News & Press: Credit Union News

Affinity Plus executives raised more than $15,000 to take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minn

Friday, March 18, 2016  
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Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union – SAINT PAUL, Minn. (March 18, 2016) – Last weekend, three executives from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union – including President/CEO Dave Larson, Chief Administration Officer/CIO Keith Malbrue, and Senior Vice President Member Experience Kristina Wright – took the Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) after collectively raising more than $15,200 for the local nonprofit organization.

Larson, a veteran to the Polar Plunge, participated in his third Executive Challenge Plunge event this year for which leaders from local businesses and organizations must raise a minimum of $10,000. Larson raised a total of $12,506.81 through donations made by family, friends, and members and employees of Affinity Plus. He took the Polar Plunge on Friday, March 4.

Over the past three years of participation in Executive Challenge Plunge, Larson has raised $42,243.52 for SOMN, which includes $15,300.71 raised in 2015 and $14,436 in 2014.

“Special Olympics Minnesota provides such valuable opportunities for people in our state, and I am proud to be able to support them by taking the Polar Plunge on behalf of Affinity Plus,” Larson said. “It’s now an event I look forward to every year, challenging myself to surpass my fundraising goal and then, mastering a skilled jump into Lake Calhoun.”

In late 2015, employees of the credit union were issued a challenge of their own. Malbrue pledged that he would participate in this year’s Plunge if Affinity Plus recruited 150 Plungers in events across the state – up from the credit union’s previous-high record of 100 participants. This goal was met in February, leading Malbrue to join the Affinity Plus – Brainerd Polar Plunge team, Vincent’s Vixens, named for the son of a Brainerd branch employee who participates in SOMN. Malbrue took the Polar Plunge on Saturday, March 5, at the Brainerd Plunge event.

“Being from California, I’m not a fan of winter weather so when I was first asked what it would take to get me to do the Polar Plunge, my first thought was, ‘There’s no way!’” Malbrue said. “But I love the mission of Special Olympics Minnesota and figured if I could rally such an outstanding level of employee support, I could brave the cold.”

Inspired by the flurry of excitement surrounding Affinity Plus’ Polar Plunge initiatives – and in an effort to help the organization reach its goal of 150 Plungers – Wright registered for the Polar Plunge with Shock and Thaw, a team comprised of employees from the marketing, business development, human resources, and enterprise project management. Wright took the Plunge on Saturday, March 5 at the Minneapolis Plunge event.

For the 2016 Polar Plunge season, Affinity Plus registered 17 teams that included 164 participants and raised more than $22,000. The final plunge of the season will be held in Grand Rapids on March 19.

Special Olympics Minnesota is one of Affinity Plus’ Charities of Choice. As a Charity of Choice, the credit union collects donations of cash and Participation Rewards Points from members and employees, participates in various initiatives to help raise awareness for SOMN, and encourages employees to use their Community Day hours to volunteer with the organization. Because of Affinity Plus’ commitment to and support of SOMN, the credit union was recognized by Special Olympics Minnesota in 2015 with a Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Business.

For more information about Affinity Plus, visit www.affinityplus.org.

Photo credit: Thomas Dean Photography

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Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Affinity Plus has 27 branches located throughout the state. With over $1.7 billion in assets with $3.5 billion in assets under management, Affinity Plus is based in St. Paul and is owned by more than 180,000 members. Additional information is available at www.affinityplus.org or by calling (800) 322-7228.


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