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Nom the Mom 2012: Meet the finalists!  by Tara

May3

Oh my word! We were overwhelmed by the response we got for our second annual Nom the Mom contest (want to see the pics of some of our nominees? Go here!). I wish that we could have selected ALL of those that were nominated! But *sigh* it just isn’t possible.

So once again, I asked for a volunteer committee of five Linn Area employees to each separately review each entry and then submit their top 3 moms to me. A BIG thank you goes out to Jess (Finance), Liz (Fraud Specialist), Kathy (Collections), Amy (Collections) and Matt (Compliance)! I complied their votes and the top 3 moms emerged to become your finalists in the Nom the Mom contest!

Now YOU have the toughest job of them all – CHOOSING the deserving mom who will win the City Looks Salon & Spa Day of Beauty (info on HOW to vote is right after the three stories).

Are you ready for this? You might want to grab some kleenex first. Okay, I warned you! Here they are, in alphabetical order:

The Mom: Karen Brenneman

Nominated by: Greg (her son)

My mother’s name is Karen Brenneman.  She is the mother of two young men, Greg (24) and Grant (21).  She has been married to my father, Scott, for the past 31 years.  She is a trustworthy, faithful, loving, compassionate, strong willed, dedicated, and most of all patient mother.  She displays all these qualities day in and day out.  Her and my father have worked together nearly their whole lives.  She was born in Cedar Rapids and was moved around as a child.  She was an Kindergarten Teacher for a few years before going into business with my father.  She has been involved in me and my brothers lives tremendously between school and sports.  She loves a good glass of wine and time with friends.

My mother deserves to be nominated because of all her qualities she displays.  She goes to church every sunday and participates in small groups (small group leader), she also helps be the host at are church every 4th Month.  She is a faithful follower of Christ.  As listed about my mother has numerous qualities that stand out but there is one thing my mother is dealing with that a guarantee no other mother is dealing with.  My mother has a medical condition called “Frozen Shoulder.”  It is exactly what it sounds like.  Her shoulder has frozen and she literally can’t completely use her arm.  Her arm is constantly at her side 24 hours a day and has been this way since December.  This condition can last up to 2 years.  She has been going to physical therapy but have not seen any progress yet.  My mother does all the things that mothers typically do.  She cooks, cleans, works, runs errands and mothers the family like a loving mother should.  The best part is she does with one arm.  Her arm will not extend or even go up more than a few degrees.  Her hand its self can’t get much higher than her waist.  Try doing laundry or cooking or trying to carry in groceries.  Even the easiest things like closing your car door has become a chore.  The pain for me and my family is emotional because I can see the pain in my mothers eyes.  There are days she just breaks down due to the frustration of not being able to enjoy life.  She randomly gets shooting pain from her shoulder in her arm and she has to stop everything she is doing till it goes away.  The pain is so intense it brings tears to her eyes and just kills me to see her going through this.

Personally I believe my mother needs a day of rest, relaxation and beauty from her ongoing struggle with her frozen shoulder.  She is a very strong women but after these last 5 months she is due for a little “Women Time.”  Please nominate my mother for this years Mother of the Year … She truly deserves every minute of it.

The Mom: Judy Brewer

Nominated by: Elizabeth (her daughter)

I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine – she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights.  ~Terri Guillemets

For all my life I knew I wanted to be a mother.  A mother has an everlasting place in their children’s heart and soul.  For this I am sure because this is where my mother is.  She is always with me; in my heart telling me that she loves me; in my soul telling me to be the strong woman she knows I can be; in my ear telling me over the phone everyday how much she misses me; in my mind reminding me to always be the best person I can be; and next to me holding my hand.

My mother lost her parent’s by the age of­­ 20.  I have never heard her complain or become discouraged.  All I hear are great reminders of how amazing her parents were and how proud they would be of the family she has made.  Her parents molded her into the strong woman she has become, and my mother is still molding me into the woman that I am and the woman I want to be.

No matter the stresses and hardships I put my mother through, she cries with me, picks me up, straightens me out, smiles with me, and puts me on the right path.  Most parents can’t wait to have their children move out of the house.  I am 22, finishing college, and living with my parents.  Every single day my mother tells me how God has blessed her with keeping me with her, if just for a few more months.

When the time comes for me to start my career and move away, this will be the time when she will show her true strength.  She will cry.  She will smile.  She will beg for me to stay just one more day.  But she will give me a big hug and a kiss, and slip some money in my hand as I walk away.  She will want me to stay, but she will also encourage me to start the new chapter in my life.  Her heart and words will stay with me as I move on, but she will let me go and grow as an adult and continue to grow until I can be the wife and mother I know her to be.

As I begin the next chapter of my life, I will always remember the words my mother taught me.  To always be kind, helpful, graceful, and loving. Every night as I went to sleep as a child she would whisper in my ear, “I love you forever. I like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”. I will always remember these words and they will shape me into the mother I will some day become. I could only hope and pray to become half the woman I know her to be.

The Mom: Helen Girard

Nominated by: Shirley Girard (her daughter)

I would like to nominate my mom, Helen Girard, for the Mother’s Day contest. Why, you ask? Here goes:

My mom, although married for 20 years of her time being a mom, has spent the majority those years as a single parent. My older brother is Autistic, learning disabled, and has a nerve disorder, among other developmental issues. He was diagnosed at age 5 &has had a rough road since then. She spends a considerable amount of her life making sure he is alright. This includes meetings with his supervised living staff, taking him to and from places (he can’t drive), & just making sure he has what he needs.

Growing up, I used to get frustrated sometimes because several of my friends would call the house, my mom would answer, & I wasn’t given the phone until they chatted for several minutes. A few times, they actually called to talk to her. I have several friends who still feel that she was like a mom to them growing up because she cared for them so & was often there for them when even their own family wasn’t. She wasn’t in the best situation at the time but she made the best of it & did what she could.

I too am a single parent. When times get tough, my mom is always there. She has been a very integral part of my life & my son’s life. She took care of him when he was a baby while I worked & went to school full time. Later, she let us move in with her while I finished my education. After living with her for almost 3 years, my son & I were able to get a brand new place of our own, which would have never been possible without her. When I had minor surgery 19 months ago, she stayed at my house for 3 days to take care of my son and to make sure I was taken care of as well. She helps my son with homework, communicates with his teachers to relieve me a bit and strives to make my life & his as great as they can be. She’s always loved me for me, no matter what, & made sure I knew that at all times.

In the recent past, I was unemployed for 4 months & she made sure that I knew she was there to help out in any way she could. In addition to all of the above, she taught for 20+ years in the Cedar Rapids Community Schools where she had a daily impact on children. Even though she’s been retired for 2 years now, she gets graduation invitations & hugs from former students she runs into.

She volunteers on a committee for the Linn County Child Development Center, volunteers at Truman Elementary & Prairie Point. She takes an older friend in poor health to appointments & shopping.

My mom has dealt with a lot throughout the years & often I wonder how she’s done it. She deserves an award for being such an incredibly strong, caring, loving, all around amazing person. As crazy as she makes me sometimes, I’m very proud to call her mom.

Now it’s YOUR turn! We need you to VOTE for the mom you think is the most deserving of the City Looks Salon & Spa Day of Beauty prize.

To vote, leave a comment on this blog post telling us the name of the mom you are voting for and make sure to include WHY you think they deserve to get pampered. (Psst… to vote this way, you have to give us your name and a valid email addy – but no worries! Your email address will not be displayed on the comment and we won’t email you!)

**UPDATE: You have to scroll to the bottom of the blog, waaaay down past everyone else’s comments before the box appears where you can cast your vote!**

Only one vote per person, please! (And, yes, we will be watching IP addresses – so play fair!)

Voting goes until 12:00pm (noon) CST on Thursday, May 10th. The Nom the Mom winner will be announced right here on our blog on Friday, May 11th – just in time for Mother’s Day!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at tbross@linnareacu.org! (Want to see some of the other nominees? Just go here!)

Let the voting begin!

http://www.linnareacu.org/blog/2012/05/03/nom-the-mom-2012-meet-the-finalists/

Contest: Nom the Mom 2012  by Tara

April20

Moms are simply amazing, that’s all there is to it! We at Linn Area Credit Union want to celebrate their awesomeness by bringing back our Nom the Mom contest. For the second year in a row, we have partnered with the generous people at City Looks Salon & Spa to find one very deserving mom and then pamper her like it’s going out of style! (But it’s not going out of style, I assure you. Pampering is here to stay.)

The prize package (value of $300):

A Spa Facial or 50 minute Full Body Massage, Spa Manicure and Spa Pedicure, Hair Style and Makeup application and beautiful basket full of Aveda Bath & Body products! (value of $300)

How to Nominate a Mom:

To nominate that super-spectacular mom in your life (your mom, wife, sister, grandma, friend, co-worker, etc.), email the following things to tbross@linnareacu.org:

  1. Her story. Tell us in 500 words or less why she deserves to get pampered! You can do this in a story, poem, sonnet – whatever! Don’t feel like writing? We’ll also consider video nominations – talking, singing, interpretive dance, live footage, just keep them under 3 minutes, please! The more creative, the better!
  2. Her picture. We want to see this lovely lady you’re gushing about!
  3. The full first and last name of the nominee.
  4. Your contact information.

The Details:

  1. All entries must be received no later than midnight on Monday, April 30th.
  2. On Thursday, May 3rd, the top 3 submissions (as selected by Linn Area Credit Union) will be announced on our blog.
  3. Area residents will then be able to begin voting immediately on our blogonly one vote per person! (Psst! We will be watching IP addresses!) The Mom who receives the most votes will win the City Looks Day of Beauty Package.
  4. Voting will end at noon CST on Thursday, May 10th.
  5. The winning Mom will be announced on our blog on Friday, May 11th.

The Rules:

  • Entries received after midnight on Monday, April 30th will not be considered.
  • Incomplete entries will not be eligible (see the four entry requirements above).
  • Your entry must be emailed to tbross@linnareacu.org – no hard copies or other forms of entry will be accepted.
  • All nominated moms must live in Linn or surrounding counties.
  • The three finalists from the 2011 Nom the Mom contest are not eligible.
  • You do not have to be a member of Linn Area Credit Union to nominate or be nominated.
  • Linn Area Credit Union employees and their immediate families are not eligible to nominate or be nominated.
  • Linn Area Credit Union reserves the right to discount votes from duplicate IP addresses.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • By submitting an entry, you are giving permission for Linn Area Credit Union to use your name, picture and submission for promotional and advertising purposes, including but not limited to our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Questions? Just shoot me (Tara) an email at tbross@linnareacu.org. We can’t wait to hear all about these wonderful women!

Help us help the community!  by Tara

April12

We have a favor to ask. We know you’re super busy, so here’s the Cliff Notes version…

  • What’s going on?
    We need your help in urging Iowa senators to support a member business lending bill for credit unions. A vote could take place in a few days, so the sooner the better!
  • Why should I care?
    If you patron small businesses (or maybe even own one), this is something you can do to help keep them in business and help them grow. It’s estimated this legislation could create 2,000 jobs for Iowans at no cost to taxpayers.
  • I’m a busy person. How long does it take?
    I started the process at 3:16 p.m. and was done by 3:17 p.m.! Super easy.
  • Okay, where do I go and what exactly do I have to do?
    Click here. The letter has been prewritten. All you have to do is fill in your info and hit “Send Message.” It really is just that easy.

So there’s the short story! We would appreciate any help you could give. Click here to get started right now!

If you have a little bit more time and would like some additional info, here’s a something that has been copy and pasted for your reading pleasure:

As the Senate works on legislation to spur the economy and grow jobs, credit unions should be part of that solution. Specifically, the federal cap on credit unions’ ability to make member business loans should be raised. Currently, credit unions’ total business loans to members cannot exceed 12.25% of assets. S. 2231 is bi-partisan legislation that would raise the member business lending cap to 27.5%. This would help credit unions provide small businesses with the capital they need to create jobs. This is very important, as banks have tightened lending standards, leaving qualified borrowers with fewer options to find a loan.

We need urgent action to send a message to Iowa Senators Harkin and Grassley to support S. 2231 and help create good jobs in Iowa and stimulate the economy. Lifting the cap would create more than 2,000 new jobs in Iowa with no cost to taxpayers.

Now THAT’S a Big Check!  by Tara

February16

On behalf of Linn Area Credit Union, I wanted to give a round of applause to Alliant! The Alliant Energy Foundation has given The Teacher Store a generous donation of $1,500. This money will go towards replenishing some of the most popular items in the store, such as Clorox wipes, Kleenex, markers, folders, and backpacks.

On Thursday, January 17th, Leah Rodenberg from the Alliant Energy Foundation stopped by The Teacher Store to present us with the coveted “big check” – and, YES, it actually was a BIG CHECK! She was given the grand tour and was very impressed with how much the store had to offer. (Go here to see some pictures of the Teacher Store.)

“What is this Teacher Store?” you might be asking yourself. The Teacher Store is a non-profit place where teachers can come to get things for their classrooms. We realize that schools cannot afford to supply everything necessary for each classroom and that often means that teachers end up buying things right out of their own pockets.

So in 2008, Linn Area Credit Union joined forces with the Cedar Rapids Education Association to open The Teacher Store, with the goal of providing classroom materials and supplies at no cost to local educators. In fact, the only form of currency accepted at this store is the Teacher Buck. Educators can earn Teacher Bucks in several ways, including by becoming a member of Linn Area Credit Union, being part of the CREA, or even by volunteering at the Teacher Store.

Okay, because YOU are so awesome and a loyal Bloggity Blog reader, we are going to give you a Teacher Buck to print off and give to your favorite educator! Just click on the picture of the blue Teacher Buck  and the picture should appear in its own screen. You can print it off from there, fill it out, and give it to your favorite educator! If you have any trouble, shoot me an email at tbross@linnareacu.org.

So tell us, who was YOUR favorite teacher in school?

Go Team Katie Bug!  by Tara

February10

Meet Katelynn. Katelynn was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes on September 11, 2010. Since then, she has endured approximately 2,325 shots and over 3,720 finger pokes for blood sugar testing. She now wears a pump that continuously gives her insulin. She wears this pump 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As Katelynn’s parents Eric and Julie point out, “The pump has changed Katelynn’s life, but it is not a CURE.” 

Over 3 million people live with Type I diabetes every day and that number continues to grow. Katelynn’s family and friends have formed a team (lovingly called Team Katie Bug) to participate in the Walk To Cure Diabetes on February 25th at Westdale Mall. Team Katie Bug is raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which funds research to find a cure for diabetes. The Walk To Cure Diabetes is the largest fundraiser for JDRF. 

Linn Area Credit Union is a very proud sponsor of Team Katie Bug. Their goal is to raise $4,000 and, as of today, they are about 30% of the way! If you would like to help them reach their goal by making a donation to Team Katie Bug, just click here. Remember that donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. One more cool thing – you can use your PayPal account to make the donation through the JDRF website, so it really couldn’t be any easier!

Let’s find the cure!

Free Moo-lah!  by Tara

January31

If you are a high school senior, currently in college or continuing your education – this is your chance to snag one of six 2012 Family Involvement Board scholarships!  These scholarships are made possible by the good people at Iowa Crdit Unions through the Iowa Credit Union Foundation. Here is one important piece of info upfront: Applications are due on Friday, February 3rd, so there’s little room for procrastination (What? Who does that?!?)

There are two different scholarship programs are available: 

1. High School Scholarship – Scholarships for high school seniors planning to enter college. The high school scholarships include a first-place prize of $1,500; second place of $1,000; third place of $750 and fourth place of $500. 

2. Post-High School Scholarship – Scholarships for post-high school, continuing education students and current college students. The post-high school scholarship category includes two $1,000 scholarships. 

Make sure to read all of the scholarship guidelines and follow the application process (go here for more info). It is very important to note that you must be a credit union member in good standing to be considered. 

Each application is required to answer the following question in no more than 500 words. Essay questions are designed to encourage learning about the credit union movement and its mission. 

2012 FIB Scholarship Essay Question: 

Unfortunately, many Americans try to avoid money matters altogether and deal with problems as they arise. However, even with some knowledge about managing finances, you can maintain a healthy financial life. 

How are you educating yourself on personal finance and money management issues? Please include how you can utilize your credit union’s financial education expertise.

Ready to do this? Of course, you are! These scholarships are going to go to six people – one of them might as well be you! Click here for more information and to fill out the application!

GREAT News, Marion!  by Tara

January26

Hey, Marion! You are lucky! I mean, REALLY lucky! We’ve signed on the dotted sign and are excited to announce that we are moving the location of our Marion branch from 985 31st St in Marion to Lincoln View Square, at the corner of 35th St and 7th Ave in Marion! 

Construction is slated to begin in April and we hope to be open for business before next winter.

If you’re curious what the new building will look like, swing into our Edgewood location or click here to see some pics. The new Marion branch will be very, very similar.  Warm, friendly and chalk full of the latest technology to make your banking experience more efficient. This also means that instead of a teller counter, you will be able to conduct all your banking business side-by-side with one of our friendly Financial Services Representatives in one of our teller pods – something that members who go to our Edgewood branch have raved about! Hooray!!! 

What sorts of things are you hoping to see in the new Marion branch? Let us know in the comments below!

The Salvation Army gets Frank-a-fied!  by Mallory

December15

Linn Area Credit Union took on the challenge to man a Salvation Army bucket for a full day on Tuesday. I kicked off the day with my trusty partner Beth. We rang the bell for 2 hours in the morning. Believe it or not, we even got a little too toasty in our hats and gloves. (Side note: This is the first year I haven’t been freezing the whole time!)

The donations started out slow, but things really started to pick up as time went on. Beth actually had to help a lady shove a whole envelope full of cash into the bucket! We had some great interactions with people and it was especially fun when they let their kids donate. Many little ones put one coin in at a time to make the experience last. Seeing the little kids get incredibly excited to put money in the bucket was really cute! It just made us smile!

But the fun really got started when Beth and I took our late shift starting at 6 pm. It had just started raining, but it was still kind of warm out (for December at least). I decided to let my dog Frank join us – don’t worry, he had a jacket and a chair. Frank was a hit! The Salvation Army might owe him a bone for Christmas because he brought over lots of people. I think the adults were just as taken with Frank as the kids were. One lady even went inside and bought Frank a treat!

This is the season where it can be frustrating just to run to the store to get milk because people are everywhere. Although people are supposed to be filled with Christmas cheer, we all know that doesn’t seem to be the case while waiting in the mile long line and getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I have to say that ringing the bell for 4 hours yesterday was extremely satisfying because I got to see the good in people over and over again. Whether they could give an envelope full of money or just their spare change, it was great to see people in the giving spirit. Even if they were unable to donate, many people still smiled and greeted us, which was so appreciated!

A huge thanks goes to all the people I met yesterday. Your generosity has truly gotten me into the holiday spirit!

Linn Area Credit Union would like to thank the following fabulous employees for ringing the bell on our behalf: Beth, Matt, Amy, Jolayne, Jessie, Tracy N., Joannie and, of course, Mallory and Frank!

Welcome Home, Andrea!  by Tara

August18

We are ecstatic to announce that our very own hero, Andrea Brandon, has returned from Afghanistan after a year-long deployment! On Saturday, August 6th, Andrea was welcomed home in an emotional ceremony at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. 

We are thrilled that Andrea will be returning to her Linn Area Credit Union family at some point this year. You can look forward to hearing her voice again when you call into Member Services needing help! 

Andrea, we are all so proud of you! Welcome home! 

Now is the time we’d like to show Andrea how much love and support she has! In the comments below, feel free to leave her a message!

Conquer The Corridor  by Tara

August4

“Ugh… there’s just nothing to DO around here!” 

A familiar whine to many. Whether you are new to Cedar Rapids or if you’ve lived here your entire life, there is now a movement to let you know just how much fun can be had within the Corridor! Kari and Quinn from Conquer the Corridor visited with the staff of Linn Area Credit Union to make us aware of this program and remind this group of Cedar Rapidians that we may be missing out on some really cool stuff! 

For example, did you know that from the first week of May through September there is a festival going on almost every weekend??  Go here for the full list. 

I know one complaint that I’ll admit to spouting off is my desire for something new and different to eat. (Sure, this could be because I’m pregnant…) I was super excited to see a list of places to eat around the Corridor! There are some places on this list that I had never heard of and others that I had plum forgotten about! Needless to say, this realization has opened up a whole bunch of new options. Click here for the tasty list!

Looking for something to do on a specific day or night? The most extensive list of events, festivals, yadda yadda can be found here, on the Cultural Corridor’s website. There really is something for everyone on there!

So get to clicking on these links and find something fun for your family to do today! 

Tell us in the comments below: Do you have a hidden gem of a restaurant or store, etc. that you like to go to that others may not know about?

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