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Sunmark Charitable Community Foundation Presents $10,000 To Local Charities

The Sunmark Charitable Community Foundation (Sunmark Foundation) today announced the recipients of the second annual ICU Awards. In celebration of International Credit Union Day (ICU Day), which is celebrated on the third Thursday of October and celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement, the Sunmark Foundation honors individuals and organizations that have contributed their time, talent, or treasure to better our communities, living out the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

The three recipients of the People Helping People recognition include St. Catherine’s Center for Children, the Albany Pride Hockey Association, and the Unity House of Troy. Each organization was presented with a $2,500 donation from the Sunmark Foundation to assist them in their mission.

St. Catherine’s Center for Children offers programs and services that address the challenges our children and families face. For those who depend on St. Catherine's, life is frequently a struggle. They are committed to helping families find answers to those struggles.

The Albany Pride Hockey Association is dedicated to creating a safe and secure environment for LGBTQ athletes and their allies to learn and play hockey. The APHA encourages everyone to play hockey, regardless of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.   

Unity House of Troy provides a wide range of services to meet the needs of people in our community who are living in poverty, adults living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence, and children with developmental delays.

Additionally, The Susan V. Siegel Community Service Leader Award - presented to an individual who has made a meaningful contribution to their community- was awarded to Jeremy Wernick, creator of the annual Hatsgiving project. As the recipient of the award, the Sunmark Foundation will present a $1,500 donation to the Hatsgiving project. The concept for the Hatsgiving project was created in 2012 by Jeremy Wernick, who had just turned 8 years old. Hats collected during the November Hatsgiving collection drive are sent to pediatric cancer treatment centers. ​Since 2013, Hatsgiving has distributed hats to 60 treatment centers in 43 states plus Washington DC.

An additional award, voted on by Sunmark staff, was presented to one Sunmark team member to recognize their charitable efforts in the community. The Sunmark Foundation will make a $1,000 donation in the staff members name to the charity of their choice.

Audrey Stone, Sunmark Foundation administrator said “Every year we look forward to October and Sunmark ICU Awards. The entire foundation team is energized and committed to this program because for one day in October, we get to share some good news, highlight the hard work of our area non-profit organizations, and provide them with additional funding so they can continue the work they do to improve our communities.” 

Since its beginning as a small credit union within General Electric in 1937, Sunmark has sought to live the credit union philosophy of People Helping People. Sunmark has always given back to various local communities, supporting financial education and improving the quality of life for those in need. The establishment of the Sunmark Charitable Community Foundation in 2015 has expanded Sunmark’s abilities to support local, nonprofit organizations in our 14 county charter area by providing financial contributions, in-kind services, and volunteer support. There are zero administrative costs: 100% of every donation goes directly to helping those who need it.