CoVantage Cares effort nets $240K for donations

THE COVANTAGE CARES Foundation Giving Tuesday campaign presents a $5,836 check to the Iron County Cancer Unit in Iron River. From left are Kevin Isaacson and Jolene Spoke of the Cancer Unit and Rogene Hemeleski, a CoVantage teller, and Julie LaMay, Iron River branch manager.

The CoVantage Cares Foundation has awarded nearly $240,000 to local non-profit groups in communities where CoVantage Credit Union has branches, the board of directors announced.

The money came from donations by CoVantage Credit Union members, staff and the community during the foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign.

Giving Tuesday, just after Black Friday, is nationally recognized for charitable contributions. The foundation views it as an ideal time for fundraising to support organizations that help locals in need.

Staff at CoVantage Credit Union locations were asked to select a non-profit group to receive the funds raised, with the bonus that the CoVantage Cares Foundation would match up all contributions made during the two-week effort, up to $75,000.

The strong response convinced the foundation to increase that matching gift to $100,000, raising the final total to $239,653.

KATIE CLARK, COVANTAGE Credit Union’s Crystal Falls branch manager, left, gives a $54,165 check from the CoVantage Cares Foundation Giving Tuesday campaign to Brian and Paula Schulze from Friends of Camp Batawagama in Crystal Falls.

“We are very grateful to our members, employees, and community members for their generosity and could not be more thrilled to be able to give a financial boost to these nine deserving charities right before the holidays,” said Charlie Zanayed, CoVantage CEO and a foundation board member.

Charities selected for funding and their sponsoring CoVantage branches include: Iron County Cancer Unit, Iron River; Friends of Camp Batawagama, Crystal Falls; Marinette-Menominee YMCA, Menominee; Northwoods United Way, Crandon and Rhinelander, Wis.; United Way of Langlade County, Antigo, Wis.; Elcho Food Pantry, Elcho, Wis.; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin, Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain and Rothschild; SAM25 Homeless Shelter, Shawano, Wis.; and Boys and Girls Club of Portage County, Stevens Point, Wis.

For more information about CoVantage Cares Foundation, or to obtain the grant application needed to request a donation, go to