2018 was a significant year for ORNL FCU. We celebrated our 70th anniversary on August 6, plus reached record asset size and implemented initiatives to recognize, honor, and reward members, employees, and the East Tennessee community.
In the spring of 2018, our first Community Art & Mural Program was completed. The new community program was an opportunity for local students to showcase their creativity in a unique fashion: By having their winning designs painted on a large structure visible on the campus of our Oak Ridge headquarters.
In April 2018, ORNL FCU exceeded $2 billion in assets thanks to our growing membership and a strong East Tennessee economy.
We partnered with WDVX to create a new summer concert series called The Summer Sessions in June 2018 that featured Americana and bluegrass bands from across the region. These concerts are free to all residents and are a great opportunity for our Credit Union to invest in the community while recognizing our strong relationship with the City of Oak Ridge.
To commemorate our 70th anniversary, we announced an opportunity for members to nominate worthy non-profit organizations in East Tennessee to receive one of seven $10,000 grants. Over 170 nominations were submitted and grants were awarded to: The Blossom Center for Childhood Excellence, Knoxville Dream Center, Knoxville Pays it Forward, Sertoma Center, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, Sunshine Ambassadors, and Youth Outreach STEM.
Throughout the summer of 2018, employees volunteered to build a Habitat for Humanity home. The build was a collaborative effort of the Credit Unions Care movement, which is an initiative of credit unions in East Tennessee. Credit Unions Care focuses on the needs of credit union members and operating under a set of core principles including concern for community and cooperation among cooperatives.
For the first time since 2005, ORNL FCU issued a special dividend to members in October 2018. The Board of Directors approved the $3 million special dividend to be paid to members based on average month-end loan and deposit balances for the first nine months of 2018. The largest dividend paid was in excess of over $2,000, with the average dividend payment being $19.29.