Archive for the ‘Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’ Category

Team Little Guy Rides Again!

May 2, 2012

Click the above image for more information and to view the sponsor form

After a long hiatus, Team Little Guy is prepping to clip in and ride once again! The team will be winding their way through eastern NC from May 29 – June 3 in order to raise funds for the Levine Children’s Hospital Rooftop Garden Renovation project!

In addition to the Levine project, credit unions in North and South Carolina are partnering together to renovate the lobby of the Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. Your gifts to help support these two organizations will bring hope and inspiration to patients and families in the years to come.

The ride starts in the Brunswick County town of Shallotte and winds its way north and gradually west to the Virginia border town of Clarksville. That’s 366 miles in six days!

The NC portion of the ride is part of the larder 2012 Community Tour, which extends from Miami, Florida to Portland, Maine from mid May to early July. During the NC stretch of the ride, the team will participate in the Co-op-A-Fair in Durham on June 2.

Right now, the team needs credit unions to step up and commit corporate donations to the ride. In addition, we encourage credit unions to raise funds in branches through the summer. To help, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation is coordinating a Children’s Miracle Network paper balloon sale.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact John McGrail ( at the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation! You may also view the sponsor form for more details.

In the meantime, we’ll have much more coming soon about this exciting event!

A Very Special Guest – A Wonderful Announcement

June 16, 2010

The business portion of the 75th Annual Meeting in Pinehurst has just concluded, and the final fundraising tally has just been announced. After a very moving presentation by Robin Kelleher and Chris Hedgcorth of Hope for the Warriors last evening, credit unions proudly walked up to the microphones this morning to announce their gifts to the organization.

Before doing so, LTC Thomas Heyden made an appearance live via Skype from Iraq to say hello to the audience. Heyden thanked everyone for their cards, letters and packages of support in the months he has been deployed – he also encouraged the team to ride hard to Jacksonville.

Then it was time to present the final donations to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. One by one, people stepped to the microphone and shared how they had come to raise the funds. One chapter held raffles, another chapter held a bike ride in March. One credit union had a special board meeting last night to vote on a special contribution.

Gifts of all sizes flowed in, including a $35,000 contribution from Palmetto Cooperative Services and $43,000 from Marine Federal Credit Union. But every dollar counted and every gift was very meaningful.

In the end, credit unions combined to blow by the $100,000 goal by contributing an amazing $161,000 to Hope for the Warriors!

With a 230 mile bike ride starting tomorrow, $161,000 equals about $700 per mile. More fundamentally, the numbers provide hope, encouragement and support to the men and women who have given so much of themselves in the cause of freedom.

Thank you, credit unions – and Ride Little Guy Ride!


The Credit Union Family Responds to the Call of Hope for the Warriors!

June 15, 2010

Over the last several months, credit unions have generously given money to support Team Little Guy in its bid to raise $100,000 for Hope for the Warriors. Much of this fundraising has been based on the relationships that exist within the credit union system – the “people helping people” family that is credit unions.

Tonight at the NC Credit Union League Annual Meeting in Pinehurst, about 300 credit union people got to hear firsthand the wonderful work Hope for the Warriors is doing in the lives of America’s Heroes. The organization’s President/CEO Robin Kelleher and CW04 Chris Hedgcorth of the Wounded Warrior Barracks in Jacksonville shared very personal stories about the work Hope for the Warriors is doing in so many critical areas.

One story included a young man who lost both his legs in Iraq and, upon returning home, was denied the simple pleasure of playing on the beach with his children. His wish, which Hope for the Warriors was able to grant in part through the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, was to have a backyard pool so he could safely share the experience of playing with his children in the water once again.

Once Robin and Chris were done, NC President/CEO John Radebaugh announced that TLG/Hope for the Warriors tee-shirts and hats would be available for purchase just outside the banquet hall. He challenged the 300 people gathered to collectively raise $3,000.

The credit union people swarmed the table, opening their wallets and hearts and when all was said and done, $5,357 had been raised — in about 15 minutes!

Many of us know that the military is a form of family — that’s especially true of warriors who have been seriously injured on the battlefield. In a different, but still very meaningful way, credit unions are family as well.

It was wonderful indeed to see the credit union family respond so powerfully tonight!

Tomorrow, credit unions and credit union organizations from both Carolinas will present final checks to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and complete the fundraising efforts on behalf of Hope for the Warriors. From there, TLG will embark on a three-day bicycling trek to five NC military bases and 230 miles later, present the final check to Hope for the Warriors.

One family will touch another. And Hope will carry forward into the future.


Carolinas Credit Union Foundation Generosity Recognized in Sports Illustrated Article!

March 8, 2010

Besides putting money into the camp, CU volunteers
like Mark Curran of Palmetto Cooperative
Services have logged many hours at VJGC! See
more pictures on the CCUF page on Facebook!

In the early days of Team Little Guy, the focus was all about running. We did the Blue Ridge Relay Race a couple of times – 12 people … 208 miles … one foot at a time.

Then we figured out that biking was a faster means of “getting there.”

At any rate, those early days of TLG also featured a little bit of fundraising on behalf of Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC. The TLG efforts were a tiny, tiny part of the money credit unions in both Carolinas ponied up for the camp for seriously ill children.

As a result, credit unions have left a tremendous imprint on VJGC — and stand as the largest non-NASCAR donors to the camp to this day!  While credit unions didn’t do it for the glory or recognition, your combined gifts to VJGC made through the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation earned a mention in a March 5th Sports Illustrated column by Tim Tuttle.     

For each credit union in North Carolina & South Carolina that gave so generously to the camp through bake sales, raffles and volunteerism, Team Little Guy says WELL DONE!

The sheer size and magnitude of the credit union gift is not reflected so much in the $1.7 million total figure – but in the commitment, cooperation and generosity of so many people over such a long period of time.


Black & Blue Relay Official Results + Video Recap

July 22, 2009

(This post has been edited to correct the results of the relay.)

The official results are in from the Black & Blue Relay, and Team Little Guy has much to be happy about! Of 20 teams competing, TLG’s three teams all finished 10th place or higher. Leading the pack was the 4th place finish by Eric Gelly & Tom Heyden, who completed the relay in 11 hours, 36 minutes and 30 seconds! In addition, Heyden & Gelly clocked the fastest time of any two-person team in the relay! Way to go fellas!

Placing eighth overall at 12:15:55 was the four-person team of John Radebaugh, Josh Chavez, Ed Agnoli and Jeff Hardin. Meanwhile, Team CUNA Mutual Group — Robin Kolvek, Scott Binder, Tim Gardner and Randy Coleman — barrelled into Asheville in 12:43:20, which was good for 10th place overall.

TLG offers congratulations to the team “Deliverance,” which wrapped up the relay in just 9 hours and 54 minutes, as well as each of the 17 other teams that participated in the relay!

During the relay, Bubba Gelly videotaped some of the sights and sounds – enjoy!


Black & Blue Relay Held on Picture-Perfect Weekend

July 21, 2009

BRRR_72009 009Three credit union teams representing Team Little Guy strapped on the helmets and slapped on the biking shoes this past Saturday, completing the Black & Blue Relay. The race, a 200-mile, three state relay held in the mountains, happened amid temperatures that were just about perfect for biking.

The race weekend began Friday evening, as two of the three participating teams stayed at Bubba Gelly’s cabin in Fancy Gap, VA. Bubba, always the impeccable host, made sure the six bikers representing the two teams were fed and entertained throughout the evening on Friday. Meanwhile, the third team of CUNA Mutual riders spent a fun evening together at the cabin of a First Carolina Corporate Credit Union staffer.  

Saturday – race day – got an all-too-early start after a late night. A 3:00 am wake-up call was just enough time to hit the road at 4:00 and head to Grayson Highlands State Park for the start of the race.

Grayson Highlands lies above 5,000 feet in elevation and with a turn to unusually cool July weather the afternoon before, the race started out rather chilly – it was 52 degrees with a 10-15 mph wind at 6:00 am when the race began. With a sharp downhill to begin stage one and bike speeds approaching 30-40 mph in some spots, the bikers were plenty chilled through the early stages of the race!

The weather gradually warmed through the morning and into the afternoon as the sun poked through, but the temperatures never got above about 75 degrees. So the bikers enjoyed just about perfect weather for the long relay.

The three teams made steady progress during the relay, paced by the two-person gazelles otherwise known as Tom Heyden and Eric Gelly. Heyden & Gelly each rode 100 miles in two 50-mile increments, and completed the relay in 11 hours and 39 minutes. Their average speed of just under 17 mph and finishing time was good enough for a fourth place finish in the 20 team relay!      

Heyden & Gelly were relaxing with family and friends when the second team finished up at 6:22 pm. The four-person team of John Radebaugh, Ed Agnoli, Josh Chavez and Jeff Hardin completed the relay in 12 hours and 22 minutes, or a little more than 16 mph for the entire course. Three of the four riders competed on the same team last year and completed the relay in 13 hours and 37 minutes. “We had a goal of finishing in 12 and a half hours this year,” said Radebaugh, “so it felt nice to see all the hard training we did the past few months pay off.”

The four-person CUNA Mutual Group team came in soon after at 6:44 pm, completing the relay successfully in 12 hours and 44 minutes. Randy Coleman gets special mention for doing arguably the two toughest stages of the race – stage three has two monster climbs including Grandfather Mountain, and stage eight is an even worse ascent over the Black Mountains and into Asheville at the end of the race.  Robin Kolvek, Tim Gardner and Scott Binder completed the CUNA Mutual team, riding hard from start to finish.

A little later in the week, we’ll post some video highlights of the race (thanks for manning the camera, Bubba!).  In the meantime, Team Little Guy thanks each and every one of you for your words of encouragement and support. As we mentioned last week, we”ll be sharing details soon about how you can be a part of Team Little Guy at future events, as we continue to raise money for the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation – and show that the credit union cooperative spirit lives on in this 100th anniversary of the credit union movement in America!

Team Little Guy Gears Up for Black & Blue Relay!

July 13, 2009

Black_Blue_Relay 013

The motley TLG crew managed to finish and remain standing last year, anyway.

Greetings! It’s been a long time between posts, but Team Little Guy is alive, well and gearing up for more athletic adventures – all in the name of credit union philanthropy!

For the moment, we’ve set aside the running shoes, and we’re grabbing the bike helmets and heading to the mountains for the Black & Blue Relay Race! The race, which is an all-day bike relay on Saturday, July 18th, is a 208-mile biking odyssey through the mountains of Virginia & NC! (To get a flavor for what the Black and Blue is like, check out the TLG relay recap from last year.)  

At last check, 15 teams had signed up for this unusual relay – and three of those teams have TLG connections! Team Little Guy is fielding a four-person team made up of NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh, NCCUL Director of Education & Financial Literacy Ed Agnoli, Choice Community Credit Union Member Service Representative Josh Chavez and yours truly, Jeff Hardin, NCCUL director of communications.

A second four-person team is made up of representatives from CUNA Mutual Group, including Sales Manager Robin Kolvek and Sales Executives Tim Gardner (GA), Scott Binder (FL) and Randy Coleman (SC).

These four-person teams will divide the riding chores up fairly equally and will pedal two stages & 50 miles apiece.

TLG will also field a two person team made of NCCUL EVP/COO Eric Gelly & CUNA Mutual Group Senior Sales Executive Tom Heyden. These men of steel will both wind their way up and down the mountains for more than 100 miles apiece!

We’ll be providing updates on our progress via Team Little Guy’s Twitter page, and updating the blog as we are able. So if you are on Twitter, follow us there!

Of course, the primary focus of Team Little Guy is to raise awareness of credit unions, and to promote the community involvement & philanthropy of credit unions in North and South Carolina through the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. While we have not actively been fundraising for this weekend’s event, we are going to announce some exciting opportunities for your credit union to be involved with sponsoring TLG later this year.

One thing we can share with you – we’re making plans to ride in the MS Tour to Tanglewood on Saturday & Sunday, September 26-27. Moving forward, we’ll be inviting your support and participation of Team Little Guy in this ride — and a variety of other ways.

In the meantime, Ride Strong Team Little Guy!

Saying Thanks to Credit Unions After A Long, Hilly Run!

September 12, 2008

We did it, and we have the pictures to prove it! Team Little Guy completed the Blue Ridge Relay Race in a little over 32 hours, running continuously from Grayson Highlands, VA to Asheville, NC.

Along the way, the team managed to make some friends, share a little information about credit unions and the team, and not get eaten by a bear or hit by a bus. Oh, and here’s the really cool part: credit unions in the Carolinas combined to contribute $80,000 to support the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation in support of TLG!

Here’s a few thoughts from some of the team members about the race, how simply awesome credit unions are, and what it’s like to run in a race that’s so unusual.

Much more video to come next week.

Rest Little Guy, REST!

TLG Sends Kudos to PACW … (Piedmont Aviation Car Wash)

August 28, 2008

As mentioned earlier in this post, Piedmont Aviation Credit Union has been working hard in a variety of ways to raise funds for Team Little Guy and the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. As the team kicks off the Blue Ridge Relay Race on Friday, September 5th, Piedmont Aviation Credit Union will, for a day, become Piedmont Aviation Car Wash. Management at the PACU headquarters location on Liberty Street in Winston-Salem will be hand-washing cars for $10.

If you’re in the Winston-Salem area and your car needs some personal TLC, head on over to 3810 Liberty Street (right across from Smith Reynolds Airport) between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 pm and support this effort! Car washers include (among others) CEO Judy Tharp, COO Allen Upchurch, and the Uber-Marketers Kim Thore and Jody Rushing. For more information, contact Kim Thore at 336-744-8593 or

The car wash caps off a tremendous fundraising effort by the team at PACU – they have raised $3,500 so far! (And that got CCUF President John Slack singing and dancing in the above video.)   

Run Little Guy Run!

Congratulations to Premier FCU, The Winner of the Capitol Dome Tour!

August 21, 2008

Team Little Guy is happy to announce that Premier FCU is the winner of the Capitol Dome tour that Congresswoman Virginia Foxx graciously arranged for the credit union that made the largest donation to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation! Premier’s $7,500 gift to the Foundation is very much appreciated, as is Rep. Foxx’s generosity in donating her time to make this happen.

Since Congresswoman Foxx started offering these tours to non-profit agencies to help them raise funds, the amount of Premier’s gift to the Foundation far exceeds any previous gifts donated to a charitable organization. As a result, Congresswoman Foxx is planning to pull out all the stops to make Premier’s trip to Washington, DC extra special.  

Congresswoman Foxx discusses some of these planned perks in this video, and Premier President/CEO Willie Combs shares her thoughts about the upcoming tour. Congratulations!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.