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Redstone FCU comes to rescue for YMCA.

One of the South's largest YMCA affiliates, the 300-employee Heart of the Valley YMCA of Huntsville, Ala., has a new-found credit union friend, the $2.5 billion Redstone FCU, which has stepped up to the plate this fall with facility financing and special member branding.

Redstone's business loan tie-in coupled with member benefits culminates nearly a year of negotiations between the Alabama CU and the Huntsville YMCA by forging a successful partnership after the Huntsville charity was left in the lurch by the pullout of a bank on a building expansion in nearby Madison, Ala.

The Redstone-YMCA deal is noteworthy not only for the bridge loan to help finance construction of the $15 million Craig and Steven Hogan Family Center YMCA in Madison in the fall of 2010 but also for an agreement with YMCA providing lower rates for Redstone members to use its health and fitness facilities throughout Huntsville.

"We would have never thought of seeking out a business loan from any credit union," explained Scott Mounts, president/CEO of the Heart of the Valley YMCA serving five north Alabama counties.

But last October a Birmingham banking group apparently feeling the economic pinch withdrew financing for the proposed Madison YMCA branch and so the charity was left with committed charity donations.

"We were caught right in the middle of our campaign when the economy collapsed, but we had already collected $6 million in pledges, and so we were stuck," said Mounts noting that lending officials from the CU contacted him about working out a deal.

As part of the agreement, "which we're thrilled to do and really helps us," Redstone members get a 6% discount in membership fees "if they show their ATM/ debit card" at existing YMCA sites, said Mounts.

"We are simply very grateful to Redstone since we would have been nowhere without them," said Mounts.

For its part, the president/CEO of Redstone, Joseph Newberry, said, "We're very pleased that we're able to fill a void at an important charity in our community," Moreover, he said, the YMCA link fits well into a CU mission of creating new and tangible benefits of CU membership.
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Author:Rubenstein, Jim
Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Oct 7, 2009
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