The Maine Savings Federal Credit Union Black Bear Debit Card Program has raised $13,744 for the University of Maine’s Black Bear Fund, exceeding the program’s first-year goal of $10,000.
During the homecoming football game between the University of Maine and Yale University on Oct. 17, Maine Savings announced that this would be the first year for its Black Bear Debit Card partnership with the University of Maine Athletics Department. The partnership raised the money for the Black Bear Fund, which provides scholarships to student athletes at the University of Maine.
Presenting the check during the game were Josh Howes, Maine Savings College Avenue Branch manager, and Rob Carmichael, Maine Savings senior vice president, who gave the check to Karlton Creech, University of Maine director of athletics.
“The dollars raised by Maine Savings support The Black Bear Scholarship Fund, which supports scholarships for our student athletes. We have 461 student athletes, 260 of whom are on scholarship. The average scholarship size from athletic aid is $13,751,” Seth Woodcock, Associate Director of Athletic Development said.
In 2014, Maine Savings declared that they were partnering with Black Bear Sports Properties for five years. The partnership would give members a University of Maine Black Bear Debit Card, where each purchase they made commits five cents to the Black Bear Fund.
When members get the Black Bear debit card, they are also provided with a free RedWallet checking account. If someone wants to become a member, they can go online to www.mainesavings.com and sign up, or visit one of the 10 Maine Savings locations.
“The $13,000 number represents the first year of the program. In the original release we set a $10,000 minimum per year just in case the 5 cents or swipe didn’t add up, and it did! We were really delighted to be able to exceed that $10,000 minimum in the first year. It will only grow from here. Also, we have over 1,500 cards issued at this time, and that continues to grow as well,” Kirk Duke, vice president of marketing at Maine Savings said.
Maine Savings has 100 employees and is already composed of 27,000 members. It is one of Maine’s biggest credit unions, and has branches in Bangor, Bar Harbor, Brewer, Corinth, Ellsworth, Hampden, Milo, North Vassalboro and Old Town. It was founded in 1961 by employees working for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Company, and continues to be a non-profit credit union.