What Is A Credit Union?

Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial institutions dedicated to serving the financial needs of their member/owners. When you open a Share Account in a credit union you become a member/owner, and each credit union member has equal ownership and one vote. Members annually elect the Board of Directors, volunteers from the membership who work along with the credit union staff to conduct the business of the credit union. Credit Union members must share a common bond: At 1st Community Credit Union our members live or work within our 14-county field of membership or they are related to a 1st CCU member. Credit Unions typically offer higher rates on savings, fewer fees, and lower rates on loans.

3 Million Members Strong

More Wisconsinites than ever - Over 3 Million! - are turning to Wisconsin's credit unions to be their financial partner.
It's easy to see why...Since the first credit union was chartered in Wisconsin more than 100 years ago, credit unions have been an essential component of Wisconsin's local economies - providing REAL Solutions to the problems faced by members and the communities those members live and work in. While not mandated to do so, credit unions offer REAL Solutions because being member-owned allows them to put member needs first and go where other financial institutions can't or won't.
That makes credit unions different: They put people before profit and provide solutions that benefit members, nearby schools, small businesses and community organizations.
We're proud of what we've accomplished and we're proud to be home to the Movement's international and national trade associations, mutual insurer, national charitable foundation and independent think tank.
Whether it's facing the financial challenges of today or planning for tomorrow, credit unions will continue to evolve to meet the needs of their members and support Wisconsin's working families and communities.
Brett Thompson
President & CEO, Wisconsin Credit Union League

The financial success you need, the people you trust.  Credit Unions do the right thing for the right reasons... we're putting people first and striving to make a positive difference in the lives of our members. 

1st CCU wants to be your trusted resource, providing the products, services, and tool you can use to pursue your dreams and achieve a brighter financial future. 

Every member and every community we serve is important to the success of 1st Community Credit Union.  


Here are some examples of 1st CCU's Community Involvement in 2022:

    Two staffers from CouleeCap receiving donation from Jon Cook, Marketing Manager    Sojourners Journey receiving donation from Jodi Lovgren, Member Service Lead   Reality Store SOS table staffed by Leianna and Angie
In 2022 1st CCU is continuing our commitment to our local communities.  From left to right:  Jon Cook presented a check for $300 to Coulee Cap in April. 1st CCU pledged to donate $5.00 to a local community organization for each voting member who attended the 61st annual meeting at the end of March. 48 members attended the meeting, then we rounded up the donation amount to an even $300;   A donation was made by the 1st CCU Sunshine Committee (1st CCU employees pay $1 each to wear jeans on Fridays and the funds are then donated to local causes) to Sea of Change in Tomah; Jodi Lovgren, Member Service Lead in our West Salem branch, presented a check to Katie Bennett of Sojourner's Journey; A group of 4 volunteer employees helped out at the Sparta 'Reality Store' in February. Leianna Melde and Angie Champlin staffed the S.O.S. table and Chip Manske and Allison Greeno staffed the Financial Table. 


Here are some examples of 1st CCU's Community Involvement in 2021:

West Salem Sunshine Committee donation to Warming Center  Donation to Sojourners Journey from pumpkin decorating contest  Colleen DaSilva presenting donations to Chasing Daylight animal shelter  Shred Event food donated to Sparta food pantry  Tyler Duerwachter presenting donation to Sparta HS Co-Curricular fund  Chris Krueger presenting reusable masks to West Salem Elementary  Brittany Herricks presenting half hog donation to Tomah's Neighbor For Neighbor food pantry
1st Community Credit Union was proud to make several donations throughout the Summer and Fall of 2021, some of which are pictured above.  From left to right on the first row: Lindsey Yogmas presents a check for $100 to the Catholic Charities Warming Center from the Sunshine Committee (1st CCU employees pay $1 each to wear jeans on Fridays and the funds are then donated to local causes); Donita Meyer presents a check to Katie Bennett of Sojourner's Journey, donated by Jodi Lovgren who won the West Salem branch pumpkin decorating contest; Colleen DaSilva presented a large donation of animal food and cleaning supplies to Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter, all donated by 1st CCU employees as part of our training day; We collected non-perishable food donations during our Shred Event and donated them to the Sparta Food Pantry;  Tyler Duerwachter presented a check for $404 to John Blaha to help fund co-curricular activities at SHS - these were proceeds from our annual Tailgate Party; Chris Krueger donated 378 washable/reusable masks to the West Salem Elementary School - she is pictured with Gayle Lassen, Guidance Counselor;  Brittany Herricks delivered 1st CCU's donation of a half hog to the Tomah Neighbor For Neighbor food pantry - 1st CCU purchased the hog a the local county fair's meat animal sale and donated the processed meat to local food pantries.

1st Community Credit Union recently donated $2200 to the ATV/UTV Monroe County Highway Signage Fund on behalf of members who took out a UTV loan in May and June. The credit union made a commitment to donate $25 to the community fundraiser for each new UTV loan opened at the credit union between May 1-June 30, 2021. As a result of the campaign, the credit union issued 88 loans for ATVs and UTVs and presented a check for $2200 to the County Line Cruisers UTV Club.  County Line Cruisers, Road Runners of Monroe County, Bear Bluff Riders, and Kendall Mustang Riders ATV Club have been raising funds to install new signs on county roads.  1st CCU is proud to lend support to help the local clubs raise the funds needed to for signage to mark approved ATV routes.

               Donation to Monroe County Animal Shelter for $320          Donation to Coulee Region Humane Society for $390
In celebration of National Pet Month during the month of May, 1st Community Credit Union donated $10 to a local animal shelter for each new membership account opened during the month. A total of $1430 was donated on behalf of the campaign: The Monroe County Animal Shelter and the Associated Society/Animal Protection (AS/AP) Shelter in Sparta each received a check for $320, Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter in Tomah received a check for $400, and $390 was donated to the Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska.

Scholarship Award ceremony Sparta High School 2021    Chip Manske presenting scholarship award 2021   

The Sparta branch presented a $1,000 Scholarship Award to Natalia Torres on May 12, 2021. The award was presented to Natalia by Chip Manske, Student Branch Coordinator.

Here are some examples of 1st CCU's Community Involvement in 2020:

At the end of 2020 1st Community Credit Union donated $9,000 on behalf of our employees to local organizations.
  • In the Sparta branch we donated $1400 to the Monroe County Animal Shelter, $825 to SACS, and $775 to Sojourners Journey
  • In the West Salem branch we donated $1100 to the Rod & Gun Club Youth Activities fund, $1050 to WS Park and Rec, and $850 to the Care and Share Food Pantry
  • In the Tomah branch we donated $1350 to Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter, $900 to Families First, and $750 to Faith in Action

Tomah Boys and Girls club check presentation     Tomah food pantry check presentation    Veterans Assistance Foundation donation
Tomah Branch Manager presenting $300 check to Chasing Daylight Animal ShelterWest Salem Branch Manager presenting $100 check to the WS School District Jane Doe FundSparta Branch Manager presenting$160 check to Monroe County Safe Community CoalitionSparta Branch Manager presenting $260 check to Sparta Boys and Girls Club1st CCU Marketing Supervisor presenting $360 check to SACSMortgage Lender Liza Schlintz presenting $100 check to West Salem's Care & Share Food PantryWest Salem Branch Manager presenting $300 check to the West Salem First Responders       
Throughout 2020 1st CCU's offices held various membership drives, with local charitable organizations receiving $10 for each member who joined the credit union.  Recipients of these donations included Neighbor For Neighbor Food Pantry, Veterans Assistance Foundation, Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter, Boys & Girls Club of Tomah, the Jane Doe School Lunch Fund, West Salem First Responders, Coulee Region Humane Society, Care & Share Food Pantry, Boys & Girls Club of Sparta, Monroe County Safe Community Coalition, Sparta Area Cancer Support, and Sparta American Legion Post 100, 

West Salem food pantry half hog donation       Tomah food pantry half hog donation
When the local county fairs were cancelled it put a damper on the meat animal project participants' ability to sell their animals at the annual fair's livestock auctions.  1st CCU purchased two hogs from area youth and made three donations of meat to area food pantries, then gave away meat bundles via a facebook contest.  The Care & Share Food Pantry in West Salem received 1/2 a hog, the Tomah Neighbor For Neighbor Food Pantry received 1/2 a hog, and the Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry received 1/2 a hog.  Then 1/2 a hog was split between three facebook giveaway winners.

Families First check presentation             Coulee Cap check presentation
Through our partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, 1st CCU was proud to award a $7,500 grant to Coulee Cap, and a $7,500 grant to Families First of Monroe County.  The grants were made possible by the COVID-19 Relief Program established by the FHLBank of Chicago to assist member institutions with responding to the needs of non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liza Schlintz and kids during donation for water filling station          Bangor students water bottle filling station
Students in grades 4K-8th grade & staff at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Bangor returned to school to a whole-building remodel project that took place over the summer. With COVID-19 concerns students would have to bring drinking water from home (to prevent germ spread) at their water fountains (which were not planned to be replaced during the remodel). A group of parents and staff, asked if parents and the community would assist in purchasing a water-bottle filler which cost about $1,000. Students would be able to fill up right from the fountain and not need to carry water back to and from school in their backpack each day without fear of germs. 1st CCU Mortgage Loan Officer Liza Schlintz felt compelled to donate to the project, and 1st CCU matched her donation, presenting a check for $1,000 to the Bangor school. Additionally, each student in the school got their own 1st Community Credit Union water bottle. We hope it will bring many years of service to their school community.  Also, other community members and parents donated enough for a second water-bottle filler!

Jon Cook and Brittany Herricks present donation to Brighter Tomorrows   
Jon Cook present Sunshine Committee donation to Deputy Chief Booker Ferguson of Sparta Police Dept.
1st CCU's Sunshine Committee is a committee made up of employees from each of our branch offices.  Employees pay $1 each week to wear jeans on casual Fridays and the "Jeans Day" funds are then periodically donated to local community organizations.  Our most recent donations were presented to Sparta's Brighter Tomorrows and the Sparta PD.

1st Community Credit Union, in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, awarded a $20,000 grant which was split between the Boys & Girls Clubs in Sparta, West Salem, and Tomah.  The Sparta Boys & Girls Club received $7,000 and the Tomah and West Salem Boys & Girls Clubs each received $6,500.  The grants were made possible by the COVID-19 Relief Program established by the FHLBank of Chicago to assist member institutions with responding to the needs of non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

group photo of donation presentation at the West Salem Boys and Girls Club
L-R: Jake Erickson;  1st CCU West Salem Branch Manager Chris Krueger; 
1st CCU Marketing Supervisor Jon Cook;  Jenna Anfang
check presentation to Amy from the Tomah Boys and Girls Club
Amy Whitwam of the Tomah Boys & Girls Club and Jon Cook, 1st CCU Marketing Supervisor
group photo of $7000 check presentation to Boys & Girls Club of Sparta. Jennifer Simunich, Tyler Duerwachter, Jon Cook.
Jennifer Simunich of the Sparta Boys & Girls Club with Tyler Duerwachter, 1st CCU Sparta Branch Manager, and Jon Cook, 1st CCU Marketing Supervisor 
 1st CCU is proud to award the following high school graduates with $1,000 Scholarships!   
2020 scholarship recipients
  • Aaron Honish is graduating from Tomah High School. Aaron is a Student Teller in our Tomah Branch.
  • Wyndsor Goodenough is graduating from West Salem High School.  Wyndsor is a Student Teller in our West Salem branch.
  • Evan Goff is graduating from Sparta High School. Evan is a Student Teller in our Sparta branch and our SHS Student Branch.
  • Nate Hellman is graduating from Sparta High School. Nate is also a Student Teller in our Sparta and SHS Student Branch.
  • Josh Hauser is graduating from West Salem High School. Congratulations Josh!
  • Jenna Kroeger is graduating from Sparta High School.  Congratulations Jenna!

 Examples Of 1st CCU's Community Involvement in 2019:

The Centsables super friends visiting West Salem Boys & Girls Club
1st CCU partners with The Centsables, a team of super friends who teach kids valuable money skills in a fun way using videos, games and activities.  The Centsables team was in the area and visited the West Salem Boys & Girls Club.

Scott Herrman presenting $1000 donation to Sparta Library Expansion fund
The 1st CCU Board of Directors voted to donate $1,000 to the Sparta Library Expansion fund in memory of board member Willie Hoffman, who passed away in the Summer of 2019.  Willie was passionate about supporting the community and we can think of no better way to honor his memory than by contributing to the expansion of resources for all ages.

Presentation of school supplies to West Salem School District
Chip Manske presenting donation of money and school supplies to Sparta School District
Jon Cook and Sue Stellick presenting donation of health products and toiletries to West Salem pantry
1st CCU employees feel strongly about supporting local organizations. Throughout the year we host staff donation drives for school supplies and food pantry donations.  The donations stay local and benefit children and others who are in need. 

Examples Of 1st CCU's Community Involvement in 2018:

Bangor FFA custom trailer donated to the FFA by 1st Community Credit Union

1st CCU donated a utility trailer, complete with full signage, to the Bangor High School FFA Chapter. The trailer is being used in many ways, including tool storage at the community garden in West Salem, transportation of tools and equipment for the Food for America event each Spring, hauling materials to various FFA conferences and student fair projects in July.


group photo of 1st CCU's $10,000 donation made to the new West Salem Boys and Girls Club facility

1st Community Credit Union made a $10,000 donation towards the new the West Salem Boys and Girls Club facility at West Salem Middle School. Pictured L-R, Chris Krueger, 1st CCU WS Branch Manager, Eric Hesselberg, 1st CCU Board Chairman, Don & Cheryl Brenengen, Campaign Co-Chairs, Britton Slowey BGC Site Director and Mike Desmond Senior Director of Development with the Boys & Girls Club.

group photo of $5,000 donation made by 1st CCU to the Sparta Boys & Girls Club's "House of Shadows"

The facility that is used for the Boys & Girls Club of Sparta's annual "House of Shadows" needed some repair recently. 1st Community Credit Union stepped in with a $5,000 donation to cover the costs. 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the "House of Shadows", which is a major fundraiser for the club. Pictured holding the check are Jennifer Simunich, BGC Executive Director, and 1st CCU, VP of Finance Wendy Swanson along with a great group of kids from the club. 

DeDe Mack, Brad Bauges, Wendy Swanson and Sandy Anderson presenting check for $2000 to Willie Hoffman for Coulee Region Strong Flood Relief

1st Community Credit Union answered the call for the COW97 Coulee Region Strong Flood Relief Fundraiser by donating $2,000. Pictured L-R Diana Mack, VP of Operations; Brad Bauges, President; Wendy Swanson, VP of Finance; Sandy Anderson, HR Director; and Willie Hoffman from COW97.


Federally insured by NCUA.  Membership eligibility required. Anyone who lives or works in the counties of Monroe, La Crosse, Jackson, Trempealeau, Vernon, Juneau, Adams, Wood, Clark, Eau Claire, Richland, Sauk, Buffalo, and Crawford is eligible to become a member of 1st Community Credit Union. Immediate family members of existing 1st CCU members are also eligible to join, no matter where they live, including spouses, children and step-children, parents and step-parents, and siblings.