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Earlier this summer, Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives had an opportunity to try something new. Following last year’s pandemic precautions and derecho destruction, we thought the timing was right to shine the light on positive efforts in our state. The Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives of Iowa started the Shine the Light contest to honor the unsung heroes in our communities who volunteer their time and talents.

In the pages of this magazine and through your electric co-op’s social media posts, you were invited to nominate a local volunteer in June. Because this was our first year managing the statewide contest, we didn’t know what kind of response to expect. We are thrilled to share that 39 people from 19 of Iowa’s electric cooperatives nominated a local volunteer through our contest website.

We received the email confirmation messages as nominations were submitted. It was truly a blessing to read each entry as they popped into my inbox. I looked forward to learning about incredible Iowans as the month went on; it was a delight to read the heartfelt essays from the nominators.

Our judging panel is now working on the difficult task of sorting through the entries to select three winners who will each receive $1,500 for their local charity or community organization of choice. We will feature the three winners in next month’s issue of Living with Energy in Iowa magazine, and we have already identified several other nominees that we may highlight in future issues.

On behalf of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, I want to thank the Iowa electric cooperative member-consumers and employees who took the time to submit a nomination this summer. You have truly helped us in our cooperative effort to shine the light on community heroes. Thanks to you, our new contest is off to a great start, and we are already looking forward to being inspired by next year’s nominees!

In the August issue of the magazine, you will find the list of our 39 nominees, in alphabetical order by last name. We want to honor each and every one of them for their commitment to their communities – it’s the same guiding principle that drives your electric cooperative every day.  

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