COMMITTED TO OUR COMMUNITY
Sept. 14-19: On Wednesday, Sept. 12, South River Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) in Dunn, North Carolina requested out-of-state crews to help restore power to their consumer-members.
Pioneer provided one construction crew, made up of four men, as well as a supervisor to help with the restoration effort at South River. The men included Terry Linger, John Holcomb, A.J. Montgomery, Brad Harrison, and Bryan Zirkle. In addition to manpower, Pioneer also provided a digger derrick and a bucket truck.
The men departed Pioneer’s Piqua office on Sept. 14, stopping midway in Wytheville, Virginia, where they met up with other Ohio cooperatives and convoyed the remainder of the trip to South River EMC in Dunn, North Carolina.
With Hurricane Florence still causing destruction in the area, Pioneer crews, alongside Consolidated Cooperative, another Ohio co-op, patrolled lines and assessed damage throughout the territory. South River EMC is made up of 43,000 members, and the storm left more than 30,000 members out at its peak.
One of the biggest hurdles during this aid was navigation. With flooding prominent throughout the area, crews were forced to reroute, or in some cases, take a completely different route home than how they arrived at certain locations. A majority of the work consisted of clearing and reconstructing lines. South River experienced very few broken poles throughout the storm.
The men returned safely on Sept. 19 — just five days after their departure.
Oct. 12-16: Randy Carnahan, Luke Karn, Jeremy Nash, Matt Richard, and Aaron Wright provided mutual aid to EnergyUnited electric cooperative in Statesville, North Carolina following destruction caused by Hurricane Michael. The men assisted with rehanging wire, clearing debris from electric lines, and replacing poles.
In 2018, our employees developed a Powering Possibilities fundraising committee. The committee acted as the driver for various internal competitions, including fantasy football. A 50/50 raffle and a raffle for vacation days raised additional funds. Employees also had the opportunity to participate in a pizza lunch and payroll deduction donations.
The committee’s efforts provided funding to purchase Christmas gifts for local families in need — a tradition that has lasted more than 25 years. In addition to funds created through the efforts of the Powering Possibilities fundraising initiatives, employees also shopped and purchased gifts on their own. A total of six individuals were impacted by our Kids for Christmas fundraiser in 2018.
Pioneer employees were also able to make a $1,500 donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, thanks to contributions provided by our employees.
Additionally, this year, instead of putting up a traditional Christmas tree in the front lobby of our Piqua office, we built a tree out of nonperishable food items provided by our members and employees. In total, we were able to donate 733 nonperishable items — more than 680 pounds — to food pantries serving rural Miami, Shelby, and Champaign counties.
Last year was certainly a year of giving back to our communities through generous donations. Our employees are applauded for their generosity, not only through contributions, but through the extra efforts that were made outside their normal day-to-day job duties to demonstrate their commitment and concern for the communities that we serve.
$7,500 was contributed to economic development projects in Champaign, Miami, and Shelby counties.
$7,000 in scholarships was awarded to eight children of members.
In mid-December, Pioneer members Bob and Midge Custer of Woodstock were named the grand-prize winners of the 2018 Touchstone Energy #WhoPowersYou contest. The third annual #WhoPowersYou contest was held by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, a national network of local, member-owned cooperatives, to recognize individuals who are positively impacting the communities in which they live, in those areas that electric distribution cooperatives serve. The Custers were one of more than 300 nominations from around the U.S. that were received in 2018.
Following the announcement of the #WhoPowersYou competition, your Pioneer Board of Trustees approved an additional donation in support of the Custers’ endeavors and commitment to the communities we serve.