VyStar Credit Union presents Jacksonville Lantern Parade along St. John’s River

image of poster promoting paradeThe inaugural Jacksonville Lantern Parade presented by VyStar Credit Union was an illuminated celebration of creativity, kids and the St. Johns River that took place the evening of Saturday, April 21. The parade route stretched along the Northbank Riverwalk, extending from the Fuller Warren Bridge to the Jacksonville Landing. The glowing display of color, light, music and movement lit up the heart of Downtown.

More than 2,000 participants turned out to join in the festivities with the D-Line drum corps followed by lanterns of all shapes and size marching along the St. Johns River.


Five Star Credit Union brings financial literacy program to local classrooms

photo of classroom programWith April being Youth Financial Literacy Month, Five Star Credit Union is highlighting its work with local students by giving them a free education in how to manage their money. Five Star is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to 18 schools in two states. Students in Alabama that attend school in the Dothan, Ashford, Columbia, Clayton, Cottonwood, and Eufaula areas, as well as Georgia students in the Bainbridge, Brunswick, Camilla, and Cairo areas have access to the curriculum free of charge.

“Students that get sound financial knowledge early in life have a much better opportunity at success,” said Mike Bridges, vice president of marketing and communications at Five Star. “By partnering with Banzai, Five Star is helping students in our local communities gain that financial knowledge and then taking it a step further by helping them with the first step by opening a savings account.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks, which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

Five Star offers time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom. Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges, and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, financial institution statements, entertainment costs, savings, and more.


Jax FCU donation will support homeless pet shelter spay and neuter programs

Photo of homeless petsJax Federal Credit Union partnered with First Coast No More Homeless Pets to help further the welfare of animals across Northeast Florida with a donation of $3,150 to support the organization’s spay and neuter programs.

The donation is the result of Jax Federal Credit Union’s Get Fixed Visa Balance Transfer Campaign, which ran from January 1 through March 31. The campaign encouraged consumers to refinance debt from high-balance credit cards with high variable rates to a credit card with a low fixed rate for the life of the balance. For each balance transfer received during the campaign, Jax Federal Credit Union pledged to donate $5 to FCNMHP. The campaign resulted in 630 balance transfers.

“As a local credit union, we are always seeking opportunities to help the First Coast community and our members,” said Gerri Sexsion, President and CEO of Jax Federal Credit Union. “Our Get Fixed Campaign did just that. Not only did we help 630 members make a plan to pay off high-interest credit card debt, but we also helped support a great local cause. It’s a win-win in our book.”

The donation will allow FCNMHP to provide spay/neuter surgeries for more than 60 cats across the region. Since its founding in 2001, FCNMHP has helped to put an end to the killing of shelter cats and dogs in Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia and across the nation. FCNMHP also provides high-quality, low-cost veterinary services to the community and is the nation’s leader in low-cost spay/neuter, performing more than 20,000 surgeries per year.