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The Kay Electric Community Foundation is in full swing and northern Oklahoma citizens are seeing first-hand what the Cooperative Difference can do for a community, organization and rural individuals. Most Kay Electric Cooperative members participate in KUP, in which power bills are rounded up to the nearest dollar. The amount rounded up can be as little as 1 cent and is never more than 99 cents a month. On average, each participating member contributes around $6 a year.

The funds are pooled and administered by the KECF Boards of Directors, which meets quarterly to consider grant applications. The board consists of President Jared Grell, Vice-President Barbara Regier, Secretary/Treasurer Candy Oller, Director Sue Streller and Director Rose Mary Hoemann. There are also three non-voting advisory board members: KEC’s CEO Tim Rodriguez, COO JD Soulek and Director of Marketing and Member Services Austin Partida.

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The board met in January to review seven grant applications. Grants totaling $7,506 will be distributed to four of the applicants. 2015 fourth-quarter grants include:

  • Billings Public School – Will purchase a chest freezer for the school cafeteria and a popcorn machine for various fundraisers with a $2,201 KECF grant.
  • River Road Volunteer Fire Dept. – Will purchase a 75ft Electric hose reel and hose, along with a nozzle with a $1,805 KECF grant.
  • Friends of Nardin – Will use the $2,000 KECF grant to enhance its Annual Heritage Celebration and continue the renovation construction of the General Store. Other entities are contributing to this cause.
  • Operation Blessing, Perry – Will use a $1500 KECF grant to supplement its programs for Noble County residents.

Foundation grants will be awarded primarily to the following projects and organizations: Programs, projects and organizations that are important components of a community’s overall quality of life, with emphasis on public safety, health care, senior citizens affiliated organization and projects, self-sufficiency, and basic human needs. Educational, youth programs and volunteer fire departments will also be considered for grants. All applicants need to reside in KEC’s five county service territory: Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble and Osage Counties. KECF is collecting around $2400 a month from its members and employees.

Applications for 2016 first-quarter grants are due April 8, 2016. Download program details and applications at


KEC’s Director of Marketing and Member Services Austin Partida awards the River Road Volunteer Fire Dept. an $1,805 check from the Kay Electric Community Foundation.