2017-02-03 / Community News

Town & Country donates to trail fund

Special to the Leader

Town & Country Federal Credit Union announced that it will make the largest philanthropic gift in credit union history to the Eastern Trail Alliance’s Close the Gap campaign.

A bridge will be built in honor of two board members who, between them, volunteered over 85 years at the credit union.

Town & Country Federal Credit Union, a leading Maine-based financial institution and active supporter of projects designed to connect communities across Southern Maine, will donate $100,000 to the alliance’s Close the Gap project.

The project aims to complete a 1.6- mile gap that interrupts off-road travel between South Portland and Saco.

This gift marks Town & Country’s largest gift to a single community initiative in the credit union’s 63-year history and the largest single gift ever made by any Maine credit union.

“This project is symbolic of Town & Country’s mission to create a personal connection with each of our members,” says CEO David Libby. “The Eastern Trail connects dozens of Maine communities and completing this missing piece in Scarborough will enhance that community connection and create accessibility for even more Mainers.”

Town & Country is making this donation in recognition of two long-time volunteer board members, who together dedicated over 85 years of service.

“We are pleased to make this gift in honor of Wilfred Couture and Edward Connolly, two people who worked tirelessly on behalf of the credit union and our community for eight decades,” Libby said.

The $100,000 gift will be earmarked to build the ‘Connolly-Couture’ bridge over the Nonesuch River on the trail between South Portland and Scarborough.

Wilfred Couture, a resident of South Portland, celebrated 40 years of service to Town & Country’s board in 2016.

“I am honored. As credit union volunteers, Ed and I worked to find ways to make life a little easier for Town & Country members. I believe this bridge will bring pleasure for everyone who uses the Eastern Trail for many years to come,” he said.

The late Edward Connolly was a member of Town & Country’s board for 45 years. A resident of Scarborough and long-time realtor, Connolly had a special affinity for helping first-time home buyers.

Connolly’s wife of 60 years, Dorothy, said “our family is grateful that Town & Country is recognizing Ed’s work. He loved helping our neighbors and making the community a better place. Ed would be happy to know the Eastern Trail will be more accessible.”

More than $3.2 million of the $3.8 million project has been raised, to date. The remaining $600,000 will come from donations from local businesses and other community supporters.

“We are hoping our gift prompt other local business and individuals to jump in and contribute the remaining money to reach the fundraising goal,” Libby said. “We are looking forward to seeing the trail completed in 2017.”

The Eastern Trail is a 65-mile section of both on and off-road trail between South Portland and Kittery. When the Scarborough gap is completed, the trail will create 16 miles of uninterrupted off-road trail between South Portland’s Bug Light to Downtown Saco.

Town & Country Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving the financial needs of people across Southern Maine for 63 years.

Founded in 1953 by the parishioners of St. John’s Catholic Church, the credit union was established as St. John’s Federal Credit Union to serve the deposit and lending needs of the congregation in South Portland and Scarborough.

As the credit union grew, so too did its need for space. What began in the basement of a church, soon moved to the home of its first leaders, then to a neighborhood ice cream parlor, and finally in 1976, to the current location of the Main Street branch in South Portland.

Several mergers with other credit unions in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s laid the foundation for a solid base of members across the communities of South Portland and Scarborough. In 1986, the name of the credit union was changed to Town & Country Federal Credit Union to better represent the organization’s broad membership.

Today, as the second largest credit union in the state of Maine, Town & Country is a full-service financial institution offering a wide range of financial products and services to people who live or work in Cumberland and York Counties.

The credit union has over 35,000 members, $326 million in assets, and operates six branches in Saco, South Portland, Portland, and Scarborough.

In 2014, Town & Country built its new operations center in Scarborough to prepare for future growth and take advantage of the many nearby amenities and services available in the area, including the Eastern Trail.

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