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Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation Receives Spirit of Philanthropy Award

Doug Johnson and Ryan Postlethwait
Doug Johnson and Ryan Postlethwait

Nov. 14, 2014. The Watauga County Community Foundation has awarded its 2014 Spirit of Philanthropy Award to the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation. This award honors perseverance and commitment to improving local quality of life through efforts directed at creating a better and brighter tomorrow.

Accepting the award, the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Doug Johnson remarked, “It is an honor for our Members Foundation to receive this recognition. The Members Foundation has been a successful program that our board, employees and especially our members have supported in many different ways. The Foundation is relatively young, but through the kindness of our members reaching out to help other members, we have been able to help thousands of families in the High Country.”

The Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation was founded in 2007 to meet the growing needs of members struggling tos tay warm in the winter.

“Through our Operation Round Up Program, more than 20,000 of our members are contributing an average of just fifty cents per month,” he said. “These individual contributions add up to allow us to return every penny to help families in need and to award community grants to other local organizations providing assistance in other ways to those in need.”

According to Ryan Postlethwait, President of the Board, the Watauga County Community Foundation (WCCF) selected this year’s Spirit of Philanthropy recipient based on qualities beyond the amount of monetary assistance provided. “Doug Johnson has instilled a service commitment in all of Blue Ridge Electric and its employees,” said Postlethwait. “The employees and board of directors are very active in their communities—from volunteering their time and talents to many different organizations to serving on local boards and in elected positions.”

Commitment to Community is one of the seven guiding principles of cooperatives that Blue Ridge Electric adheres to. Johnson concluded by explaining: “Our employees give 100 percent of their heads, hearts and hands to a commitment of complete member care and service—individually and for the good of the communities we serve.”

The Watauga County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the statewide North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF). WCCF was created in 1993 and has 28 endowment funds with total assets of nearly $2.9 million.  Over the past 20 years, WCCF’s 28 endowment funds have distributed nearly $975,000 in grants and scholarships supporting local nonprofits and students.  In 2014, WCCF distributed nearly $100,000 in grants and scholarships.  For information on the Watauga County Community Foundation and its community fund, contact John Francis, NCCF Regional Associate, at 336-745-1739; or visit the NCCF website at www.nccommunityfoundation.org/watauga

Blue Ridge Electric is a cooperative utility serving some 74,000 members in Watauga, Caldwell, Ashe and Alleghany counties. The Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation builds on the cooperative’s commitment to members and local communities and is funded through the Operation Round Up Learn more under the Community tab at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com