Credit Unions Help Families Make Lifelong Memories Every Year Through CU4Kids

Elliott Naftzger (right) was the Miracle Child at last year’s NWCUA auction benefitting Credit Unions for Kids. Thanks to your generosity and contributions from IBEW & United Workers Federal Credit Union, her Disney dreams came true.


Homework is likely something Elliott Naftzger doesn’t mind. Her room at home is her castle, her desk is her throne, and her dress is fit for a princess — literally. It was custom made for her. And that was only part of her dream Disney journey.

Elliott was born with a heart condition and has been treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals since she was just four days old. As the Miracle Child at last year’s Credit Union for Kids auction, Elliott received a VIP trip to Disneyland. The luxurious package was donated as a live auction item by IBEW and United Workers Federal Credit Union. 

Elliot colors at her desk, dressed in her custom-made gown, fit for a princess.

“Our purpose was to provide this family with a totally worry-free dream vacation,” said Barbara Mathey, the credit union’s President and CEO.

They delivered. By the time the bidding stopped that night, credit unions had contributed nearly $1,000,000 to Credit Unions for Kids — $30,000 of those funds inspired by Elliott’s package alone. IBEW & United Workers FCU paid all of the expenses for Elliott’s trip. The dream journey included limo rides to and from the airports, to Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, four days of park passes for the whole family, money for food, souvenirs, tips, and miscellaneous expenses. And there was That Dress.

“A highlight of the day was the day my designer friend met the Naftzger family at the park to present Elliott’s custom Princess Belle gown as she made her way to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to be pampered and to have her hair done,” Mathey said.

Elliott is picture-perfect as she poses with Mickey and the designer of her custom-made princess gown.

There’s more magic to this story. The family took their trip to Disney early this year, before the pandemic closed the park and states issued executive “Stay at Home” orders. Elliott and her family enjoyed a safe trip with all expenses paid — memories they will cherish all their lives.

“To see people giving so generously at last year’s auction, to a cause that means so much to us, was overwhelming in the best way,” said Rachel Naftzger, Elliott’s mom. “Our trip to Disneyland couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything we could have wanted was taken care of.”

That’s what credit unions’ generous bidding does for children. And it does more than that. The $200 million that credit unions have raised for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals helps pay for research that finds cures, medical equipment, surgeries, medicine, and other life-saving treatment.

The next opportunity to make dreams come true is Nov. 12

Register to attend Cheers & Chocolates, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s virtual auction to benefit the eight CMN hospitals in the region. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and live bidding continues until 7 p.m.

Have a question about Cheers & Chocolates? Please contact Holly Miller, NWCUA Director of Programming.

Posted in CU4Kids.