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Helping BREMCO Members ‘Get Healthy’

Appalachian Regional Healthcare workers greet a visitor to the Blue Ridge Electric health fair, made possible by a grant from the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation.

Aug. 17, 2012. Thanks to Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, and a grant from the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation, services worth more than $30,000 were given during a recent health fair to help people in Watauga County be healthier!

“This was an awesome health fair and we were very impressed with the staff!”, said Sheron White Hagelston. “We hope you do it again next year!”

The health fair took place Tuesday, August 14, at Blue Ridge Electric’s Watauga district office and offered both free and reduced cost health services such as complete blood work testing for just $25 (normally valued up to $400). Vouchers were also given to members who weren’t able to fast so that they could take advantage of this offer in the next couple of weeks.

More than 150 members attended the health fair which offered more detailed services than the typical event. Many took advantage of informational sessions on topics ranging from stroke awareness to behavioral services. Free tests were offered for blood sugar, vision and hearing, and information provided on numerous hospital services such as the Harmony Center for Women’s Health and Vitality.

The health fair was made possible by a new Impact Grant from the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation that provides larger amounts to make a bigger impact on the quality of life in the communities served by the cooperative. The foundation is supported by members rounding up their bills to participate in Operation Round Up, a program which also provides crisis heating assistance. Due to the success of member participation in the cooperative’s Operation Round Up program, the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation was formed several years ago to help local communities and members benefit from multiple outreach efforts to improve local quality of life. The foundation is also supported with funds from the cooperative’s propane and heating fuels subsidiary, Blue Ridge Energies.

Blue Ridge Electric is a cooperative utility serving some 74,000 members in Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Caldwell counties with a heating fuels subsidiary, Blue Ridge Energies, operating customer service and showrooms in each of the cooperative’s district offices. The Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation is assisting members with outreach funds totaling more than $290,000 last year.