LAS VEGAS – Frenzied bidders – both online and in person – helped World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) raise a record amount during its annual silent and live auctions held at the close of The 1 Credit Union Conference, the joint meeting between Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and WOCCU held at the MGM Grand Hotel last week.
Bidders in the silent auction, which for the first time allowed people worldwide to bid online for items, pledged more than $28,800 compared to $8,261 raised during WOCCU’s 2009 World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Bidders in the live auction pledged more than $45,000 compared to $9,410 in 2009. Total funds pledged of almost $74,000 – more than four times the amount raised last year – will be used to support global credit union development.
The move to an online format with higher-value items that contributed directly to the auction’s success was largely the work of auction co-chairs Judy Ensweiler, wife of Texas Credit Union League President & CEO Dick Ensweiler, and Crissy Cheney, wife of new CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney. Dick Ensweiler once again served as auctioneer during the live event, offering impressive packages to anxious bidders.
The highest bids came during the live auction for items that included a week in a Las Vegas condo; a Chicago shopping spree; lunch and a private U.S. Capitol tour in Washington, D.C., hosted by former CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica; and a New York hotel night, dinner and tickets for the Broadway production of Jersey Boys.
The top bid of $3,500 was made by Fairfax County (Va.) Federal Credit Union Chairman Jake Lay and his wife, Betsy, for the New Orleans vacation package, contributed by the Louisiana Credit Union League. The package, which includes airline tickets, a five-night French Quarter hotel stay, dinner coupons, a Flip video camera, $550 in gift cards and other benefits, will be used by the Lay’s serviceman son when he returns from his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Conference registrations also were auctioned off, with a full registration for CUNA’s 2011 America’s Credit Union Conference June 19-22 in San Antonio, Texas, going to Winona Nava, president and CEO of Guadalupe Credit Union in Santa Fe, N.M. Pamela Stephens, president and CEO of Security One Federal Credit Union in Arlington, Texas, successfully bid on a registration and $1,000 spending money for WOCCU’s 2011 World Credit Union Conference July 24-27 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Conference registrations were also awarded to two lucky winners in a drawing held at the combined CUNA/WOCCU conference booth in the exhibit hall. Donna Battistoni, CEO of Torrington (Conn.) Municipal & Teachers Federal Credit Union, received a complimentary registration to CUNA’s 2011 conference in Texas. The complimentary registration for the 2011 WOCCU conference in Scotland went to Sherwin Cambridge, general manager of Tranquillity Credit Union in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
The auction concluded with an open call for participants to become involved in helping fund Busia Compassionate Centre, an orphanage that WOCCU supports in rural Kenya. More than 70 bidders responded with an additional $28,000 in pledges for the orphanage.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.