Foundation Awards its First Five Grants

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Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters – set enough of them aside on a regular basis, and the coins add up to dollars. That’s how the KUP program works.

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 Kay Electric Community Foundation (KECF), a board of directors that 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.

     The board met in October to review its first seven grant applications. Grants totaling $8,650 will be distributed to five of the applicants. 2015 third-quarter grants include:

  • Hospice of North Central Oklahoma will purchase new oxygen concentrators for it patients with a $1200 grant from KECF.
  • Living Water Community Clinic in Blackwell will assist its patients and clinic operations with a  $1250 grant from KECF.
  • Deer Creek – Lamont Parents Teachers Organization (PTO) will purchase portable stage curtains for numerous student activities with a $2500 grant from KECF.
  • Braman Volunteer Fire Department will purchase helmet-mounted flashlights, a chainsaw and Halligan bars with a $2500 grant from KECF.
  • Deer Creek Food Pantry will purchase 140 turkeys for its Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner baskets aiding citizens in both Grant and Kay Counties with a $1200 grant from KECF.
  • KECF is collecting around $2400 a month from its members and employees and recently held a golf tournament fundraiser for the Foundation.

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 need to reside in KEC’s five county service territory: Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble and Osage Counties.  Applications for the fourth-quarter grants are due Jan. 4, 2016. Download program details and applications at


KECF President Jared Grell awards Braman Fire Chief Jeff Spencer a $2500 grant from the Kay Electric Community Foundation. KEC’s Director of Marketing and Member Services Austin Partida is also in the picture.