Member Relationships Tied To Assistance For Schools

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In a promotion to show its true colors, KEMBA Financial Credit Union is offering financial support for student-athletes at Westerville City School District in exchange for financial services acquired by their parents.

The $203-million credit union launched "KEMBA Cares" after voters twice rejected property tax increases to support school district budget concerns, said Ray Hancart, public relations account executive of Promotions One, Columbus. While voters did approve a pared-back request for a 5-mill, two-year increase in March-much less than the 7.5 and 8 mills that the school district previously asked for-officials still expected to cut $8.8 million from the budget this fall.

In addition to planning for shorter school days at the middle and high schools and longer distances between bus stops, fees have been tripled for families whose children participate in after school sports and extracurricular activities.

For middle school athletes, it'll cost $200 per sport. At the high school level, it'll cost $425 per sport.

KFCU, which recently opened a branch office in the Westerville community, immediately announced its support by donating $3,500 to the district's general sports fund and providing opportunities for family and friends to defray the costs for individuals.

But KEMBA Financial has expanded its strategy to broaden relationships with members. The credit union has taken a series of 10 products and attached a dollar amount ranging from $25 to $100 to each.

For each product or service acquired, the CU will donate that amount to a specified student or, if the member prefers, the district general fund. For example:

* Financing or refinancing a first mortgage through KFCU will earn $100.

* A credit card balance transfer of at least $2,500 earns $50.

* A car loan-new or refinanced-of at least $5,000 is worth $75.

* A new money market account with a minimum balance of $10,000 is worth $25.

"With their new branch in Westerville, KEMBA wanted a way to make a big splash," Hancart said. "There's no better way than to help the school district."

In addition, said KEMBA CEO Jerry Guy, the credit union is entering participants into drawings for $50 gas cards.

"Four winners will be drawn each month beginning in July through September," he said, adding that the CU is "extremely excited" about its new partnership with Westerville City Schools.

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