and meet their board of directors."

SFCU has seven branches-five out of state-and also holds member appreciation events for those members.

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