Operation Round Up grants help communities prepare for crises

Safety and emergency preparedness were the focus of recent grants from East Central Energy’s (ECE) Operation Round Up® Trust.

The city of Rush City received a $1,000 grant to buy materials for Community Appreciation Night. The evening event, Thursday,
Aug. 9 in the downtown park is a free, safety-oriented family event.

The public can learn about many aspects of safety including a demonstration by the county K9 unit and a visit from the State Patrol helicopter.

In addition, Ogilvie First Responders received $3,650 to help upgrade pagers and radios to the new 800 MHz frequency, while a $2,000 grant will help the dity of Mora replace its public warning siren to meet FCC requirements.

Grants totaling more than $17,500 were dispersed for 10 local projects when the Operation Round Up (ORU) Trust Board met July 23 to review applications. The trust board is made up of ECE members who are appointed by the cooperative’s Board of Directors to administer the trust and represent their fellow members in determining how the money is used.

Other grants approved in the summer cycle were:

Gordon, Wis., Parks and Recreation: $2,000 to help purchase safe playground equipment for a new park being built on land donated by a local resident.

Friends of the Library, Onamia: $2,000 to help purchase a new computer and support the high-speed Internet service used by library patrons.

St. Clare Living Community, Mora: $2,550 toward building a mobility courtyard. It will be used to help older adults improve their balance, flexibility and ambulatory ability.

Changing Gaits, Inc., Brook Park:  $600 to help the non-profit start a Horses for Healing therapy program for Community Living Options residents.

Haven Center, North Branch: $2,000 toward the purchase of an integrated business phone system for the counseling center.

Pine Dragons PTO, Pine City: $1,000 to help provide back-to-school supplies for children who need them.

Kinship Youth Mentoring, Princeton: $728 to assist with the purchase of books and materials for the Reading Buddies program at South Elementary.

Established in 1997, the ORU Trust is made possible by generous ECE members who agree to have their monthly electric bill rounded up to the next dollar.

With contributions ranging from one penny to 99 cents per month, participating members have a convenient way to share their treasure and pool their resources for the benefit of the greater community. The maximum annual contribution is $11.88.

ECE members who would like to join their fellow members in supporting the Operation Round Up program can sign up by checking the box at the bottom of their bill or by calling 1-800-254-7944. Community organizations which serve ECE members can contact Julie Johnson, 763-689-8046, if they are interested in applying to the ORU Trust.

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