Written by Steve Mosco Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00
Peter and Angie Barbera never dreamed a routine trip to the bank would pay off like this.
The couple, Plainview residents for close to 50 years, won the grand prize in a raffle with Bethpage Federal Credit Union last week, winning their choice of a new car or its cash equivalent.
“I was in disbelief,” said Peter, recalling he thought he was on the receiving end of a prank call. “I never won anything in my life, so why believe this?”
But after verifying his bank information, Peter quickly came to turns with his newfound grand prize status.
“I guess I’m pretty lucky,” he said.
The Credit Union’s give-away is one component of a month-long “All-American” celebration campaign aimed at underscoring the benefits of credit union banking at Bethpage. The bank asked customers to fill out raffle tickets for a chance to win a Chevrolet Camaro, Equinox, Malibu or the $30,000 cash equivalent.
The Barberas chose the cash.
“We don’t need a car at the moment,” said Peter, 77, a retired engineer and former Cub Scout leader. “And the money will come in handy in this economy.”
Linda Armyn, senior vice president of the Credit Union, said the campaign and raffle was a way of thanking the Long Island community for their support.
“What’s more American than credit unions, apple pie and Chevrolet,” said Armyn. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to thank the Long Island community for their ongoing support and loyalty, helping us grow to become the largest credit union in New York State. It’s important that the community reconnects with their roots and learns about the best banking options available to them. That’s what this campaign is all about.”
Peter and Angie Barbera know plenty about their community’s roots. When they moved to Plainview nearly 50 years ago, the town was still mostly farmland with plenty of open spaces and long, dirt roads.
“You would hear roosters around the neighborhood. Now, there’s no space to be had. It’s all be developed,” he said. “It has its advantages and disadvantages. But Plainview itself is still very friendly and a great place to live.”
And since the Barbera’s five children and six grandchildren all still live nearby in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Peter knows the Credit Union prize money will not have to travel far to go a long way.
“I’m very thankful to the bank. This money will help a lot,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to do business with them. They don’t nickel and dime you to death.”