A Busy Month For Our H.U.G.S. Team

Our Southern Pioneer Electric HUGS team been quite busy the past couple of weeks, making donations to several groups across southwest Kansas! What follows is a recap of the month.

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On Thursday, December 7, Southern Pioneer Electric’s Helping Us Give to Society (HUGS) representatives presented Medicine Lodge High School Science Teacher, Jake Bjostad, with a donation for new teaching equipment.

The $1,000 donation from the HUGS committee will go towards the purchase of 11 Anatomy and Clay Manikens for the classroom. The Manikens are for students to get a better understanding of the human anatomy and help them retain the knowledge more effectively.

“We are always so pleased to help our youth with their education,” said Southern Pioneer Electric HUGS representative Dee Longoria. “Being able to visit the class today and actually see what the students would be working with really drove home the whole point of HUGS.”

The Manikens are about two feet tall and allow students to use clay to mold anything from muscles to organs, getting hands on experience of how the human body works. The clay will never dry out and can be reused over and over, lasting as long as 50 years, so decades of students will benefit from the donation.

Bjostad said, “We really appreciate how willing the community was to donate. I saw the Manikens at a conference and walked away thinking, ‘well that’s out (because of the cost),’ but I called Southern Pioneer and they were immediately receptive.”

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On Tuesday, December 13, Southern Pioneer Electric’s Helping Us Give to Society (HUGS) representatives presented the City of Liberal Police Department with a donation to purchase an Elastec Drug Terminator Incinerator.

The $1,500 donation from the HUGS committee was matched by CoBank, making a total of $3,000 towards the police department’s equipment. CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, is the main lender for Southern Pioneer Electric and matches certain donations throughout the year, via its Sharing Success program.

“Supporting the men and women who protect our communities is something we feel very strongly about,” said Southern Pioneer Electric HUGS representative Anita Wendt. “With their new equipment not only are we helping to support the department, but also the community we serve as well.”

The police department will use the incinerator to safely incinerate of any evidentiary drugs that are ready for disposal. The incinerator will be used in conjunction with the department’s new Med Safe Box, that takes in unused and expired medication from the public to be safely disposed of.

“I was excited that we were granted the funds and super surprised when we received the matching funds from CoBank,” said Evidence Supervisor Alison Clark. “We had applied with HUGS a few years ago for our Shop with a Cop program and they are always a great group to work with.”

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On December 3 Southern Pioneer Electric’s Helping Us Give to Society (HUGS) representatives presented the City of Satanta Dudley Fire Department with a donation to purchase protective grass fire gear.

The $1,000 donation from the HUGS committee will be matched by CoBank, making a total of $2,000 towards the fire department’s gear. CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, is the main lender for Southern Pioneer Electric and matches certain donations throughout the year, via its Sharing Success program.

“HUGS is used for donations that are important to local communities and the Satanta fire department definitely fits into what we look for,” said Southern Pioneer Electric HUGS representative Dee Longoria. “These brave men and women protect our communities and we feel they are very deserving of our support.”

The fire department will use the gear to help better protect its fire fighters while fighting grassland fires. Specifically, the fire fighters will get new goggles and neoprene fire proof masks with filters.

Dudley Fire Department Member Wade Sunderland said, “We thank Southern Pioneer Electric and we really appreciate it. We were surprised by the CoBank matching donation and it will really help, especially with all the rain and growth we’ve had, we are expecting a pretty big fire season.”

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On December 11 Southern Pioneer Electric’s Helping Us Give to Society (HUGS) representatives presented the Young at Heart Senior Center in Plains with a donation to renovate some of the center.

The $2,500 donation from the HUGS committee will be matched by CoBank, making a total of $5,000 towards the center’s renovations to their front porch, including reroofing it and replacing the brick work. CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, is the main lender for Southern Pioneer Electric and matches certain donations throughout the year, via its Sharing Success program.

“We try to help our seniors whenever we can and the importance to be able to do something of this scale that will last into the future can’t be overstated,” said Southern Pioneer Electric HUGS representative Dee Longoria.

As of this release, the senior center has finished replacing the brick and is waiting on the metal roofing to be delivered. Senior Center Board Member Beulah Ratzlaff said “I just want to thank you for making this possible.”

Southern Pioneer Electric Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Electric Cooperative, is headquartered out of Ulysses, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company has local offices in Liberal and Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company serves approximately 17,200 customers and operates in 10 counties and 34 communities. Southern Pioneer Electric Company’s service territory stretches east from Liberal to Medicine Lodge and north to Kingman and back west to Greensburg, Kansas. Southern Pioneer Electric Company is dedicated to providing customers with safe and reliable electric service. For more information about the HUGS program, please contact Vice President of Energy Services, Anita Wendt. (Phone: 620.424.5271 and E-mail: awendt@pioneerelectric.coop).