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Commentary Co-op members and affi liates give generously O


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


nce again, electric cooperatives and their members come together


to help a neighbor in need. The response to the victims of Oklahoma’s recent tornadoes and fl ooding disasters has been overwhelming.


As electric cooperatives, our business model and


national network affords us the opportunity to frequently associate with one another, and that leads to close personal relationships with co-op leaders from across the country. It’s the true strength of the cooperative program. As a result, we naturally think of the well-being of our co-op friends—wherever they are—when disasters occur. In our case, not only have our co-op friends had us in their thoughts and their prayers, but there’s been an incredible outpouring of support in the form of cash donations and of offers to help with restoration efforts.


The day after the second round of tornadoes hit


central Oklahoma on May 19 and 20, I began to receive phone calls and emails from electric cooperatives and cooperative associations across the country. Through the news media, they were


moved by the sight of the devastation, and the stories of personal hardship. Many families lost all their material belongings and—in many cases—their children, parents, siblings, and loved ones. With donations big and small pouring in, the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives suddenly found itself in a position of facilitating the accumulation and distribution of donations. With the help of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, based in Anadarko, Okla., we created the “Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund, Inc.” We did so in order to provide the structure, management, and oversight that we felt was so important as administrator of these gifts. In addition, by forming a non-profi t organization, the donations are more likely to be eligible for matching funds and will be tax deductible. Also, none of the proceeds—which total more than $325,000.00 to date—will go towards the legal costs of setting up the non-profi t fund or its administration. We are fortunate to be affiliated with the organizations and individuals who have given to help the victims. Those who have given to the fund as of June 18 are recognized on Page 20 in this edi- tion of Oklahoma Living. On behalf of the victims, thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support in whatever form it has been or will be given for the benefi t of rebuilding homes and lives.


Celebrating the ‘Greatest Generation’ I


Joe Harris President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


am always excited about the month of July, especially the fourth when we in America celebrate Independence Day. I am one of the baby boomers, born after World War II to parents of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ as Tom Brokaw used to say.


Thinking about that group of men and women and all they accomplished makes me overwhelm- ingly proud. The independence that we enjoy as a nation today is a direct result of the mighty toil and blood shed by all of our previous genera- tions, dating back to 1776. However, just like me, many of our readers can relate to the ‘Greatest Generation’ because many of them were our par- ents or grandparents.


The accomplishments of these men and women have made our country what it is today. They sur- vived the Great Depression, probably the most se- vere economic conditions that Americans ever faced, and they fought the evil of the Axis Powers in World War II to keep our nation safe and free. They came home and created the economic


4 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


powerhouse this country became during the 1950s and 60s.


If you overlay the years of this ‘Greatest Generation’ on top of the timeline of the birth and expansion of the rural electric program, you get yet another reason why they are the greatest. This gen- eration had just started the rural electrifi cation pro- gram when they were called to duty for the protection of our nation’s freedoms and indepen- dence. They were magnifi cent in what they accom- plished for their country, fi ghting hard so we could all enjoy the ‘American Dream.’ When they re- turned home they found no rest; instead, they rolled up their sleeves and proceeded—in a very rapid manner—to build the distribution lines that electrifi ed the rural areas of our nation. Their hard work and dedication paved the way for farmers and rural families to enjoy a better quality of life while allowing smaller communities to thrive. So, to this ‘Greatest Generation’ I want to tip my hat and say, “Job well done!” From today’s genera- tion, please receive our heartfelt thanks for all you have done to make our lives better.


Let this


Independence Day be a celebration of those who came before us, and may we carry on their legacy! Thanks, Dad.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers, General Manager Joe Harris, President


Jimmy Taylor, Vice-President Kendall Beck, Secretary Gary McCune, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Managing Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Larry Skoch, Advertising Manager lskoch@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson, Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Bailey, Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kbailey@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Kaylan Watkins, Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$6.00 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road,


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309. Circulation this issue: 316,552


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest


Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


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