Lake Country Power’s Operation Round Up reaches $2 million milestone

Operation Round Up recipients are pictured receiving their program funding at Lake Country Power’s service center in Mountain Iron. Left to right: Christine Johnson, Operation Round Up Trust Board; Debra Frazier, former Operation Round Up director and president; Bobbi Maish, Operation Round Up Trust Board; Captain Teresa Brecto, The Salvation Army of Hibbing; Caleb Littler and Billie Rouse, Boundary Waters Choral Festival; Jeanne Tomlinson, STEM Workshops in Ely; and Kristin Wagner, Twelfth Step House, Inc.

Lake Country Power is celebrating a milestone with its Operation Round Up program this month.
The cooperative’s member-driven charitable giving program has surpassed $2 Million in contributions after its Trust Board approved more than $46,000 in contributions to local community programs in December.
Since the program’s inception in October 2004, $2,026,915.10 has been distributed to hundreds of community-based projects and programs.
The success of Operation Round Up is credited to the 69 percent of Lake Country Power members who participate in the program by lending a helping hand to the communities and residents of northern Minnesota.
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 less than $6 annually.
“It’s a joy to serve on the Operation Round Up trust board, review the applications each quarter, and see what types of community programs are doing so much good for our local communities,” said Yvette Schultenover, Operation Round Up Trust Board member.
“It’s great to know how our members’ pennies are being put to good use in so many different and unique ways.”
Contributions are provided each quarter to community organizations.
The cooperative’s Trust Board reviewed and considered 45 grant applications and distributed funds to 39 projects and programs this past quarter.
All funds generated through Operation Round Up are set aside in a trust fund.
A voluntary Trust Board of nine co-op members administers the Trust.
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.
“Everyone on the trust board takes their role very seriously, and it’s an enjoyable, bonding experience to serve,” said Marsha Doten, Operation Round Up Trust Board member. “It’s nice to help the programs and projects that really need the funds and are making a positive difference in our communities.”
Interested members can opt into the Operation Round Up program by calling Lake Country Power at 800-421-9959 or using an online form at lakecountrypower.coop.
Most recent recipients include: Veterans on the Lake Resort, Boundary Waters Choral Festival 2018, Ely Winter Festival and Ely Folk School.
Operation Round Up is a charitable program unique to electric cooperatives.
It provides financial assistance to worthwhile activities and community projects by “rounding up” member’s electric bills to the nearest dollar. The most members could possible contribute in a one-year period is $11.88.
Applications are available online at www.lakecountrypower.coop.
The next application deadline is February 15.