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First Choice Credit Union Sees Success Despite Trying Economy

February 21, 2013
By CRAIG HOWELL - For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

First Choice America Community Credit Union reported a year of progress despite a difficult economy.

The report came Tuesday during the credit union's 74th annual meeting, where officials were joined by 312 members and 15 guests at the Serbian American Cultural Center, Weirton. In 2012, First Choice reported a growth in assets to a record $379 million, expanding its deposits to a record $323 million and maintaining a strong capital position.

"Once again, our credit union received the distinction of earning a Superior rating from the official industry rating group," Kenneth Truax, chairman of the board, said. "This rating recognizes the excellence of our capital strength, asset quality and management ability. Our credit union retains its position among the elite of America's 6,900 credit unions."

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At First Choice America Community Credit Union’s 74th annual meeting Tuesday, the Community Spirit Award was presented by the board of directors to Gabriel House in New Cumberland, recognizing exemplary service and loving care to children and caregivers in need. Pictured, from left, are Robert G. Mrvos; Edward L. Kennedy; Kenneth W. Truax; Carol Lorenzoni, coordinator of Gabriel House; Danielle Webster, Gabriel House volunteer; John R. Thayer and Scott E. Winwood.

The credit union also presented its annual Community Spirit Award to the Gabriel House, providing the organization with a plaque and a contribution of $2,500.

Based in New Cumberland, the Gabriel House was started in 2007 by the Immaculate Conception Church with a mission to assist needy families in Hancock and Brooke counties with children ranging from newborns to 6 years old.

Carol Lorenzoni, coordinator of the Gabriel House, was on hand to accept the award. Lorenzoni expressed her thanks on behalf of everyone involved with the Gabriel House and those it has helped.

"We're there every Saturday," she said. "We'll help anyone who needs it."

The Gabriel House offers diapers, formula, slightly used toys, clothing, high chairs, strollers, play pens and a variety of services.

Also on hand Tuesday was Rich Schaffer, senior vice president of the West Virginia Credit Union League, who congratulated the members and employees of First Choice for their continued success.

"I can't heap enough praise on the credit union," Schaffer said.

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