Little Rock, Ark. — Aug. 6, 2021 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas recently awarded Evan Cates of Perryville, Chloe Miller of Cabot and Elliott Ruegsegger of Norfork with $5,000 scholarships for their community service projects as part of the 2021 Washington, D.C. Youth Tour.
Cates, who represented First Electric Cooperative, dedicated 45 hours to restore and clean 20 headstones at the Ada Valley Cemetery. His project inspired others to clean grave markers in accordance with Cemetery Conservators Standards and make the project a long-term effort in the Ada Valley community.
First Electric Youth Tour Delegate Miller organized a Cabot Public Schools tennis fundraiser that benefited Lonoke County Safe Haven which provides shelter for those affected by domestic violence. Her 30-hour project involved 20 team members, food vendors, entertainment and videography which was a success despite many challenges.
Norfork Student Elliott Ruegsegger, a North Arkansas Electric Cooperative representative, spent more than 22 hours to establish a local high school track team practice facility. The school does not have track facilities and must travel to another school to practice on Sundays. He plans to continue his fundraising efforts in the future to acquire hurdles that will be used on the practice track.
Other Youth Tour students, their respective electric cooperative sponsor and community projects were:
- Brodi Kremer – Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative; Holy Redeemer Church Family Life Center – Landscape
- Ashton Jernigan – Craighead Electric Cooperative; Options on Main Pregnancy Resource Center Fundraiser;
- Carly Shiver – Ashley-Chicot Electric Cooperative; Project Rice, Hamburg Food Pantry;
- Elizabeth Ennis – Clay County Electric Cooperative; Corning Outreach Ministries Fundraiser;
- Heath Williams – Ozarks Electric Cooperative; Farmington Middle School Library Construction;
- Sophia Towsend – Clay County Electric Cooperative; City of Reyno Park Cleanup;
- William Carter – Southwest Electric Cooperative; Haven Homes Fellowship Room Renovation;
- Samera Orrantia – Craighead Electric Cooperative; Lawrence County Cemetery Cleanup;
- Andretti Shears, Jr. – Woodruff Electric Cooperative; Teach for America Temporary Housing Project;
- Allison Brown – Clay County Electric Cooperative; Thomas O’Marr Park Clean-up in Pocahontas;
- Kenzie Blanchard – Clay County Electric Cooperative; Corning Community Garden
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 600,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.