We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.

If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.

Fast Access

GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Edition #624

Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

August 9, 2011 Edition #623

August 2, 2011 Edition #622

July 26, 2011 Edition #621

July 19, 2011 Edition #620

Looking for articles from a past issue of GCFlash not listed above? Enter keywords into our Site Search! Find archived articles prior to August 2009 in our Knowledge Base.

Weekly Spotlight:

Golden VIPs ... Your needs have changed and so has your vision. It has nothing to do with eyeglasses and everything to do with the way you embrace life. This page is dedicated to those who have gained that wisdom. Find Benefits, Programs and Other Online Resources here.

Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
August 16, 2011 6 Mo Ago
1 Yr Ago
5 Yrs Ago
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Down 171.58 or 1.48% since 12/31/10)
11,405.93 (-0.67%) 12,288.17 10,302.01 11,327.12
S&P 500
(Down 64.88 or 5.16% since 12/31/10)
1,192.76 (-0.97%) 1,336.32 1,079.38 1,295.43
(Down 129.42 or 4.88% since 12/31/10)
2,523.45 (-1.24%) 2,825.56 2,181.87 2,149.54
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 2.21% 3.62% 2.58% 4.87%
British Sterling 1.6456 1.6081 1.5588 1.8908
Euro 1.4407 1.3506 1.2705 1.2846

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1st Flash

Heroes Among Us

The entire Borough of Pitman was in mourning last week as one of their own young heroes was laid to rest.

Sgt. Alessandro 'Sandrino' Plutino was killed in action just weeks away from completing his sixth tour of duty as a U.S. Army Ranger. It was Plutino's third tour in Afghanistan after serving three in Iraq.

His term of service should have ended in March, but was extended by a special mission he felt necessary to complete. His country meant more to him than did his own life.

United States Army Rangers are elite members of the U.S. Army, tracing their roots to 1670 as a band of men trained to battle in the forests of this newly settled land. They first saw war action in the French and Indian Wars in 1676. They went on to fight in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the American Civil War.

Their original purpose was to complete a mission and then disband. The first time they were officially activated in the 20th Century was during World War II. The Rangers did not become a regular arm of the U.S. Army until the 1970s.

The 75th Ranger Regiment, of which Plutino was a member, is a special operations combat formation within U.S. Army Special Ops Command. Only applicants in top physical and mental condition meet the qualifications for selection in this elite group.

The training is the toughest of all schools a soldier can volunteer for, as those who complete it successfully become the leaders of the most difficult special missions. It includes exercises in extreme weather conditions across all terrain, Airborne school and the skills to remain both physically and mentally alert under the most difficult situations.

The Ranger Regiment specializes in raids and assault missions deep within enemy territory. They're experts in short-notice combat deployment. Among their skills are remaining undetected in a war.

Rangers carry out surprise strikes. They get to their designated area quickly and quietly, often by parachute.

You'll also find them conducting rescue and reconnaissance missions. Their ability to get in and out quickly, their endurance for long-distance movement and ability to remain undetected find them in places most others can't get to.

It was Rangers who penetrated the enemy beachhead in Normandy, France that forged a path for larger forces to enter.

Rangers converged on a medical facility in Grenada in 1983 to rescue Americans trapped by the uprising. Rangers took airfields and airports in Panama in 1989 during the Operation Just Cause mission to remove dictator General Manuel Noriega from power.

They've also suffered losses over the years such as Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. This story was recounted in the book and film "Blackhawk Down."

The Navy SEALs whose helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan earlier in August were rushing to the aid of Army Rangers under enemy fire while hunting a top Taliban commander.

This was the calling Plutino gave his life to serve. It was a calling he first felt at the age of four but held off following until graduating college under pressure from family and loved ones. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to the Plutino family along with all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

On The World Wide Web

The HandsOn Network is the largest volunteer network in the nation including more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that answer the call to serve. Find an event, local action center and volunteer opportunities on their website.

President Obama is calling all Americans to a National Day of Service on September 11th. Find ways to get involved, read about initiatives and find resources at

USA Freedom Corps was created by President Bush as a call to action to the American people. Its website now serves as America's Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer portal.

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2nd Flash

Helping Those Who Serve

Ever since September 11, 2001, more and more of America's finest are dedicating their lives to assuring a tragedy of the likes will never again occur on our shores. One common thread among them is a calling to a higher purpose in life.

I grew up in the Vietnam era. Young men were drafted into service, few volunteered. Women were not yet permitted on the battlefield. The war was not popular and citizens blamed not only our leaders, but also the men who were forced to serve.

This is a different era. With the smoldering images of what was once the World Trade Center emblazoned in their minds, young people are realizing that freedom has a price. It's an image they don't want their children to have to see in their lifetime. And the bravest among them are rising to do their part in making sure they never will.

But unlike Vietnam, these soldiers are returning home to the hero's welcome they deserve.

Yet while they're deployed, life is anything but idyllic. You might think their personal safety would be their biggest concern. You would be wrong.

When asked what weighed most on the minds of deployed service men and women, it was overwhelmingly their family at home.

The homebound spouse became both the mother and the father. They had to assume the responsibilities of the deployed soldier along with their own. They had to handle each crisis that arose on their own. And they had to juggle daily life in the midst of it all.

Military families face different hurdles than civilians. Deployment is harsh. Families have to reconnect after being separated for long periods of time. They have to re-learn behaving as a family unit.

The stresses of battle leave many soldiers psychologically scarred. Adjusting to domestic life can be difficult when you've spent the last year sleeping with your eyes open, rifle in hand - ready to fire at whatever threat looms in the dark.

Immediately following the September 11th attacks, President Bush called on all Americans to serve their communities, their Nation and their world. He created the USA Freedom Corps to connect Americans with opportunities to serve their country and to foster a culture of citizenship, responsibility and service.

President Obama is continuing this tradition by proclaiming September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. There's no better time to begin a practice of serving others that you can carry on throughout life.

And who better to serve than those that sacrifice everything for the freedoms that we enjoy.

There are many ways you can serve military families. The search box on any of the volunteer websites listed in today's web highlights will lead you to community groups devoted to these efforts.

But you may find opportunity even closer at hand. Do you know of a local family with a deployed member? If not, ask at your church or your kids' school. Connect with military families and find out what they need. Perhaps they could use a day off car pooling, or help with grocery shopping. Maybe their lawn needs tending. Or possibly they need someone to watch the kids to give them a break for a night.

If you live near a base, opportunities abound. Find ideas on how you can lend a hand at or

Tip of the Week

You diligently change your motor oil every 3000 miles and recycle your oil responsibly. Do you recycle your oil filter, too? Today's oil filters are recyclable. But they must be drained of all oil first. After removing from the engine, puncture the dome end of the filter with a screwdriver. Turn it upside down to drain completely into your recycle container. Drain overnight or a minimum of 12 hours. Recycle along with the used oil at your local garage or waste recycling center.

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Financial News

The stock market plummeted with the aftermath of Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. Treasury debt to AA+ from AAA. The S&P ratings range from AAA to D. S&P defines AAA as: "Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments." AA is defined as: "Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments." BB is the first level "below investment grade" and considered "highly speculative." A rating of D is defined as "Payment default on financial commitment," or losses are expected. The other ratings use different letter/numbers to indicate similar levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up to $12,724 on July 21, dropping to $10,810 last week, and then jumping back up to $11,240 the next day. At the writing of this article, the DOW is at $11,415. Obama sees the rating change as the incentive to cut debt. On Tuesday last week, the Fed said that a "somewhat slower pace of recovery" is expected with the unemployment rate declining "only gradually." In order to fortify the economy, the Fed said that "economic conditions … are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013." This comment seems to have provided stability that that stock market likes! Most of us would rather better news, but the unknown appears to be the big enemy of the stock market. And the ride continues!


"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away." - Elvis Presley

Today in History

1977 - Elvis Presley died at the age of 42.

Flash Fact

Excluding five Canadian shows in 1957, Elvis Presley never performed a concert outside of the United States.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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