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Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction Continues Record-Breaking Support with $1.85 Million Raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction
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Annual Wine Gala Raises More Than $1 Million for 10 Consecutive Years Grossing More Than $16 Million for CMN Hospitals in the last 19 Years.

Dana Point, CA, March 19, 2024 –The Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction continued its record-breaking streak of raising $1.85 million for the eleven Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada at their 19th annual event on March 15, 2024.

A total of more than 500 attendees, made up of 64 credit unions, business partners, and hospitals, gathered to support and celebrate the work of Children’s Miracle Network at this year’s black-tie event held at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort in Dana Point, California. The coastal glamour theme “Joie De Vivre,” which means “Joy of Life,” united attendees for an elegant evening of fine cuisine, dancing, and silent and live auctions. The auctions featured more than 400 donated packages of fine wine and spirits, as well as travel getaways. The California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is the largest single fundraising event for Credit Unions for Kids, grossing more than $16 million since 2006.

“We are thrilled with the exceptional generosity of our sponsors, donors, and volunteers. They have made our annual Credit Unions for Kids auction a huge success by raising more than $1 million for the tenth straight year,” said Ana Fonseca, co-chair of this year’s event and president and CEO of Logix Federal Credit Union. “This event continues to be a night of hope as we support such an important organization.”

Mark Meyer, the president and CEO of Filene Research Institute and co-chair for this year’s event, expressed his admiration for the credit union community. “Each year, we unite with a shared purpose – to support CMN Hospitals in their mission to help children and families facing challenges. Their commitment to this vital cause is truly commendable, and Filene is proud to be a part of it.”

This year’s special guest was 12-year-old miracle child Melody Piña, born with a rare congenital condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome, also known as Constriction Ring Syndrome. With this condition, string-like fibrous bands of the amniotic sac tissue were tangled around Melody in utero, and she was born missing some of her fingers and toes.

Melody was referred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to meet with Dr. Nina Lightdale-Miric, who leads the Center for Achievement of Teens and Children with Hand Differences (CATCH) – the only program of its kind providing resources, mentorship, and support for hundreds of families dealing with hand and upper limb differences. It was here that Melody received four surgical procedures to separate her fingers and remove excess skin to improve her hands’ functionality.

Today, Melody radiates confidence as she works through the challenges of functioning with only three fingers. She’s a talented singer and sang “Proud Mary” to celebrate a successful fundraising evening for CMN hospitals.

“It was through their [Children’s Hospital Los Angeles] donor program that we received the information, guidance, and care that paved the way for our daughter to thrive,” said Jackylin Fuentes, Melody’s mother. “At CHLA, we learned that CATCH kids can do so many things,” said Jackylin. “They will just do it differently than other people. The community of care and support this program provides is just as important as surgical care, and that’s what differentiates CHLA from other institutions.”

“It was a tremendous night to celebrate Melody and all the children inspiring us through their stories of healing and growth through Children’s Miracle Network,” said Tony Boutelle, the president and CEO of Origence. “We’re elated to have reached such a great fundraising achievement this year. We extend a special thanks to Nick Ambrosini, president and CEO of Valley Strong Credit Union, Steve Williams, president and partner of Cornerstone Advisors, Pete Hilger, president and CEO of Allied Solutions, Chuck Fagan, president and CEO of PSCU/Co-op Solutions, Darren Williams, president and CEO at Wescom Credit Union, and TruStage. Their generous paddle raises, alongside their sponsorships, significantly contributed to achieving a record-breaking milestone for this year’s event.”

An executive committee directs the Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction, with the committee’s CEOs representing the benefitting hospital(s) in their area:

  • Ana Fonseca, Logix FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles)
  • Bill Birnie, Frontwave Credit Union (Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Bill Cheney, SchoolsFirst FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Brett Martinez, Redwood CU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • Carrie Birkhofer, Bay FCU (Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System)
  • Chuck Fagan, PSCU & Co-op Solutions
  • Darren Williams, Wescom CU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, CHOC Children’s)
  • Diana Dykstra, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
  • Elizabeth Dooley, Educational Employees CU (Valley Children’s Healthcare System)
  • Erin Mendez, Patelco CU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • Geri LaChance, SESLOC FCU (Cottage Children’s Medical Center)
  • Joan Opp, Stanford FCU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • John Cassidy, Sierra Central CU (retired) (UC Davis Children’s Hospital)
  • Keith Sultemeier, Kinecta FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County; Cottage Children’s Medical Center)
  • Kathy Jumper, Orange County’s CU (Children’s Hospital of Orange County)
  • Mark Meyer, Filene Research Institute
  • Matt Kershaw, Clark County CU (St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Renown Children’s Hospital)
  • Nader Moghaddam, Financial Partners CU (Children’s Hospital of Orange County; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Nicholas Ambrosini, Valley Strong CU (Lauren Small Children’s Center at Memorial Hospital)
  • Teresa Freeborn, Kinecta FCU (retired) (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles)
  • Terrance Williams, TruStage
  • Tony Boutelle, Origence

The title sponsor for this year’s event was Origence, presenting sponsor was PSCU and Co-op Solutions, and premier sponsors were Allied Solutions, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, TruStage, and Visa. As a result of the efforts and contributions of each of these organizations, as well as the event’s other sponsors, donations received directly benefit the 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

The 2025 California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction will occur on Friday, March 14, 2025, at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, California.

About Origence

Origence provides lending technology solutions credit unions need to advance their total origination experience. We were established in 1994 as a credit union service organization (CUSO) and have helped thousands of credit unions process more than 88 million applications for $551 billion in funded loans. Our solutions include indirect lending, loan and account origination, auto shopping, marketing automation, lending operations, and more. Origence was named the 2023 CUSO of the year by NACUSO. Learn more at origence.com and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and X.

About Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Credit Unions for Kids is the brand under which America’s credit unions fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The collaborative effort, driven by a “people helping people” philosophy, includes individual credit unions, local chapters, state leagues/associations, two national trade organizations, business partners, and several trade publications. Founded in 1996, Credit Unions for Kids has raised more than $150 million for affiliated children’s hospitals. Annually, credit unions are the fifth largest corporate contributor to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The credit union community established a wonderful legacy at hospitals across the country, funding breakthrough research, numerous programs and services, and construction of new facilities. Fundraising activities run the gamut from major events to online giving campaigns to paper balloon icon sales. For more information on Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please contact Nick Coleman at (515) 339-1723 or [email protected].

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