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Ohio Credit Union League
800-486-2917 or 614-336-2894
Manager of Southeastern Ohio
Credit Union receives Ohio Credit Union Foundationís
Humanitarian of The Year Award for flood relief work
resolution photo available below)
(DUBLIN, OHIO -- May 10, 2005) -- A credit union manager who
organized a major relief effort after flooding devastated the
City of Marietta, Ohio, last September has been honored with the
Ohio Credit Union Foundationís inaugural Humanitarian of the
Marsha Leasure, the manager of $12 million Southeastern Ohio CU
in Cambridge and the Ohio Valley Chapterís Foundation Liaison,
was honored for her exceptional leadership and hard work in
organizing relief efforts for her Marietta Community after
flooding in September 2004 shut down 600 businesses and forced
5,000 residents from their homes. Rains from Hurricane Ivan
caused the Muskingum and Ohio River confluence to rise 26 feet
in 36 hours. Four months later, the town flooded again.
Southeastern Ohio Credit Union operates a branch in Marietta.
Foundation Chairman Tim Mislansky presented the award to Leasure
in the Hyatt Regency Columbus Grand Ballroom during the 2005
Ohio Credit Union Foundation Annual Luncheon, sponsored by
American Share Insurance. The Ohio Credit Union Foundation is
the philanthropic affiliate of the Ohio Credit Union League, a
trade association for Ohioís 400 credit unions.
In presenting the award, Mislansky recounted Leasure's tireless
efforts. "One of our own, a credit union leader for more than 20
years, jumped in to help people who lost everything," Mislansky
told the crowd of nearly 400 credit union officials and special
guests, which included Stephen M. Delfin, the executive director
of the National Credit Union Foundation.
"For six weeks, in addition to running her credit union, she
gave out mops and buckets, bleach and cleaning supplies,
drinking water, soap, shampoo, diapers and hundreds of other
items that each of us take for granted every day," Mislansky
said. "She shared tears and hugs with those who were left
homeless by the floods and cheered when another truck full of
supplies pulled into the relief center. She made vegetable soup
and invited those who had nowhere to go into her home for a warm
"Today we thank her for being a true
humanitarian," Mislansky said. "And for showing, in tangible,
heartfelt ways, that when people are in need, credit unions are
there for them."
Leasure used two emergency disaster relief grants totaling
$10,000 from the Foundation to purchase supplies. She organized
a team of volunteers and purchased and delivered six truckloads
of supplies to the flooded city where she was aided by
volunteers from Southeastern Ohio CU, Ohio Valley Community CU
and Riverview CU. When the river flooded again in January 2005,
the Foundation issued a second $500 emergency relief grant.
As Leasure spoke at the Foundation Luncheon, photos of the flood
damage were displayed behind her on a giant screen. Nearly
one-third of Marietta, a city of 15,000 residents, was submerged
as the Ohio River rose more than 26 feet in a span of only 36
hours over one weekend. Washington County in southeastern Ohio
was declared a federal disaster area after flood waters in
Marietta reached as high as 45 feet -- 10 feet above flood
In accepting the award, Leasure fought back tears as she thanked
others who pitched in. "I went to the Community Action office
and asked them what they needed. I think their answer was, 'What
don't we need?' I explained to the director who I was and what
we would like to do. They were grateful and gave me a list of
supplies that seemed endless at the time," Leasure said.
"I called family members and credit union members and explained
to them what was needed. They did not hesitate to loan their
trucks, time and energy to assist in any way possible."
"Even those who had lost much still gave," Leasure recalled. "As
I was [pushing] carts full of supplies through the store aisles,
people would come up to me and ask if these items were for the
flood victims. When I said yes, they would dig deep in their
pockets and hand me money and tell me to add more items to the
Leasure thanked the Ohio Credit Union Foundation, Ohio Credit
Union League Outreach Manager Sue Helmreich, and the staff of
the Washington-Morgan (County) Community Action.
"It is my privilege to accept this award today," Leasure said.
"I do so...on behalf of many others who have gone unrecognized
for their countless hours of giving."
Click photo for high resolution version
Marsha Leasure, the manager of Southeastern Ohio Credit Union in
Cambridge, Ohio, accepts the Ohio Credit Union Foundationís
Humanitarian of the Year Award.
The Ohio Credit Union Foundation is the philanthropic
affiliate of the Ohio Credit Union League. The Ohio Credit Union
League, with offices in Dublin, Ohio, is a trade association
representing nearly 500 credit unions. Credit unions are
not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions owned and
democratically controlled by their member/owners and governed by
volunteer boards of directors. Ohio credit unions are provide
savings, loans, and other consumer financial services to nearly
3 million Ohioans. Nationally, credit unions serve nearly 90
million member/owners. To learn more, visit
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