Operation Round Up reaches milestones in 2017
There has been a lot to celebrate in 2017 as Operation Round Up achieved two milestones and continued to impact many worthy causes.
The Cuivre River Electric Community Trust topped $5 million in grants awarded to needy individuals, families and community organizations since the program was launched in 1997. Additionally, Operation Round Up surpassed the $1 million mark in the amount of college scholarships awarded to students furthering their education at a university or technical school.
Both achievements would not have been possible without the generosity of Cuivre River members who voluntarily “round up” their electric bill payments each month to the next highest dollar. Over 95 percent of the cooperative’s members participate in Operation Round Up.
“The Operation Round Up story is one that shows the power of what people can do when they band together for a greater cause,” Cuivre River Electric GM/CEO Doug Tracy said. “With just a few pennies per person on each bill, individuals and organizations in our community have been impacted with over $5 million going to assist those in need over the past 20 years. It’s a testament to our membership and shows that caring and compassion is still alive and well.”
Operation Round Up was created to address needs in the areas of health, education, home weatherization, youth, community and emergency services that cannot be met with other resources.
In 2017, 239 grants totaling $307,841.13 were given to individuals, families and community organizations in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Pike counties. Of that amount, 95 grants equaling $117,710.58 were issued to individual and families, 74 grants for $137,630.55 were presented to organizations and 70 scholarships totaling $52,500 were awarded to students.
This was the second year in a row the contribution amount topped $300,000. Approximately $25,000 is awarded each month.
“I would like to thank the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board for their service and dedication to this wonderful cause and I look forward to seeing thegood that the next million dollars will accomplish,” Tracy said.
The average yearly donation is just $6 per member. Members who wish to donate more each month may enroll in Operation Round Up Plus. This allows for an extra donation amount — such as $1, $5 or more — to be added to their monthly bill. Donations may also be made directly to the Trust or members can choose to donate their capital credit checks to the program.
All contributions are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of the funds allocated to Operation Round Up are used for grants. All program expenses are covered by the cooperative’s general operating budget.
Operation Round Up funds are administered each month by the seven-member volunteer Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board. Current trustees are Chairman Jim Mayes, Vice Chairman Melissa Hollander, Treasurer Frank Klaas, Secretary Doug Steinmeyer, Linda Whalen, Joyce Hollaway and John Deutch.
Applications are accepted monthly, with the deadline the final day of each month. The Trust Board reviews each application and meets on the second Thursday of the following month. Individual applicants may receive up to $2,500 per year, while families are eligible for up to $5,000. Organizations can seek $10,000 annually.
Scholarships are awarded annually each June. The next application deadline is May 1.
Applicants are not required to be Cuivre River members, but they must reside in the cooperative’s service area. For more information, call 636-695-4837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available at the Troy and Lake Saint Louis offices or can be downloaded at www.cuivre.com.