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Oklahoma Proud KEC Lends a Helping Hand


By Austin Partida, MR/PR REP. What comes to mind when you think of May 2013? Is it devastation, tragedy, tornadoes, lives lost, innocent children suf- fering or homes lost? I’m sure these words roll of your tongue pretty easily when you think of May 2013, and understandably so. Let’s try this – Oklahoma Proud, linemen aid sister coop- erative, Oklahoma Strong, Kevin Durant donates $1 Million to Oklahoma’s Red Cross, neigh- bors helping neighbors, lives are rescued and Pray for Oklahoma. My mom always said, “There’s two sides to every story.” Our great state was beaten and rattled by deadly tornadoes in May. Our culture is to unite, fight back and lend a helping hand. Your cooperative did just that. The morning of May 20, five KEC Linemen headed south to help Oklahoma Electric Cooper- ative restore power to its mem- bers, as OEC sustained major tornado damage on Sunday, May 19. Our linemen would spend all


week aiding OEC amongst com- plete devastation due to the May 19 and May 20 tornadoes. The crew shared with me how hum- bling and heartbreaking it was to see homes and lives completely destroyed due to Mother Nature. They enjoyed helping out and didn’t mind the long hours. How quickly we can relate: we re- member the February Ice Storm. I’m sure most of you are aware of the Oklahoma Proud T-Shirt project, which was imple- mented by yours truly. I watched the Moore Tornado live on TV and was literally sick to my stomach. As aerial video was being shown, I immediately pon- dered how we could help. Along came the Oklahoma Proud Project.


This project


literally got legs overnight. We came up with a T-shirt design to honor all Oklahomans, first responders, survivors and vic- tims of the deadly tornadoes. My initial goal was to sell 500 shirts at $15 apiece. We conquered


that goal in just five days! As of mid-June, we have sold 1,700 shirts, which is remarkable, and also a testament to how proud and caring our nation is. We’ve had orders from 45 states and more than 400 organizations/ individuals. Our grand total thus far is exceeding $25,000. All of these proceeds are going to the “Touchstone Energy Oklahoma Cooperative Relief Fund,” set up by our statewide association fol- lowing the Moore Tornado. We teamed-up with National Information Solutions Coopera- tive, as they’re underwriting the print and shirt cost. We will have shirts available at our office if you would like to purchase one. As we all reflect on the May tornadoes, let’s not forget those affected. I also encourage you to have a disaster plan in place for severe weather. As we all know, Mother Nature can make her presence at a moment’s notice and tends to pack quite a punch.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives C.E.O. Chris Meyers accepts a $22,000 check from KEC’s MR/PR Rep. Austin Partida. These funds will aid Oklahoma tornado victims.


2 • Kay Electric Cooperative


L-R: KEC Linemen Tyler Barrows, Clinton White, Taylor Kellerman, Kris Perkins and Jason Lenon aided OEC with its tornado restoration efforts.


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