Throughout the 139 year history of Western Catholic Union, members have spread across the U-S, now living in all fifty states. But the heart of the Society remains in the Midwest, and at the 58th Quadrennial Convention, delegates returned to Quincy IL to hear of an exciting future for the Society.
Many financial institutions face increased government regulations, and WCU has used this opportunity for change to strengthen the Society. “The past five years have been good years for WCU,” Kent Stegeman, Secretary/Treasurer and CFO, said. “I believe the team we have in place is qualified and determined to continue this trend of financial success.”
Delegates learned about the financial status of the Society, plans for the future, and opportunities to change and grow. Emma Hildebrand, new Adams County Fair Queen and life-long WCU member, challenged the members: “Find a way to attract and engage younger members, and try new ideas,” she said.
WCU President and CEO Roger Player updated delegates on the Society’s recent accomplishments, but also expressed high hopes for the future, “There is a future for WCU if we are willing to embrace the changes.”
Product design that addresses our members’ needs is always a key to future growth. National Sales Director Bob Ley explained the elements crucial for successful WCU products: “The products we currently offer have strong benefits for you the member, are competitively priced, pay a fair compensation for the agent for their sale, and have the requisite profit margins to assure the financial well-being of the Society going forward,” he explained.
As is the case for all Fraternal Benefit Societies nationwide, WCU branches volunteer the time and efforts to organize charitable efforts within their communities. This branch structure is unique and builds great pride within the WCU members and branches. These acts of charities are invaluable since they couldn’t be replaced today by any government agency.
National Spiritual Advisor Fr. Daren Zehnle encouraged members to do even more. “These charitable contributions are a great sign of the love you have for God,” he said. “Continue them, but also share your faith in many other ways.”
Since 2009, WCU branches have now raised $4,000,355 (in photo WCU staff members are updating this figure in LIVE motion) for charities through the Society’s Matching Funds program, including bake sales, 50/50 raffles, golf tournaments, dartball tournaments, pancake breakfasts, and many more activities. “We do many different things, but for all the same reasons,” Fraternal Director Steve Looten said.
“We are proud of you, and can’t wait to see what you’ll be up to next.”