FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“You have extended a hand to the orphans, widows and children,” said Vickie Williamson, board chair of Hands on Georgia, and one of three judges in this year's awards competition.
“You have helped the sick, the hungry and the poor. Each of you does much more than illuminating homes across Georgia. You are a beacon of hope and the state is better because of your collective and individual efforts.”
According to Bill Verner, vice president of External Affairs with Georgia EMC, the philanthropic culture of Walton EMC is especially meaningful since charitable organizations in recent years have experienced steady declines in volunteerism and giving. As a result, they rely upon generous corporate partners to bridge the gap to provide aid to the non-served and underserved within their communities.
Walton EMC has been named EMC of the Year at the Georgia EMC annual meeting in Atlanta. Award judge Vickie Williamson, board chair of Hands on Georgia, presents the award to Walton EMC Director Johnny Allgood and Community Specialist Kathy Ivie.
“Walton EMC leadership is evident in economic development, tourism, chambers of commerce, school and youth programs, education, community foundations and more,” says Verner.
The purpose of the award is to spotlight the outstanding efforts and initiatives of EMCs working to build stronger communities.
Leading by example, Walton EMC was honored for a range of initiatives such as fundraising events including golf tournaments, barbecues, letters from Santa, motorcycle rides and Willie's World of Wheels. Other projects include Secret Santa, Christmas Adopt-a-Family and Project Sandbox, which collects and distributes items for personal hygiene and comfort to members of the military stationed in combat areas.
“It's not about just writing a check,” said Kathy Ivie of Walton EMC. “Volunteer, charity and community service pulses through the veins of Walton EMC and its employees. We take the seventh cooperative principle – concern for community – very seriously, and make a personal investment of time, strength and emotion to give to the communities in which we serve.”
In particular, Operation Round Up was cited as a chief component in WEMC's charitable giving. During the previous 18 months, $479,000 was distributed to 93 individuals and 108 worthy organizations. The co-op also awarded $133,750 in student scholarships.
Other civic support includes donations of time and funds to organizations such as the Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs; Partners in Education; and the American Red Cross, to name a few.
The cooperative was presented the Community Service and Volunteerism Award during Georgia EMC's Annual Meeting on Nov. 14 in Atlanta. To commemorate the occasion, a donation in the co-op's name will be made to a charity of its choice.
Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state's 42 electric cooperatives and allied organizations. Through this statewide network, the EMCs serve half of Georgia's population across 73 percent of the state's land area.
Walton EMC is a customer-owned electric utility that serves 118,000 accounts over its 10-county service area between Atlanta and Athens.
# # #