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Monday, June 16, 2008

NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio – Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative’s newOperation Round Up program is officially underway, and now seeking qualifying area individuals and organizations to receive its available funds. Qualifying individuals and organizations must be members and/or communities served by Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative needing monies for special or emergency needs, not ordinary expenses. No utility expenses qualify.

Through Operation Round Up, Hancock-Wood automatically rounds up a participating member's electric bill to the next highest dollar. For example, a consumer's monthly bill of $52.73 is automatically rounded up to $53.00, with the additional 27 cents going to the Operation Round Up fund. On average, a member gives about $6 a year. These pennies, nickels and dimes will help raise thousands of dollars every year. Hancock-Wood will then distribute these collective donations to qualifying area community groups and individuals needing assistance. This program's concept was created by a South Carolina cooperative in 1989 who shared the idea with others nationwide; since then, hundreds of cooperatives across the country have adopted its use.

The HWE Community Trust Fund, Inc. was created to oversee distributions of the funds, as was a five-member board appointed to oversee the operation. Board members and officers are as follows:

• Judy Rower, Chairman (Findlay)
• Daniel Branson, Vice Chairman (Vanlue)
• Darlene Petkwitz, Secretary/Treasurer (Cygnet)
• Marie Fallon, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer (Bowling Green)
• Karen Schwarzwalder (Findlay)

Eligible funding categories include community service, education and youth, community economic assistance, environment and disaster relief. Donations are not limited to these categories, however, political issues or campaigns are not eligible for grants. The board will meet quarterly to review applications and distribute funds.

To apply, individuals and groups may download an application at Hancock-Wood’s website:

We demonstrate our Concern for Community by volunteering and donating to local charitable causes. Nearly $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade through grants and Operation Round Up funds to individuals and organizations in need. We also provide assistance to Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches and community events. To learn more, click on Community Involvement above. learn more

Members benefit from electric service reliability, competitive rates, money after co-op bills are paid in the form of patronage/capital credits, discounts, informative co-op publications, easy-to-access payment plans, rebates, scholarships, family-friendly Member-only events and a vote in the direction of Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op. To learn more, click on Member Benefits above. learn more

Hancock-Wood keeps Member owners informed about legislation that could impact their rights or lead to unstable energy costs. Your voice has been heard at the highest court in the land. In response to petitions by electric co-ops, states and industry, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of the Clean Power Plan. This is an unprecedented act by the Supreme Court. To learn more, click on "Legislation" above or go to learn more