‘Lots of love’

LIHUE — Ella Kimokeo wanted to know whose birthday it was when she visited the Garden Island Federal Credit Union’s Koloa Branch on Thursday.

“Whoa! Don’t go in there,” a GIFCU member said, his arms filled with premiums. “They give you plenty prizes.”

The Garden Island Federal Credit Union was one of six credit unions on Kauai who joined the rest of the world in observing International Credit Union Day.

“We do this every year,” said Kim Kato, manager of the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union who has been with the credit union for more than 30 years. “We have refreshments for our members.”

In addition to the refreshments, the KTFCU allowed members to host vendor stands in the parking lot.

“They don’t take any profit,” said Kay Nakata. “They allow the members, most of them retired educators, to sell crafts and things.”

The Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union has been celebrating International Credit Union Week, starting with a rummage sale benefiting the Kauai United Way and visits from many of the community organizations who help people.

“You should have been here at noon when lunch was served,” said Joyce Arellano of KGEFCU. “There was a bunch of people. We still have some food, and the Lihue Pharmacy people are still administering flu shots.”

Established in 1948 through the World Council of Credit Unions, the International Credit Union Day has been celebrated each year on the third Thursday of October to reflect on the credit union’s history and to promote its achievements.

The day celebrates people who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the work of those who work in the credit union industry, and show appreciation for its members.

“Lots of love,” said Gloria Curameng, a Kauai Teachers FCU member who brought in a Filipino rice dish to share. “You need lots of love to make this, or it’s not going to taste good.”

Kauai’s credit unions include the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union, the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union, the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union, the Kekaha Federal Credit Union, and the McBryde Federal Credit Union.

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