Two Ohio Electric Cooperatives Support Honor Flights, Win National Cooperative Purpose Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Ohio electric cooperatives have been recognized with the Cooperative Purpose Award at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s 2018 annual meeting. Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative and Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative were recognized for their support of “honor trips” for local veterans.

The national award recognizes cooperatives for meaningful contributions to the community and exemplifying the purpose of cooperatives.

“By engaging their local community and giving back to our nation’s veterans, these co-ops clearly demonstrated their concern for community, a core principle of the cooperative business model,” said NRECA President Phil Carson. “I applaud both Holmes-Wayne and Paulding Putnam for the determination to honor our nation’s veterans and inspire their communities to give back.”

Participants in the honor flights included veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative sponsored 48 Ohio veterans and their guardians for the trip. To finance the trips, HWEC raised more than $67,000 through employee payroll deduction, potluck meals during monthly safety meetings, cookbook and flag sales, individual and business donations, and Touchstone Energy grant from Buckeye Power.

Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative raised more than $170,000, allowing 475 local heroes to make the trip. PPEC engaged their whole community for the fundraising effort, and PPEC members raised $10,000 through electric bill contributions. PPEC staff held a raffle for a new truck and local organizations, schools, and churches conducted their own events.

More than 6,000 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s annual meeting, which runs from Feb. 25-28 in Nashville and sets NRECA’s organizational and legislative agenda for 2018. Co-op representatives also hear from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.