Northwest Credit Union Heroes Raise Over $205,000 for Children’s Hospitals

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Last Wednesday night in Spokane a room full of credit union superheroes focused their powers on the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals of the Northwest at the Heroes of Hope Gala, raising over $205,000 for Credit Unions for Kids.

“The heroic heart of the credit union movement was on full display last week,” said Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association, which hosted the gala alongside the Association’s annual Amplify Convention. “Northwest credit unions stepped up in a historic way to support the children and families who, during some of the hardest, most frightening moments of their lives, rely on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

There was a packed house and aggressive bidding as well known auctioneer and host of “Storage Hunters” Sean Kelly led the action from the stage. Attendees were given an emotional look at the impact of their bids when Miracle Child Aiden Kemp and his family took the stage.

On Mother’s Day this year, 10-year-old Aiden was stricken with a rare autoimmune disorder that left him incapable of walking. Aiden and his family attended the Gala despite an intense day of doctor’s appointments, and Aiden’s father read a letter from the boy’s mother, which described the last photo they took of Aiden standing, snapped on Mother’s Day just before the onset of the sudden illness.

“It was kind of disappointing when it first started,” said Aiden, who was interviewed by emcee Mark Peterson, anchor of KXLY’s Good Morning Northwest, himself a survivor of a heart attack only thanks to urgent medical care. But with the help of CMN Hospitals Aiden is working to regain use of his legs, and in the meantime has taken up wheelchair racing.

The gala continued the tradition of auctioning toy-filled wagons for the six regional CMN Hospitals, which are used by the hospitals to transport kids to and from treatments in a fun, unthreatening way. Within seconds of the wagon for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital being put on the auction block a bid came in for $10,000, upping the ante of generosity for the night.

Later in the evening Kelly opened ‘Raise the Paddle,’ a chance for attendees to donate directly to Credit Unions for Kids, one attendee bid $10,000. A long paddle-raising session followed. At one point nearly half of the attendees raised their paddles to bid and donate $100 each, offering a picture of the heroic solidarity of the credit union movement.

By the end of the evening the auction had raised $178,651, and the next morning donations continued to pour in, pushing the total over $205,000.

The total includes $25,000 from CO-OP’s Miracle Match program, which promotes CMN Hospital fundraisers with $1 million in philanthropic matching funds.

“This year’s auction set new records for generosity,” said Stang. “The Northwest credit union movement continues to grow in its service and impact in the communities of Oregon and Washington.”

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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