Meet our lucky contest winners!

What’s it like to be a millionaire for a month?  That’s the big question for these six winners in Columbia Credit Union’s recent contest.  Each is already a winner with the great rate they’re earning on the 14-month Certificate they opened in December.  But then, they were lucky enough to be selected to receive dividends on their Certificate as though it had a million dollars on deposit for a month.  $821.92 to be exact.  Here’s what they had to say.

Martha Swanstrum

“I’m thinking about traveling and maybe some random acts of kindness,” said Martha Swanson.  A twenty-year member, Martha moved here from Yakima and joined Columbia CU.  Although she retired two years ago, she just can’t seem to give up her gig as a microbiologist at Legacy Health where she still works one day a week.  She loves the fact that we’re local and more open than other types of financial institutions.


Tim & Barbara Luke

Both retired teachers, she at Evergreen and he at Lacamas Heights Elementary, they and their Jack Russell Terrier “Poncho” are frequent visitors at our branch in Downtown Vancouver.  They came to Columbia CU about 20 years ago.  These two are travelers.  They took a cross-country trip on Amtrak to Washington DC a few years ago and their plans for the Millionaire for a Month winnings include more travel.  They already have a tour of the Southeast states planned and a graduation trip to South Africa with their grandson this summer.

Virginia Beckwith

Years ago, she and her husband farmed about 500 acres along the Snake River near Pomeroy, WA where they raised peaches, wheat, cows and hogs.  After dams were built and their farm was partially flooded, they moved to King City where they lived for 35 years.  Then, after her husband passed away about three years ago, she moved to Vancouver to be near her daughter, Beverly.  Her plans for the Millionaire for a Month winnings?  “I’m thinking about a cruise,” she said.  Sounds like a good plan.


Leslie Gambill

She’s been a Columbia CU member since 1989 when her husband changed jobs and they moved here from Springville, OR.  Due to a disability, she’s no longer working and her husband is successfully battling a cancer diagnosis received in 2015.  The Millionaire for a Month winnings will come in handy for these two.  Savings, a new TV and a trip to see family in Arizona are all potential uses.  We wish them both all the best.

Del Swanson

This character’s been a Columbia CU member since 1977.  He’s the former owner of Garside Florist which is now owned and operated by his daughter and son-in-law.  Happily retired and living along the banks of the north fork of the Lewis River, he’s a frequent visitor at our Ridgefield branch.  He and his wife of 52 years are avid square dancers.  He has no plans for the winnings.  Seems he’s perfectly content at home watching the deer that come to visit his park-like five-acre property.


Jack Hanks

“I was pretty happy and surprised”, said Jack Hanks when he learned he was one of our Millionaire for a Month winners.  “Maybe I’ll take my wife out to dinner or visit our son in Phoenix.”  Jack’s been a member almost as long as this credit union has existed and is well known at our Fourth Plain branch.  Now a retired SP&S railroad employee, Jack started his career there as a mimeograph operator and became the Car Service Department Supervisor in Portland. After the SP&S merger with Burlington Northern, he was transferred to Billings, Montana and then on to St. Paul, Minnesota.  He retired in 1987.  His family includes railroad employees from several generations.