Mason Avery of Madison is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from Basin Electric Power Cooperative based in Bismarck, N.D. He is the son of Rich and Liz Avery of Madison.
Basin Electric awards 180 scholarships per year to children of member cooperative employees across the region. Avery’s mother, Liz, works as the Human Resources and Administration Manager for East River Electric Power Cooperative in Madison, a Basin Electric member.
Mason will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to pursue a double major in Actuarial Science and Mathematics with a minor in Statistics. He was selected as one of only forty students for the Business Honors Academy at UNL. Throughout high school, Mason was very involved in band (marching, jazz and concert), football, basketball, track and field, Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honor Society. He also was active in Boy Scouts, reaching the honor of Eagle Scout, and volunteering with his local church. “I’d like to thank Basin and East River for making this scholarship possible,” said Mason. “This award will help me reach my goals. I look forward to attending UNL in the fall.”
“We congratulate Mason and his family on this incredible honor,” said East River Electric CEO/General Manager Tom Boyko. “Mason’s commitment to academics, athletics and his community shows his dedication to attaining his goals. We wish Mason well as he continues his education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.”
Since the scholarship program began, over 3,000 students in the Basin Electric system have benefited from this program. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of education and career goals and an outside appraisal by a teacher or adviser.
Cutline: (Left to Right) Liz Avery and Mason Avery with his scholarship certificate.
East River welcomes the public to attend the 56th annual Mountain Oyster Feed at Nicky’s in Madison on Thursday, March 12 with serving beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will once again benefit LifeScape, formerly Children’s Care Hospital and School and SD Achieve, whose mission it is to empower children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. With more than $275,000 contributed to LifeScape over the years, East River’s Annual Mountain Oyster Feed has helped provide for the very best in medical care, therapy, education and other services for the children at LifeScape.
“Support from the East River Electric Oyster Feed makes a significant difference in the lives of children and adults with complex care needs. The money raised through this event helps Madison-area children and families supported by LifeScape. Funds raised through this outpouring of community support helps provide therapy and education equipment and supplies, staff training, job coaching for individuals supported, and camp scholarships among other supports,” said Jessica Wells, LifeScape Foundation president. “We look forward to this event each year and are grateful the Madison community and East River Electric employees continue to support empowering people to live their best life!”
The event’s menu will include mountain oysters, pork sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert. There will be a raffle, door prizes, silent auction and 50-50 tickets.
“Every year the East River Employees’ Committee seeks out donations of any kind and every year the community steps up in supporting our cause and making this event a success,” said Sam Anderson, East River Employees’ Committee chairperson. “East River takes pride in our community and is committed to benefiting non-profits in our area such as LifeScape.”
East River employees volunteered their time and talents to help serve 75 meals at the monthly Gathering Meal at the Madison United Methodist Church. Over 25 East River employees baked desserts or assisted with preparing, serving and cleaning up after the meal. This is a great chance for our employees to give back and live out the 7th cooperative principle of commitment to community. Thank you to everyone who volunteered at this event!
The Madison Fire Department received a $5,000 donation from East River Electric Cooperative in December. East River participated in CoBank’s Sharing Success Program which is a matching grant program. East River donated $2,500 and CoBank matched that amount. Jake Good, Vice President of CoBank, said, “CoBank recognizes that our customers know best where funding can most effectively be provided to benefit their communities and we are proud to be part of this contribution to the community of Madison.”
The Madison Fire Department has 28 volunteers and one full time employee. They provide fire protection for 10 of the 16 townships in Lake County totaling 350 square miles. They also provide mutual aid for structure fires for four towns surrounding Madison. Randy Minnaert, Madison’s Fire Chief, expressed appreciation for the generous donation. “Thank you for selecting Madison’s Fire Department for this donation. We are excited to utilize the funds for equipment for our new engine and personal protective equipment,” said Randy. “If it wasn’t for local businesses supporting us, we couldn’t be as active or provide as many services.”
Prairie Village received a $5,000 donation from East River Electric Cooperative in December. East River participated in CoBank’s Sharing Success Program which is a matching grant program. East River donated $2,500 and CoBank matched that amount. Jake Good, Vice President of CoBank, said, “The Sharing Success Program is a great way for us to positively impact the communities of our customers. We are proud to partner with East River on this donation.”
Prairie Village is a recreated historic village featuring artifact filled buildings from the early part of the 20th century. They conduct numerous events throughout their season, including a pageant, a concert series, a railroad celebration and their giant Steam Threshing Jamboree in late August. Faron Wahl, manager of Prairie Village, expressed appreciation for the generous donation. “We are humbled and deeply grateful to East River and CoBank for their generosity and support of our mission through this kind and unexpected gift,” said Faron. The funds will be utilized thoughtfully to assist operations-related projects affected by weather challenges and growth needs.
Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) received a $5,000 donation from East River Electric Cooperative in December. East River participated in CoBank’s Sharing Success Program which is a matching grant program. East River donated $2,500 and CoBank matched that amount. Jake Good, Vice President of CoBank, said, “CoBank recognizes that our customers know best where funding can most effectively be provided to benefit their communities. The Sharing Success Program is a great way for us to positively impact the communities of our customers.”
ICAP is headquartered in Madison and is a community based non-profit organization which serves primarily low-income families and senior citizens in a 14-county area of East Central South Dakota. They administer a variety of programs supported through grants, donations and other community resources to assist participants and their communities to achieve full potential. Arleen Weerheim, ICAP’s Deputy Director, expressed gratitude for the donation. “Thank you very much for this generous donation. The funds will go to good use to assist low-income families in our community,” said Arleen. Locally, ICAP is involved in the Encore store, emergency assistance and other low-income programs.