East River Electric Power Cooperative donated a total of $20,000 to four local organizations through CoBank’s Sharing Success program, which is a matching grant program. The four organizations that received donations from East River include Bethel Lutheran Home Foundation, Dream Factory, Inc., Valiant Living and the Veteran’s Honor Park.

“We are proud to be able to support these important local organizations by utilizing funds from CoBank’s Sharing Success program,” said East River Employees Committee Chair Sam Anderson. “The seventh cooperative principle is concern for community and these donations are one way that East River continues to live out that important principle.”

East River donated $3,250 to the Bethel Lutheran Home Foundation and CoBank matched that donation. The Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home provides long term and assisted care to residents in the Madison community and surrounding areas. The Bethel Lutheran Home Foundation Board of Directors will determine where the combined donation will be used to best aid residents through equipment and technology improvements or facility upgrades during their upcoming quarterly meeting.

“This donation speaks volumes to our residents, families and staff of the support and compassion East River Electric employees have toward our ministry of care provided to residents and families,” said Bethel’s Development Director Rosie Jamison. “We are humbled by your generosity and interest in helping us meet our needs for quality care through increased resources.”

East River also donated $3,250 to the Dream Factory, Inc., with a matched donation from CoBank. The Dream Factory is an all-volunteer driven children’s wish-granting organization that does not limit its mission to children who have life-threatening illness.

“We are working to help Bennet and Anya, who both live with medical conditions that make everyday life a struggle, to reach their dreams of going to Disney World,” said Dream Factory Volunteer Nancy Stoffel. “This donation is a miracle and couldn’t have come at a better time. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, our fundraisers have been cut by over 50 percent. Thank you for this amazing donation.”

Valiant Living received a $2,500 donation from East River, with a CoBank match. Valiant Living is headquartered in Madison and is a private, non-profit community-based organization which focuses on serving people with disabilities. For over 40 years, they have encouraged and supported individuals by helping them reach their goals and bravely live the life they choose.

“Your donation will help the replacement of a handicap accessible wheelchair van which is much needed at Valiant Living,” said Valiant Living Executive Director Donna Uthe. “This will help make transportation more comfortable and reliable for the people supported. Thank you for this very generous donation. Your donation and support are very much appreciated.”

The Veteran’s Honor Park received a $1,000 donation from East River, with a match from CoBank. East River has pledged to continue this donation for five years, for a total of $10,000. In 2018, Jerry and Sue Larsen donated a plot of land to the VFW Post 2638 and American Legion Post 25 to construct an Honor Park in Madison to honor all veterans. A committee of volunteers from both organizations is raising funds to construct two memorial walls at the park.

“Thank you for the generous donation,” said 1st Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 25, Dan Fritz. “Our committee made several plans for fundraisers that did not pan out due to the 2019 flood and 2020 pandemic. This donation will greatly help our fundraising efforts.”

For many years, East River has utilized funds through the CoBank Sharing Success program to support local organizations. The Sharing Success program doubles the contributions of its customers to the charitable organizations and causes that they care most about. Since Sharing Success was established in 2012, CoBank and its customers have together contributed more than $44 million to various organizations.

“CoBank has committed $5 million in 2020 to local communities through our Sharing Success program,” said Jake Good, vice president at CoBank. “We are proud to work with East River Electric Power Cooperative to provide help and support to Madison and its surrounding communities.”

PHOTO CUTLINE – Valiant Living accepted the check in front of their new handicap accessible van. Left to right: Kathy Hamberger (Person Supported), Malissa Cleveland (Residential Director) and Donna Uthe (Executive Director).