Members Invest in Local Communities
Through Operation Round-Up, our members are taking small steps toward big changes in their communities. By “rounding up” their monthly electric bill, our members’ cents flow into a charitable fund to aid local projects and those motivated to make a difference in our communities.
Artesian Community Improvement Receives $1,000
With the help of some local volunteers, the Artesian Community Center is providing a vital service for the county as a place to host gatherings. The Artesian Community Improvement Association recently received a $1,000 grant for new kitchen appliances in the Artesian Community Center.
“New appliances will make it easier to accommodate those that use the Community Center for their gatherings by allowing them to properly prepare and store their food,” says Association Secretary/Treasurer Jenica Bender.
The Community Center serves a broad spectrum of community members, including local families, businesses, and youth groups. The community center, including the kitchen, seating area, and full gym, is available for rent by contacting Kaci Bechen.
Howard Youth Basketball Receives $1,500
With a $1,500 Operation Round-Up grant and several other local donations, the Howard Youth Basketball program was able to purchase new basketball hoops for the elementary school playground.
The new hoops are not only more structurally sound and visually appealing, but can be lowered to accommodate fun for all ages! Coaches Nick Koepsell and Adam Shumaker explain that it is difficult for younger kids to develop an interest in basketball if they’re trying to shoot on a 10-foot-high hoop.
General Manager Ken Schlimgen and Miner County Director Bernetta Burghardt visited the school to present a check to Koepsell and Shumaker and see the hoops in action.
Wessington Springs Baseball Awarded $1,500
A longstanding symbol of pride for many small, local towns is its baseball team. The Wessington Springs Baseball team was awarded $1,500 toward the purchase of new equipment and field upgrades.
Equipment and field upgrades help provide a quality program for the players, visiting teams, and also alleviates the financial responsibility of the players, coaches, and volunteers who would pay for upgrades out-of-pocket when needed.
The Wessington Springs Baseball program provides a league for players not only in Wessington Springs, but the surrounding areas. Approximately 21 players are on the spring roster. There is also a summer league. Coach Nathan Hainy welcomes any local player who would be interested in joining their league.
Gann Valley Comm. Center Receives $2,750
Fellowship and gatherings play an important role in quality of life in a small town, and the residents of Gann Valley understand this. The former post office and newspaper building serves as the community center and is receiving numerous upgrades with the help of $2,750 from Operation Round-Up, volunteers, and other local donations.
Several citizens are working to renovate the space after a fire destroyed much of the upstairs. Recent updates include installing insulation, repairing a leaking roof, sheetrock, flooring, a new furnace, and ceiling tiles. Funds are used to cover material expenses as labor is all done by the keen volunteers.
“There’s probably $10,000-$15,000 worth of volunteer labor invested into this building,” says community member David Gaulke.
The community center is utilized daily for coffee, by local groups such as 4-H, as well as individuals for private events. The center can be rented by contacting Treasurer Judy Gaulke.
Spring Hill Cemetery Receives $3,500
Nearby in Gann Valley, the Spring Hill Cemetery also serves an important role for the community. Spring Hill Cemetery has been awarded $3,500 from Operation Round-Up.
Secretary/Treasurer Evelyn Wulff explains that several of the headstones have tipped and need to be straightened or need new bases. Funds have been used to construct new bases and repair the broken headstones. In addition to serving individual community members and families, the cemetery is utilized each year as part of the Legion’s Memorial Day Service.
Since the program initiation in 2015, a sum of 50 grants totaling $84,555 has been awarded to local projects in Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Davison, Hanson, Jerauld, Miner, and Sanborn counties. For more information on Operation Round-Up including a full list of recipients, visit www.centralec.coop or contact our office.