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by Share Brandt

Commitment to Community

Every year electric cooperative members and employees live their commitment to community in numerous ways. In the spring, scholarships funded by unclaimed capital credits are awarded to local high school seniors. Some co-ops sponsor community funds created by excess contributions make by members “rounding up” their electric bills to the next highest dollar. The money is used for local school programs, needy families, and to support emergency services.

Since 2009, electric co-ops have taken their commitment to community national. Each year the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Touchstone Energy select one special community-service project to be done in conjunction with NRECA’s annual meeting.

This year, volunteers from electric co-ops across the nation converged upon Eustis, Florida, on March 5 to assist the Camp Boggy Creek in lowering its power costs. Located on 232 wooded acres in Lake County, the camp is an internationally known, not-for-profit facility for seriously ill children, and it relies on over 1,800 volunteers annually from the general public and medical communities to meet its mission. There is no charge to attend Camp Boggy Creek so it also needs the generous financial support of individuals, corporations, foundations, and healthcare partners.

The 2011 outreach effort by co-ops involved making cabins the kids and families stay in more energy efficient through duct repair, caulking, weather stripping, etc., but the main focus was on the camp’s pool. To help offset the expense of propane used to heat the pool, a new solar system was installed to keep the water at an acceptable temperature for campers, particularly for those suffering from Sickle Cell disease.

Thanks to Adams-Columbia members Gene and Darlene Alexander and Kathy Becker and Dairyland Power staffer Patty Fetting, Wisconsin co-ops had a hand in making Camp Boggy Creek more energy efficient and less expensive to run.