On June 4, 2016 just two days before the 72nd anniversary of the D-day invasion at Normandy, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative presented a check to the Northeast Indiana Honor Flight for $141,754.90. There is no greater reward than serving the veterans of this country.

These funds were the result of five-months of intensive work by the employees of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative. It was also the work of the community to help and support our efforts. We had elementary school kids doing fundraisers. We had people from all over the country and throughout the electric cooperative network buying raffle tickets. The community of Grover Hill, Ohio held a concert and dinner and raised over $7,000 to be one of our gold sponsors; Haviland Drainage Products provided direct funding and was our other gold sponsor. Andrew Hermiller, one of our journeyman lineman from our Columbus Grove office sold over 70 raffle tickets. We had several contributions come from memorials from local community members. The list of contributors is too long to include in this letter, but please check our website, www.ppec.coop, for the complete list.

To raise over $141,000 in a few short months not only takes the commitment from our employees and organization, but that of our community. Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative serves a large service territory, from Fort Wayne, Indiana to just outside Lima, Ohio; but we serve a greater community than just our service territory. The community we serve doesn’t have utility boundaries. Serving veterans doesn’t come with utility service territories. At Paulding Putnam Electric, we understand that the cooperative principle of Commitment to Community doesn’t have utility boundaries. This is why when people doubted that we could raise enough funds for one Honor Flight (about $70,000) our employees saw this as just another challenge. The final total will fund at least two flights.

The Honor Flight is so powerful, so meaningful to our veterans that fundraising was much easier than we thought it would be. In fact, one donor said if we didn’t meet our original goal of $70,000 to let him know and he would write a check to cover the needed amount. When we talk about commitment, that’s the definition of commitment. These are the types of people we have in our community; people that step-up for a cause.

The increased awareness of the Honor Flight program has been an added benefit to our campaign. Due to the increased publicity, the World War II veteran participation had nearly doubled for the first two flights in 2016. This alone make the whole program successful.

I can’t thank everyone in this letter, but I need to give special thanks to two groups. First, to the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana. There is no more dedicated group, serving veterans that I know of. They have been so helpful and supportive and I can’t thank them enough. Second, to our employee committee that made it all happen: Tara Schlatter, Annette Schreiner, and Steve Kahle. These three were assisted by Erika Willitzer and they made everything possible. They worked tirelessly to insure everything was perfect; and it was perfect, as the results show.

Finally, I want to thank our broad community for their support. We raised $141,000 because we have community support for our veterans. This community knows the importance of serving our veterans and I am glad that in a small way Paulding Putnam Electric could be a part of this veteran support.

George Carter

CEO & General Manager

POSTED: 06/12/16 at 9:00 am. FILED UNDER: News, Opinions