SAFE Federal Credit Union officially opened its new branch in Lugoff with a ribbon cutting Thursday. The new facility replaces the SAFE location in Camden’s Springdale Plaza. Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce President Spencer Graham opened the proceedings.
“What a beautiful place we have here. What a great opening event,” Graham said.
State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk said SAFE is an asset to the community and she and her family have a long history with the credit union.
“I am a SAFE member. I am also the daughter of longtime SAFE members, so I know very well the legacy SAFE has in our community. It goes from being a trail blazer in payroll direct deposits to your wonderful reputation for customer service and also for being such an active community partner,” she said. “A lot of your employees are very active in various organizations. They volunteer and give of their time and that is such a wonderful thing and something for all SAFE members to be proud of.”
SAFE Board Chairman Ken Privette explained the credit union concept.
“We are not a bank, We are a credit union. As such, our members own the organization. We’re very proud of that. This is a beautiful facility that we know will add some value to this area,” Privette said.
Privetter said SAFE was founded in 1955 at Shaw Air Force Base and now has around 108,000 members. There are 18 branch locations, plus two in schools: Lee Central High School and Richland Northeast High School. Total assets are $886 million, Privette said. SAFE has 299 employees. The new 3,900 square-foot facility in Lugoff has four drive-thru lanes, four teller windows inside and a drive-up ATM.
SAFE President and CEO Beverly Gagne said the Lugoff branch was planned long before construction began.
“We have had to be very patient in this project because we wanted to build quite a while back and we have been looking for property, but it had to be the right piece of property. We think we have a fantastic location. We think the people who are commuting back and forth between Elgin and Camden and the Lugoff area can’t help but see us and that’s what we’re after,” Gagne said. “We wanted it to be easy for you to stop by the branch, get wonderful service and go on your way. We want it to be convenient, fast and friendly.”