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US Federal Credit Union quenched its thirst to support its favorite charity last month in a clever campaign featuring 11 senior managers and some H2O.

As part of its annual fundraiser for Minnesota FoodShare, the credit union sold $1,551 worth of bottled water bearing specialty labels that included the likenesses of CU staff.

"We are very committed to this food share event," said Marty Kelly, VP of marketing and business development.

Past efforts to raise funds in-house have included jeans days, luncheons, employee massages, silent auctions and a miniature golf tournament.

For this month-long March fundraiser, the marketing team developed humorous brand names for each likeness. For example, said Kelly, his brand was sold as "Snake Oil" to poke fun at his job title. The tagline read: "Water for Hucksters and Marketing Weasels, $1.00 a bottle, or 2 bottles for $3.00." (The water's actual price was $1 per bottle.) Kelly was the only staff member branded twice. His second product was called "Insomnia Juice," with the tagline, "Sleep, food . . . Who needs it?"

Chief Technology Officer Joanne Johnson promoted her water, "H 2.0, Water Upgraded," while President/CEO Bill Raker's mug donned "The Best Boss in the World Water." It's tagline, "Make a toast to the boss . . . again! Bottled by Brownnosers Bottling Company."

Director of Asset Protection Jeff Olson peddled "Water, upgraded."

Jeff Olson, Director of Asset Protection, sold "Hot Water." The tagline read, "When Jeff Calls, You're In It. Drink fast-we're coming back for the bottle."

Haferman Water Conditioning, Inc. donated the first 240 bottles, initially thought to be a two-week supply, Kelly said. The water lasted less than two days, prompting the credit union to order more in bulk from a nearby wholesaler.

Freelance designer Ryan Kelly (Marty's brother) of Phoenix, Ariz. created the labels.

The event was promoted in-house with a big display in the break room that included a running tally of the most popular sellers. In the end, it was Greg Berry's "Wet Dawg Water" that sold the most, Kelly said, adding that overall US Federal Credit Union more than doubled its donation goal of 4,500 dollars/pounds of food. Berry, VP-research and development, won a staff chili cook-off with his 'Big Dawg' chili.

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