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First Annual East Texas Chapter Event to Benefit Charities
Monday, December 8, 2014 6:55 AM


Like the old adage that success begets more success, a fun chapter event begets more fun chapter events. Just ask the East Texas Chapter of credit unions—a group of folks who recently sponsored their first social event for the purposes of bowling, networking, and accepting donations for the HiWay 80 Rescue Mission and House of Hope in Longview.

The event, held at Longview Oil Bowl, attracted about 40 attendees from around the region, including East Texas Professional Credit Union, Eastman Credit Union, Longview Consolidated Credit Union, North East Texas Credit Union, Sweetex Credit Union, T&P Longview Federal Credit Union, and Telco Plus Credit Union. Cornerstone League liaison Paula Upchurch also attended, as well as Jay Bentley from American Income Life.

Event planners asked that each credit union bring travel-sized hygiene items that will be assembled into gift bags and distributed to the men and women at the rescue mission and House of Hope. Each bag will also contain holiday wishes and a list of credit unions from the chapter. Chapter organizers plan to deliver the items before Christmas.

Door prizes for the event were provided by Eastman, Longview Consolidated, and Telco Plus. Eleven door prizes were given away, including a Dallas Cowboys bowling ball, and pizza was provided by East Texas Professional.

Organizers report that the event was a huge success. Michelle Muckleroy, branch manager for East Texas Professional, said they received tons of positive feedback from attendees, and they have plans to make this an annual event. "Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed getting to network with the other credit unions and enjoy the free pizza and bowling," she said. "I really feel like this event kicked some life into the chapter and stirred up more interest to attend future chapter events."

LaWanda Drennan, president and CEO of Sweetex, remarked, "I really enjoyed it. Good networking and lots of fun."

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Tammy Byrnes, assistant manager at T&P Longview, agreed. "It was great getting to catch up with all my credit union friends—such a great idea to have a social night. Our chapter has never done that before, so it was great fun."

Paula Upchurch said, "This social event was the perfect opportunity for these credit unions to gather for a worthy cause, celebrate the season of thanksgiving, and to get reacquainted. It's the networking and engagement aspect of chapter meetings that encourages credit unions to be even more active. The sense of community and a shared philosophy remind people of a chapter's real value."