BHCU marketing coordinator Ryan Conte challenged collections officer and co-worker Kim Montello to run in HEADstrong’s Run the Park 5K Challenge on Sept. 23. BHCU has raised close to $1,000 in the lead up to the race by getting personally involved in the cause.

BHCU has been involved in the HEADstrong Foundation’s Annual Run the Park Challenge for the last three years, setting up tables along the course and watching the community come together to rally for a good cause.

For this year’s race on Sept. 23 (Click HERE to register/donate), BHCU, led by two dedicated employees, is taking its involvement up a notch.

BHCU marketing coordinator Ryan Conte decided to challenge co-worker/collections officer/running enthusiast Kim Montello for office bragging rights by entering the race and competing against one another, all the while rallying the rest off the office and the credit union’s members to sign up for the race and donate.

“For me, it’s all about the emotional connection,” Conte said. “We all have friends and family who have faced cancer, so it’s hard not to buy into what HEADstrong is doing — being able to provide comfort at such a difficult time for families. We want to help get involved and do whatever we can, personally and organizationally.”

The federally insured credit union was founded in 1952 in Ridley Park, originally established to serve Boeing employees and their family members. In June 2015, BHCU expanded to a community-based credit union, opening a location in Glen Mills and offering comprehensive banking services to exclusively serve Delaware County and its residents. Conte said one of the goals of expansion was to establish more relationships with local nonprofits; their endeavors have succeeded in this department, as BHCU has raised close to $1,000 heading into the race, almost doubling its initial goal.

“We’ve been looking for opportunities to get the community more involved,” said Conte, who noted that BHCU provided financing for Nick’s House in Swarthmore. “I started asking myself, ‘How can I get others involved?’ Kim’s in great shape and runs frequently, while I’ve never ran a 5K, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. Kim and all of our co-workers have bought in, donating money and getting T-shirts made. It’s been a real highlight seeing the community come together for the cause.”

It was a no-brainer for Montello to participate. The work HEADstrong does for the community made her think of her mother, a six-year breast cancer survivor, as well as her children.

“I went through it with my mom, and I have kids so I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people who have to see their children endure cancer,” Montello said. “We’re fighting for the people who have it and need extra help and comfort so they can be together while going through treatment. If I was going through it, I know I’d want to be somewhere where we could at least be together in a home and not just a hospital. I’ve seen how tough it can be on someone, so I love being able to help the people who are currently fighting.

“For us, it was a no-brainer. We’ve been able to let people know about the cause, and our members have really picked up on it and donated. It’s the best kind of cause to give back to.”

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