News & Notes: Here’s What’s Happening Around the Northwest

Rivermark Lowers Interest Rates for More Than 9,700 Credit Card Holders

Rivermark Community Credit Union gave more than 9,700 members an early gift for the holidays, automatically lowering the interest rate on its credit cards last week by an average of more than 3.2 percent.

Rivermark members whose rates were lowered will now pay an average of 8.30 percent on card balances. That compares to an average of 15.82 percent for bank-issued cards, according to Rivermark members with a balance of $7,000 would now save more than $1,937 in loan interest if they made the minimum payment until the balance is paid in full.

“We’re delighted that our members can enjoy these lower APRs and eliminate their credit card debt even faster,” said Scott Burgess, Rivermark’s president and CEO. The new fixed rate will apply to all new purchases, he said.

Consumers can still find some introductory zero-percent offers on the market, but Rivermark said big banks are charging balance-transfer fees on those cards of 3-5 percent. A 5-percent fee on a $7,000 balance is $350, and frequently, that fee must be paid up front. In addition to the low fixed rate, Rivermark’s Platinum Visa offers no balance transfer fees, no annual fee and “decidedly less fine print.”

“People, not profits, are our number-one priority,” Burgess said.

NW Priority Credit Union Raises $5,481 for Muscular Dystrophy Association

NW Priority Credit Union teamed up with Branch 82 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to “Fill the Satchel” and raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

NW Priority had set a $5,000 goal for the fundraiser, which started on Oct. 11. Each time a member donated to MDA, they got to sign a “Fill the Satchel” card and post it in the branch lobby. In just 22 days, NW Priority collected $5,481.25.

“We are so thankful for everything NW Priority Credit Union did,” said Jim Cook, president of NALC Branch 82. “We are so appreciative of the dedication the staff put into this fundraising effort.”

The letter carriers union selected MDA as its charity of choice in 1952. NW Priority has been working with the local branch for three years, raising a total of $14,894.53.

Credit Unions Collect Food, Clothing and Toys for Neighbors in Need

Northwest credit unions are making sure that their neighbors have warm clothes, hearty meals and toys for the kids during the holidays with a sleigh-full of food drives and other special events.

Through Thanksgiving, Spokane Federal Credit Union and radio station 92.9 ZZU had already raised more than $11,000 to fulfill Christmas Wishes for families in need.

  • Spokane Federal Credit Union and radio station 92.9 ZZU are partnering to fulfill Christmas Wishes for area families in need. Through Dec. 19, the credit union is selling $5 raffle tickets at its main branch (601 W. Mallon Ave., Spokane) for a chance to win a giant stocking filled with toys. Donations also are being accepted online. All of the proceeds will go to the Christmas Wish program, which since 1995 has brightened the holidays for Spokane-area families who have fallen on hard times.
  • STCU members can become “Honorary Elves” by donating gifts to the Spokane Tree of Sharing. Gift tags are available at Tree of Sharing booths at NorthTown Mall, River Park Square and Spokane Valley Mall; each includes a brief description of a child and his or her gift request. Gifts should be purchased by Thursday, Dec. 12, so that volunteers can deliver them during the holidays.
  • Point West Credit Union has decoratedits 2013 Caring Tree with the gift requests of 50 children and families and will work with Multnomah County Early Childhood Services to make sure those wishes are fulfilled. The Caring Tree has been a holiday tradition at Point West for more than 20 years and supported more than 1,000 local children and families. This year, unwrapped gifts should be brought to the credit union (718 NE 12th Ave., Portland) by Thursday, Dec. 12.
  • “Christmas Angels” can also make wishes come true by selecting gift tags at Cowlitz Credit Union (821 Washington Way, Longview) through Wednesday, Dec. 4. The credit union is working with Beacon Hill Elementary School in Longview to make sure students there have a joyous holiday.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, Harborstone Credit Union has coordinated Operation Turkey Drop on behalf of the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (ASUA). Harborstone and AUSA volunteers distributed 395 turkeys on Nov. 21 to airmen and soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray. Operation Turkey Drop was created in 2009 by Carlene Joseph, Harborstone’s vice president of community development.
  • Gesa Credit Union hosted a Toys for Tots drive on Nov. 30 at its headquarters in Richland. U.S. Marines were on hand to help collect donations of new, unwrapped toys.
  • O Bee Credit Union partnered with Guerilla Running to collect canned food at the Oly Trot on Thanksgiving morning in Olympia. All donations benefitted the Thurston County Food Bank.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216,

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