Sioux Valley Energy Operation Round Up surpasses $2 million milestone

Courtesy photo: Representatives of Sioux Valley Energy’s Operation Round Up program visited the future site of the Child’s Remembrance Garden in Luverne, Minnesota, to present a $3,000 contribution to the project. The grant marked $2 million in donations provided by Sioux Valley Energy members and employees to local organizations. Pictured, from left, are CRG members Monica Facile, Lisa Dinger and Pat Saum, ORU trustees Dan LaRock and Greg Benda, CRG member Mary Thompson and Sioux Valley Energy’s Lori George.

COLMAN – Sioux Valley Energy members have surpassed a milestone – giving more than $2 million to support worthy causes in their communities through the Cooperative’s Operation Round Up program.

The Operation Round Up (ORU) Board of Trustees recently awarded $3,000 to the Child’s Remembrance Garden in Luverne, Minnesota, which helped the ORU program surpass the $2 million mark. The garden, which will be located in the northwest corner of Luverne, will provide an area for families who have lost a child to grieve, remember, and heal. Construction of the garden is slated to begin in Spring 2022. Additional ORU awards given this quarter are listed below.

Operation Round Up funds come from Sioux Valley Energy members who round up their electric bill to the next highest dollar and employees who donate from their paycheck. Approximately 85 percent of Sioux Valley Energy members and nearly 90 percent of employees contribute. On average, participating members donate $0.57 cents per month.

“Operation Round Up has impacted approximately 900 organizations throughout the footprint of the Sioux Valley Energy service territory in just over 20 years. This has made a real difference in peoples’ lives; a tangible impact on the well-being of area communities,” CEO and General Manager Tim McCarthy said. 

McCarthy added, “We are grateful to our members who are willing to round up their electric bill to support the Operation Round Up program and are proud to have been able to help so many with the $2 million the fund has awarded.”

Examples of the types of organizations who have received funding in the past are daycare associations, schools, nursing homes, sports clubs, vocational schools, youth groups (scouting, 4-H, booster clubs, hockey), scholarship programs, humanity programs, fire departments, cities, special needs for individuals, and senior dining programs.

The Operation Round Up Board of Trustees is appointed by the Sioux Valley Energy Board of Directors. Current ORU Board members include Brenda Volkers (Brookings County), Alvina Harvey (at large representative living in Minnehaha County), Dan LaRock (Rock County), Greg Benda (Lake County), Joyce DeClerk (Moody County), Connie Hillard (Pipestone County), and Jeff Thompson (Minnehaha County).

The region served by Operation Round Up includes the seven-county Sioux Valley Energy service area. Grant money must be spent within these boundaries. The electrical service area includes Rock and Pipestone counties in Minnesota, and Brookings, Lake, Moody, Minnehaha, and part of Kingsbury counties.

Sioux Valley Energy, a Touchstone Energy  Cooperative, is a member owned-utility, providing reliable electric service at cost-based rates to more than 27,000 homes, farms, businesses, and industries in a seven-county area of east-central South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.   

Additional ORU grants were awarded to the following organizations in December:                                                                                

• Bishop Dudley Hospitality House (Minnehaha)

• Brookings County Historical Society (Brookings, Lake, Moody and Minnehaha)

• Character on Track (All South Dakota counties)

• Chester area School (Brookings, Lake, Moody and Minnehaha)

• Chester Area School Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Brookings, Lake, Minnehaha and Moody)

• Child’s Remembrance Garden-Luverne Area Community Foundation (Pipestone and Rock)

• Christ Lutheran Church Daycare (Minnehaha)

• East Dakota Transit (Lake)

• ELC-Pipestone (Educational Learning Center) (Brookings and Pipestone)

• Flandreau After Prom Organization (Moody)

• Generations, Inc. (Pipe-stone and Rock)

• Jasper Community Ambulance (Pipestone and Rock)

• Lake County 4-H Leaders (Lake, Minnehaha and Moody)

• ORR boys basketball-class of 2028 (Lake and Moody)

• ORR girls basketball-Class of 2030 (Lake and Moody)

• Pipestone County Historical Society (Pipestone)

• Pipestone Hiawatha Park Commission, Lights at the Lodge Event (Pipestone)

• Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Dakota, Inc (all counties)

• Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation (Minnehaha)

• South Dakota Youth Foundation, Inc (Brookings and Minnehaha)

• STARS-Brookings Interagency Council (Brookings)

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