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Community First and Sexual Assault Crisis Center chosen for Business Partnership honor

Credit union team recognized for long-standing, behind-the-scenes volunteer collaboration at Shall We Dance fundraiser

May 3, 2019

Amy Flanders knows the Shall We Dance fundraiser would not be nearly as successful without an important behind the scenes team of volunteers.
That’s why she decided to nominate Community First Credit Union shortly after the 11thannual signature event raised over $215,000 for the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (SACC). Flanders, the agency’s executive director, worked with SACC board members to nominate Community First for the Business Partnership Award sponsored by SECURA Insurance.
On May 1, Community First and its team of volunteers were honored at the 22ndannual Celebrating Volunteers community gala organized by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. It’s the third time Community First has been honored with the award.

Accepting the award for the Community First team of volunteers were Becky Davis and Cindy Pierce. The Business Partnership award comes with $5,000 provided by SECURA, which Community First will grant to SACC to further its mission.

“We have a great team of people,” Pierce said. “It’s people-helping-people, which is our credit union spirit. We help the Sexual Assault Crisis Center and they in turn help so many people in the community.”

Davis said team members put Shall We Dance on their calendars as soon as the dates are announced because they so strongly believe in the cause.

Each year, the group collects and safeguards all the cash, checks and credit card payments made as contributions to SACC during the fundraiser. The volunteer duty also includes counting ballots for the various awards and distribution of receipts to participants at the end of the night – encompassing about eight hours from start to finish.

“Participating in this event comes naturally to us. It’s what we do every day, serving our members and serving the community,” said Pierce. “The most rewarding part is not that everything balances at the end of the night – although we really like that, too – it’s knowing that we are part of something that will make a profound difference for someone who is in crisis.”

Over the 11 years, donations have exceeded $2.1 million and fast and accurate tabulation during the event is an important part of the evening as dancers are honored for their fundraising prowess in addition to their dancing skills.

“We’re careful and handle things under dual control like we do here at the credit union,” Pierce said. “We have people to guard us. It’s all very secure.”

Community First has supported Shall We Dance in other ways over the years, including senior executives serving on the volunteer SACC board of directors, in-kind marketing assistance, five senior leaders who danced with a professional dance instructor and promotional opportunities at branches where employees dressed up on the job to help raise money through donations from fellow member-owners.

“Initially we started because we wanted to help and we knew we could help,” Pierce said. “Now we’ve worked together so many years that we’ve all become passionate about it. It’s touched our hearts – the impact that it has and so many people and families that it’s helped.”

With a young daughter of her own, Davis said the agency’s mission to provide resources to victims and their families “really hits home. This way I can help them with my expertise and make it better for the community.”

“We are blessed to enjoy an organizational culture that values and encourages volunteering for the benefits it brings both to organizations and community efforts but also to each of us as individuals,” said Davis.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of Community First for the past 10 years and privileged to have Cindy and Becky serving as the key volunteers,” Flanders said.

Watch the NBC26 Cares feature on the Secura Insurance Business Partnership Award recipients:  Celebrating Business-Nonprofit Teamwork
Read the USA Today/Appleton Post-Crescent story on Nonprofit Team Honored.