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Broad River Electric dedicates 'Co-op Way'

Gaffney, SC, March 20, 2015:  Broad River Electric Cooperative, as part of their year-long 75th Anniversary celebration, dedicated a new street adjacent to its headquarters in Gaffney. Co-op Way is 778 feet of pavement that runs from Hamrick Street to the Ryder Refrigerated Services Distribution Center located directly behind the co-op facility.

“This tiny road represents a long legacy of cooperation, service and progress,” said Josh Crotzer, Broad River Electric’s Coordinator of Member Services. “It is a connection between industry and community. That is why we named it Co-op Way.”

The new street changes the physical address of both the distribution center (142 Co-op Way) and Broad River Electric Auditorium (128 Co-op Way). It does not change the mailing address of either company.

These changes were more than ceremonial. The new street and addresses are also intended to provide truck drivers a more accurate GPS destination when coming to the distribution center. Broad River Electric officials worked with Cherokee County, Nestle Foods, Ryder, and Wilbur-Ellis (formerly Allied Protein) officials to achieve the street naming.

“Seventy-five years ago, it was local farmers who banded together to form their own electric cooperative,” said Crotzer. “They worked with county officials and one another to make their community better. We wanted to celebrate that spirit of cooperation and innovation as it continues today.”

Broad River Electric Cooperative is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina in order to improve the quality of their lives.

As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Broad River strives to serve those members with accountability, integrity, innovation, and commitment to community.

Third $25,000 grant cycle given to local charities

FIRST ROW, l-r: Shelba Cook (CAVA), Carolina Barger (Salkehatchie), Donna Proctor (Cherokee Pregnancy Center), Sara Setzer (CAVA), Lyn Paschal (CAVA), Sandra G. Miller (Cherokee Children’s Home), Nancy Jordan (Broad River Electric Charities), Susan Harris (Cherokee Children’s Home), Sheriff David Taylor (Union Co. Crimestoppers). SECOND ROW l-r: Amy Smith (Union Co. DSN), Beth Holifield (Dist. 5 Family Ministries), Wayne Powell (SC Hunters for the Hungry), Jim Cudd (CAVA), Mack Davis (CAVA) Mike Hollified (HALTER), Ron Cope (CAVA), Tangie Rosebor (We Girlz Rock, Inc.) and Captain Robert Hines (Union Co. Crimestoppers).

Broad River Electric Charities has provided another $25,000 from its Operation Round Up® fund to local charities and causes, an identical amount that has been donated in the organization’s previous two grant cycles. On Broad River Electric Cooperative’s 75th anniversary of incorporation on June 10th, $75,000 will have been donated to non-profit organizations in the area.

Organizations receiving Operation Round Up® funds this cycle include Cherokee Alliance of Visual Artists (CAVA), Cherokee County Children’s Home, Cherokee County Pregnancy Center, We Girlz Rock, District Five Family Ministries, HALTER, Jerusalem Project of Union County, Miracle League of Union, SC Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, Salkehatchie Summer Service in Union, Union County Crimestoppers, Union County Foster Parent Association, and Union County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.

CAVA, which provides art education and cultural exposure, received $1,500 to defray costs of exhibits and materials for children’s classes. The $3,000 grant to the Cherokee Children’s Home will go toward a new multi-purpose activity building for the local shelter for displaced children. The Cherokee County Pregnancy Center, which provides prenatal and postnatal services, will use the $2,000 donation to train staff and volunteers. We Girlz Rock, Inc. is an organization that encourages and empowers girls with new experiences and educational opportunities. They received $1,500 for supplies and to fund museum tours.

A $5,000 grant to District Five Family Ministries in Wellford will help families in crisis with bills and medical assistance. HALTER, a therapeutic horseback riding program that serves Spartanburg residents and students at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, received $2,500 to upgrade their facilities. South Carolina Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry, which coordinates the distribution of venison from hunters to hungry people, got a $1,500 grant to improve their storage capabilities.

Jerusalem Project of Union County and Salkehatchie Summer Service each received $2,000 to repair homes in Union County. Union County Crimestoppers will put their $500 grant toward rewards for tips to law enforcement that result in arrests. A $750 donation to Union County Foster Parent Association will support education and training for foster children and their parents. The Union County Disabilities and Special Needs Board received $750 to purchase equipment and supplies for their non-ambulatory clients.  

“The generosity our members powers this initiative” said Charities Board Chair Barbara Whitney. “It is through their donations that we are able to distribute these funds and make an impact in our communities.”

Donations to the selected charities come from Broad River Electric’s Operation Round Up program. Each month, participating members’ account balances are rounded up to the nearest dollar. That extra change goes to the benevolent fund that assists organizations and goodwill missions in and around Broad River’s service area.

Funds from Operation Round Up are distributed quarterly through Broad River Electric Charities, Inc, which is governed by a 7-member board representing the cooperative and the three major counties it serves – Cherokee, Union and Spartanburg. Members of the Charities Board are Daisy Lemmons and Nancy Jordan of Cherokee County, Jane Rhinehart and Barbara Whitney of Spartanburg County, Carolyn Belue and Carol Smith of Union County and Broad River Electric Interim President and CEO Richard Baines (ex-officio). Organizations wishing to request funds can contact the cooperative to begin the application process.

Broad River Electric Charities is a philanthropic subsidiary of Broad River Electric Cooperative, a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina in order to improve the quality of their lives.


Broad River Electric provides 3,000 book bags to students


Operation Round Up®, employees, Dollar General support effort

Gaffney, SC, August 17, 2015:  Combined efforts from Broad River Electric Cooperative members, employees and one of  it’s industrial accounts have provided 3,000 book bags, with school supplies, to students across the upstate of South Carolina.

The backpacks contain a notebook, a pack of paper and an encouraging note from Broad River Electric Cooperative. Additional school supplies were also delivered to elementary students in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union Counties last week.

“There is a need for these backpacks and supplies throughout our area,” explained Barbara Whitney, chair of the Broad River Electric Charities Board and a retired school administrator in Spartanburg County. “We wanted to do what we could to help our children begin their school year equipped, not just with supplies, but with the knowledge that their community supports them.”

The more than $20,000 to purchase the packs came from Broad River Electric’s Operation Round Up® program, in which the cooperative’s members round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. The extra change accumulates into a benevolent fund and is distributed quarterly by the Broad River Electric Charities Board to local charities and causes. This is the third consecutive summer that the fund has provided supplies and necessities to local students.

The spiral bound notebook and a pack of paper inside each bag was donated by the Dollar General Distribution Center in Jonesville. The facility is one of Broad River Electric Cooperative’s industrial members and a strong supporter of local schools.

Additional supplies were donated by churches, organizations and businesses across the Upstate. The Jerusalem Project of Cherokee County collected supplies during their mission week here in July. Others donating supplies included: First Baptist Church of Gaffney, Tabernacle of Love, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Gilliad Baptist Church, Mon Aetna Baptist, Jacksons Grove United Methodist, Hopewell Baptist Church, Rehobeth Baptist Church, Gowdeysville Baptist Church, Betty’s Antiques, Pieces from the Past, and many others.

With cooperative members providing the bags and supplies, Broad River Electric employees, Charities Board members, members of Boy Scout Troop 145, friends and family assembled at Broad River Electric Auditorium in Gaffney on August 10 to stuff the 3,000 backpacks. Since then, Broad River Electric representatives have been hand delivering the bags to the dozens of schools and community centers in the area.

“We exist to serve our members and empower our communities,” said Broad River Electric Member Services Coordinator Josh Crotzer. “We know one of the best ways to do that is to invest in our children and their education.

“We are thankful to the community, Jonesville’s Dollar General Distribution Center, our members and our employees for being a part of this effort. They truly embody the cooperative spirit.”

Broad River Electric Cooperative is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina in order to improve the quality of their lives.




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