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Join our Loved & Found program!  by Tara


Loved and Found on stuffed animalsNever worry about losing a cherished item again thanks to Linn Area Credit Union’s Loved & Found program! Simply add one of our FREE Loved & Found tags to anything you wouldn’t want to lose.

Perfect for your kiddo’s stuffed animals, backpacks, purses, diaper bags, suitcases, briefcases, iPad cases, phones, yadda yadda! Not to be used ON children. Or dogs. (You get the idea!) Click here to sign up now!

How It Works
You take your family to enjoy a large outdoor event. Of course, your child insists on bringing along his favorite stuffed monkey. In the shuffle of things, the monkey gets dropped. How will it ever get returned to your little one???

Fear not. You are part of Linn Area Credit Union’s Loved & Found program and attached one of our FREE tags to your son’s bestie. Now for our story to have a happy ending…

A couple, who also attended the event, noticed the stuffed monkey laying on the sidewalk. They see that the beloved monkey is wearing a Loved & Found tag, which tells them to contact Linn Area Credit Union. As soon as we receive word that an item has been found, we send an email out to our registered Loved & Found members alerting them that an item has been found. You see the email, simply give us a buzz, describe the missing item, and – tah dahhh – time to reunite your child with their bestie! All is right in the world again.

How to Get Your Tag
As a registered Loved & Found member, you will received quarterly emails from Linn Area Credit Union as well as alerts when we find lost items. To register for your FREE Loved & Found Tags, just fill out the quick form below and then pick up the tags from the branch you indicated. Easy peasy!

Inspired by Kathy
Our Loved & Found program was inspired by a little stuffed monkey. Kathy the monkey was found at Balloon Glow, an event with 17,000 people in attendance. Through the use of social media, Linn Area Credit Union was able to reunite Kathy with her bestie, a three year old named Eli. This program has been put into place to help make sure that no other besties get separated.

The Nitty Gritty
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Loved & Found tags:

  • FREE (pretty decent perk!)
  • Your contact information will remain safe since it is Linn Area Credit Union’s info printed on the tags
  • Measures 1.875” x 1.875″ soft, flexible square (still perfect for snuggling)
  • Plastic strap is included with the tag, but you are welcome to switch it out
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • BPA & phthalate free, Non-Toxic Soft Vinyl that is compliant with State & Federal safety regulations, CPSIA, & Prop 65 (whew – that was a mouthful!)

Click here to sign up now or stop by any of our walk-in locations!

VIDEO: I Mustache For Your Advice Winner!  by Tara


Bosking and TaraWe revealed the winner of our “I Mustache For Your Advice” a couple of weeks ago (check out the post here), but have finally uploaded the video! Hey, better late than never, right? ;o)

Steve and his daughter Anna visited with us at our Mt. Vernon Road branch last month. Anna, who is 12, really wanted to get her dad something nice for Father’s Day, but didn’t have the money. She and her mom came across our email about the contest and Anna knew right away that she wanted to enter her awesome dad.

Here is the video of the adorable pair:

Congrats again, Steve! We hope the $200 helps as you redo your basement! (P.S. If you are busy redo-ing YOUR basement like Steve, we have super low rates right now!)

TV Star: Adam  by Tara


EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK! Linn Area Credit Union is about to start running a new and fabulous series of  commercials featuring our members! This spot won’t hit your TV until Monday the 22nd, but we’re giving YOU a special sneak peek. Drum roll, please…

Now, you might recognize Adam (and most of our other featured faces) from the TV Stars contest that we held on Facebook a couple months ago. We had such a great response that we ended up doing a couple more spots than we originally planned and had some cool photo shoots!

Keep your eye right here on the blog, as we’ll keep trying to give you sneak peeks as the spots are completed. :o)

Comment below: What did you think of our first new TV commercial???

Monkey Business: The play-by-play  by Tara


There are downright crudtastic things that happen in this world and it’s so easy to lose faith in humanity… but then amazing things happen. Positive things – like what has happened with a little stuffed monkey, social media and Linn Area Credit Union.

Over 150,000 people were following this story on Facebook, asking for updates and rejoicing when the reunion happened. As well-covered as the glorious moment was, we know many of you are curious exactly how the whole thing went down. Here is a play-by-play, day-by-day (enjoy!):

Monday, July 1st

LACU BalloonAfter an incredibly successful, super crowded Balloon Glow (an event we sponsor annually), the Linn Area Credit Union marketing team was running around the entrances to clean up around 10:00 pm. A couple approached us carrying a lost stuffed monkey.

As a parent of an almost two year old, my heart plummeted straight into the ground. I got almost choked up as I studied this little piece of fluff.

So obviously loved. So obviously cherished. So obviously going to crash and burn the world of some little child out there! (And, to be fair, I also thought about the nightmare some parent was going to have on his or her hands.)

We are family” is more than just a tagline at Linn Area Credit Union. As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, co-workers – we are an overall pushover for kids. Yep, they are our admitted kryptonite. Flash that sweet little mug around these-here parts and you’ll surely skip away with a sucker… or ten. With a crowd of over 17,000 people, we knew a reunion would be a challenge, but we were determined to do everything possible to help find this Monkey’s bestie.

Tuesday, July 2nd

First thing Tuesday morning, we posted a pic on on Linn Area’s Facebook page:

FB Original Post

Figuring the parents would likely contact Brucemore and Freedom Festival, we posted the above on their Facebook pages as well (and contacted them personally to see if anyone had called). We added the same to local news pages.

Instantly, Monkey’s story started spreading like wildfire!


And our very favorite:


You even started to share stories of your own:



You guys blew us away with your commitment to helping Monkey find his bestie:



No strangers to having fun, we decided to take Monkey for a spin around the CU. He bopped into each department at our Blairs Ferry office to see what kind of monkey business he could find. Monkey business – something we’re never lacking in. ;o)

Our fraud specialist teaching the Monkey all about fake bills.

Our fraud specialist teaching the Monkey all about fake bills.

Helping to run the joint while the President is on vacay. What's that you say - we all get raises?!?! HOORAY!

Helping to run the joint while the President is on vacay. What’s that you say – we all get raises?!?! HOORAY!

*sigh* Monkey finds the Xerox machine.

*sigh* Monkey finds the Xerox machine.

Now THIS is what I call monkey business!

Now THIS is what I call monkey business!


There are many others, just click here to see the full set. To our surprise, people LOVED the pics and began sharing those as well!





By the next morning, the original post had been shared 1,083 times and reached at least a whopping 54,000 people! This was all because big-hearted people like YOU shared the pic!


Thursday, July 4th

The Fourth of July arrived and, to be honest, we were shocked that Monkey hadn’t been reunited with his bestie yet. He had gotten into SO much monkeying around on Tuesday that I wasn’t sure he could be trusted in a financial institution all alone, so he got to take a road trip to my house. ;o) So many people had been asking if Bestie had been found and though we responded individually, we thought it might be time for an update. Linn Area always like to remind our members when we’ll be closed, so we thought we’d do the whole “two birds, one stone” thing:

FB 4th of July


Saturday, July 6th

No word. The buzz was all over Facebook, but Monkey was still in Linn Area’s care. We started to get nervous. What would our next step be? Would we adopt Monkey as our social media mascot? We were growing quite attached to the the little bugger. But YOU guys – you kept sharing Monkey’s story! YOU kept the hope alive!

And then…


Sunday, July 7th… 12:20am

At 12:20am, this was posted under the original Monkey post:


I started screaming with joy! We did it! We actually did it! I was ecstatic that Monkey was finally going to be able to go home and couldn’t wait to get the full story. How was I ever going to wait until the next morning to get the rest of the story? Turned out, I wouldn’t have to!

FB Reunion1FB Reunion2FB Reunion3FB Reunion4FB Reunion5

Wow – so that’s how we learned that Monkey is actually a “she” not a he and HER real name is Kathy! The pink shirt made a whole lot more sense now. ;o) Kathy’s bestie is a little 3 year old, Eli.

Because we knew so many people were following Kathy’s adventures with Linn Area and hoping that she would find her bestie, we knew it was time for an update – the best update EVER, in our humble opinion:


FB BFF found

The next morning, the following post popped up:


That afternoon, Vicki and I connected. She was delightful! One of those people that you like so much that you can imagine yourself hanging out with her. We finally began comparing notes on what happened… let’s start with the back story. :o)

Vicki is the mom to 5 year old Aria and 3 year old Eli. She is originally from England, which is where most of her family lives. When Aria was born, she was given a little stuffed monkey, lovingly named Charlie after Vicki’s dad in England. When Eli was born, he also received a stuffed monkey that they decided to name Kathy after – you guessed it – his grandma in England. Kathy and Charlie the Monkeys are married. *insert a collective “Aww” here* The monkeys help the little kids feel just a little bit closer to the overseas grandparents.

So, how did Kathy get lost??? Why did it take so long to find her??

Vicki had a house full of family members visiting, including many from England. You know that goes – no one is sleeping in their regular room, everything is everywhere, and you’re really just focused on enjoying each other’s company! The whole gaggle had gone to Balloon Glow (Kathy and Charlie have actually been to many of them!). Eli fell asleep, so part of the family decided to head home. It as during that hustle and bustle that Kathy must have slipped away.

In the following days, Eli asked where Kathy was, but with a house full of guests, many who were kids with stuffed animals of their own, they figured she would pop up sooner or later. When Vicki’s family left on that Saturday, they turned the house upside-down. No Kathy. That’s when it hit Vicki that Kathy wasn’t in the house. Kathy was lost.

Even though it was very late on Saturday night, Vicki took to Facebook to see if anyone could help out. She posted a picture of her kids with their monkeys saying, “Attention Facebook friends: Kathy my monkey has gone A-wall! Last seen at Balloon Glow!”

And this is where a tiny miracle happened.

In less than 2 minutes, she received a PHONE CALL from a good friend who had seen both Vicki’s post and Linn Area’s ongoing posts. “Are you serious?!?!! Have you not seen this yet?!?!?!  Linn Area Credit Union is trying to reunite them!”

Vicki made a beeline to our page and saw firsthand what fun we had been having with Kathy. :) She thought the whole thing was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing! (Boy are we glad Vicki had such a great humor bout the whole thing.) Eli was very excited to get Kathy back home. We decided to set the reunion for the next morning at our Blairs Ferry branch.

Monday, July 8th

It was the day of the reunion!!! We were so beyond excited! Because so many people had been a part of sharing the story, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of pics and video of the reunion. Even KGAN (Channel 2) wanted to come and capture the moment. But first we had to say goodbye to Kathy, Linn Area-style:

While the tribute was really our way to bringing some closure to the adventure, we are certainly glad you guys got a kick out of it, too (because you all are awesome):



Gosh, we had the best week ever with Kathy, but couldn’t wait to meet her bestie, Eli.

We hid Kathy behind our reception desk, so that we could capture Eli’s priceless face when he was reunited with her. And, no worries, we captured the whole thing on video for you guys:



We took a ton of pictures, too. How could we not with the cutest family EVER in our presence?!?! (Go here to see them all.)


You’ll notice in the video and pics that this amazingly thoughtful family brought Linn Area Credit Union some gifts as a (completely unnecessary!!!) thank you. “To Kathy’s Keepers” – as they put it. A gorgeous picture of Aria, Eli, Charlie and Kathy, an Andy Warhol-style piece of framed artwork featuring Kathy, and then some stickers, Pictionary, and mustache glasses. This last part was to play to our “funny” side!


KGAN did an awesome job summarizing Kathy’s adventure. Click here to watch their fabulously done news story! Some of the most touching comments came on their Facebook page:


993293_10151459047127133_338368803_nOther news outlets quickly followed suit. The Gazette wrote up a lovely story about Kathy’s adventures with Linn Area. (Read it here.) We were even featured in the Credit Union Times! (That can be found right here!) Wow!


But nothing compares to the comments that you guys left us. Here’s one that really hit us in the ticker:


While Kathy’s visit brought us a ridiculous amount of laughter and joy, this – ALL of this – is just who we are at Linn Area Credit Union. We didn’t do it because they were members or not members (they aren’t… yet! LOL!). “We are family” is our motto – and we live by it. While this story caught fire, we do things like this all the time for our members and others in our community. They are just usually a little, um, quieter. ;o)

Thank you to everyone who followed this story, especially those of you who helped share Kathy’s search for her bestie. It was because of YOU that Eli and Kathy were reunited. Your friends at Linn Area Credit just feel lucky to have been a part of such a heart-warming story with this storybook ending.

What a tale Eli will be telling for years and years to come!



Monkey Business: A video tribute  by Tara


If you’ve been on Facebook at any point in the last week, you have probably heard about the {now famous} monkey found at Balloon Glow. Linn Area Credit Union has been determined to find this Monkey’s bestie! Thanks to the power of social media, Monkey is being reunited with his bestie TODAY! We will give you the full story after it happens, but – for now – here is Linn Area’s special tribute to this special little monkey:

Contest follow up: Hightlight Reel Winner!  by Tara


In January we asked you guys to share with us your Highlights of 2012. We even made it into a contest, because we’re cool like that. :o) The photo you picked as the winner was of a beautiful engagement. Taaaah dahhh:

Chris Farrell

“This was such an emotional and amazing day! Marvin McNutt is a beautiful person and watching my granddaughters shear joy as he presented them with “daughter bracelets”, after he proposed and gave their mother a gorgeous engagement ring, was a moment I will never forget…captured in this picture.”

After chatting with the winner, we discovered that there is so much more to the story, guys.

As mentioned in the caption, the proposer pictured is Marvin McNutt. Does that name ring a bell? If you live in Iowa or are a college football fan, you’re probably familiar. He is the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns at the University of Iowa (Wiki’s sports lingo, not mine!). The young woman above is Brittney, the daughter of one of our fabulous members (and the winner) Chris. And, don’t worry, we made Chris SWEAR that should would use the gift card on herself! We know how you moms are – so selfless! ;o)

Since we are all about the warm fuzzies around here, so we asked the now bride-to-be to share with us all the details of that beautiful day. Because Britt writes a little blog of her own (cleverly named “Mixed McKnutts”, I thought it would be perfect to welcome her as a guest blogger on the one year anniversary of their engagement. And, head’s up, it is chock-full of pics! Enjoy!

I still remember the roll of my eyes and the belly laughter from my gut when my sister said she wanted to introduce me to an Iowa football player.  I immediately dismissed the idea citing every reason why I thought it was ridiculous – he’s younger than me, he’s an athlete (that screams trouble, right?), I have two children, and just NO, not gonna happen!

Well, it happened and I thank God every day that it did.

It wasn’t long after I met Marvin that we fell in love. How could I resist such an amazing man? The athlete stereotypes I was bombarded with went right out the window once I met him. He’s genuine, goal driven, patient, loving, hilarious, educated, and a man of God. He is the perfect dad to our daughters. Marvin’s energy is electric. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with him will tell you, he’s just a GOOD person. Period.

It’s only fitting that this vibrant and bright man was born on the day when fireworks light up the sky – the 4th of July!

Last 4th of July, Marvin, Paris, Sophia, and I all went to St. Louis (Marvin’s hometown) to celebrate his birthday, the holiday, and say ‘goodbye’ to his family. The following week we were moving out of state because Marvin was drafted to the NFL (yay!). My mom and siblings came to St. Louis as well, so that they could spend as much time with us as possible before our big move.

Marvin’s family all came over to his parents house for a big BBQ – I’m talking, like, 50 people! Which is completely normal for a McNutt gathering. We all squeezed into the living to watch Marvin open his presents (all 2 of them!). His mom asked him to tell everyone about our new house we were about to move into. Marvin stood up and starts telling his family about the house and when we were moving. He starts telling everyone about how fabulous I am and in my head I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s sweet, honey, but the dramatics are a bit much.” Marvin is always very vocal about the love he has for me, so I figured this was another declaration of his love for me (swoon!). Until I heard, “… But the present I want most for my birthday is…”

Ibritt2n the millisecond between him catching his breath and continuing, I thought, “THIS IS IT. This is the moment I’ve waited for since we fell in love!”


“…for Brittney to spend the rest of her life with me.”britt3

Marvin dropped to one knee and says in the most perfect way :) “Will you marry me?”

Ahhh!  At this point I’m crying, shaking, but somehow managed to say “YES!”

Marvin handed Paris and Sophia each small box with a bracelet that says “daughter” on it. I’ve never seen the girls so happy! Paris later said that she was fighting back tears of joy and did not want to cry in front of everyone.britt5


I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal – our daughters, parents, siblings, Marvin’s grandparents, and extended family were all there to witness this beautiful moment with us. There was one more special person that was there without my knowledge. Marvin had coordinated it so that my best friend, Alynsia, from Seattle flew in to witness and celebrate with us. She had been hiding out at a neighbor’s house!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

britt6Oh, but it does.

Marvin made reservations at a restaurant in St. Louis to celebrate. We ate on the rooftop with the Gateway Arch on one side and the St. Louis Cardinals playing a game on the other side of us. We were surrounded by our best friends and family. We ate, drank, danced, and watched fireworks from the rooftop.

I can’t tell you which team won the baseball game, but I can tell you that I felt like I had won the World Series that night!

I fall more and more in love with Marvin as each day passes. I absolutely cannot wait to say “I do” to my best friend when we return to good ol’ Cedar Rapids, IA to join in marriage in March 2014!

Time to GLOW!  by Tara


four balloonsWe are big believers in family traditions. Every year we share one of our favorite Linn Area family traditions with our community – the Balloon Glow. This well-known event is part of Freedom Festival (it’s our favorite part, but we’re a little biased!). Heck, nearly 13,000 people enjoyed it last year alone!

For the 15th year in a row, we are the sponsors of this FREE family evening. Do note that it’s only FREE with your Freedom Festival button and buttons can be bought at the gate. Kids age 5 and under do NOT need a button! Balloon Glow will be held Monday, July 1st at Brucemore (it was originally on June 25th, but we had to postpone thanks to rain). Gates open at 5:30 pm. Additional details can be found here (parking, shuttle buses, etc.).

To say that this event “is for young and old alike” may sound super cheesy, but it’s the honest to goodness truth! I remember going on one of my first dates with my now husband to Balloon Glow. I packed us a picnic basket full of yummy treats and some choice beverages and away we went for a lovely evening of music and picturesque views.

And I can’t even explain to you how much the kids LOVE this event. Whether it’s running up foGreen Shirt cutier their 5th Linn Area hot air balloon tattoo, grooving along to the music or ohh-ing and aww-ing over the hot air balloons, kids totally dig this family night out.

This year you’ll be entertained from 7:00-10:00 pm by the foot tapping, chair dancing, make you want to DANCE sounds of the Lonesome Road. Voted KCRG A-List, Best Music category 2011 and 2012, this country band will surely impress even the toughest music critic. Their Facebook page has a ton of videos on it, so if you’re interested in getting yourself psyched up, go here for a listen!

Don’t forget to say hi to all the familiar Linn Area faces as you come in through the entrances! We’ll be the ones putting the hot air balloon tattoos on all willing participants! Around 40 of us will be there that night – even some of our very own family members will be lending a hand, as well!

Feel free to take pics and post them to our Facebook Page or Tweet at us with them.

Tell us in the comments below: What’s your favorite Balloon Glow memory?

Not just a bunch of hot air!  by Tara


LACU Balloon The summer sun brings out all sorts of things: funnel cakes, sweet corn, carnies, flip flops, and (my personal fave) hot air balloons. Specifically, our Linn Area Credit Union hot air balloon!

But to call it “our” balloon isn’t entirely accurate. Maybe you’ve seen our colorful balloon soaring through the sky and thought to yourself, “Dang, those LACU employees sure are lucky to be able to ride in that gem whenever they want!” Not to take the hot air out of your balloon, but *sigh* we don’t get to ride in it. But wouldn’t that be the coolest way to arrive to work???

Here’s the real scoop:

Linn Area Credit Union basically rents space on the side of the balloon for our logo. The hot air balloon itself is actually owned and operated by Kevin Kamp of Balloon Travels, along with his father-in-law. They treat the hot air balloon as a for-profit hobby and they charge for rides. Linn Area Credit Union employees would have to pay $400 for a one hour ride just like any other passenger. Our executives have never been up in that sucker and, believe me, have no clue how to fly it.

As part of our contract with Balloon Travels, Linn Area Credit Union is allotted 5 rides a year to use at community events and give to charities. We use one of thoCSC_0182se rides each year at Balloon Glow, a Freedom Festival event we sponsor. (Go here to see pics from last year’s event!) Balloon Glow attracts between 13,000 and 14,000 community members each year for an evening of watching staked out hot air balloons, free kids activities, and a free live band on the lawn at Brucemore. (It’s actually on Tuesday, June 25th this year featuring Lonesome Road – click here for all the info!) We feel it is good advertising to have that many people aware that Linn Area Credit Union is sponsoring this wholesome family event and to have them looking at our logo for hours.

We also donate a hot air balloon glow each year during the Tanager Place “Summer Fest” fundraiser, which is a free event for kids in our community and raises money for children who are helped by Tanager Place’s services. Over the years we’ve also donated rides as a silent auction items for charities such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the American Cancer Society, and to area schools for their fundraisers. We promise that the hot air balloon being used for all good things and that our investment in it is limited to much less than the cost of running a billboard.

Whenever you see our hot air balloon in that blue sky, we want to know! Post a pic or video on our Facebook page ( or mention us (@LinnAreaCU) in your Tweet!

Tell us in the comments below: If you had the chance, would you want to ride in hot air balloon??? Have you ever riden in a hot air balloon? We want to hear your experience!

Contest Winner: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara


And we have a WINNER in our Father’s Day “I Mustache For Your Advice” contest! Congratulations to…


“Whenever there is trouble, you can always come home.

I will ALWAYS be there.”

Well, Steve, we think Anna is pretty lucky to have you as a dad. :o) Enjoy your $200 Visa gift card!

Contest: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara


Father's Day Email image

Did your Dad ever give you advice that made you bristle, but once you had time to mullet over, you saw the wisdom? Then we mustache you a question…

What is the most memorable advice the dad in your life has given you? We want to hear it! One lucky papa will win a $200 Visa gift card.

Simply enter here and make sure to attach a picture of your dad (it doesn’t have to be related to the advice – unless the advice is to always have a mullet and then we insist!).

And, no worries, you can enter any guy who has been a father figure in your life (so you can nominate your husband, for example). Also, you do NOT have to have Facebook in order to enter. Heck, we don’t even  make you “like” us, even though we certainly like YOU!

You have until midnight on Sunday, June 16th (a.k.a. Father’s Day!) to get everything submitted! The winner will be selected on Monday, June 17th through a random drawing using on (Click here to enter!)

Don’t make it a close shave – enter today!


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