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Operation Round Up gives more than $37,000 to community programs

Lake Country Operation Round Up Trust Board recently approved $37,084 in contributions to local community programs during its quarterly meeting.

The Hope Nursery School from Moose Lake received $500 toward reading materials for their center. The school was started 45 years ago and currently serves 25 children between the ages of 3 and 5.

"We are thrilled to receive funding from Operation Round Up," said Priscilla Heimbruch, director and teacher of Hope Nursery School. "We do a lot of reading and storytelling at Hope Nursery School and are working hard to instill a love for reading in our children."

Operation Round Up is a charitable program unique to electric co-ops which is designed to provide financial assistance to worthwhile activities and community projects by "rounding up" member's electric bills to the nearest dollar. The average donation of each participating Lake Country Power member is $5.52 annually.

The cooperative's Trust Board reviewed and considered 31 grant applications and distributed funds to 28 projects and programs this past quarter.

Since the program's inception in October 2004, $1,148,074.10 has been distributed to hundreds of community-based projects and programs.

All funds generated through Operation Round Up are set aside in a trust fund. A Trust Board of nine co-op members who are appointed by the co-op's board of directors administers the trust fund. Of the funds collected through the program, 100 percent is distributed to charitable organizations through an application and selection process. The trust board uses special guidelines and policies when choosing recipients.

The most recent recipients include: Our Savior's Lutheran Church Mission, city of Aitkin "Aitkin County Homeless," Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, Shamrock Township, Tri-Community Food Shelf , Range Respite, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Shelf, Adopt A Senior Program, Hibbing Kinship Mentoring Program, Confidence Learning Center, Lutheran Social Service Senior Nutrition, Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program, Bridges Kinship Mentoring, Itasca Choral Society/Itasca Community Chorus, city of Tamarack, Precious Paws Humane Society, ANGELS (Living-at-home block nurse program), Hope Nursery School, Iron Range Historical Society, Happy Days Preschool, Old School Lives Incorporated, Jacobson Community Center , Remer Chamber of Commerce, Floodwood Services and Training, HOWA Family Center/Northern Cass Kinship, Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Northern Lakes Arts Association and the Moose Willow Sportsman Club.