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FARMINGTON, Minn. (March 9, 2009) — Cheerful Givers, Eagan, accepted the 2009 statewide Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Community Award during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s annual meeting in St. Paul on March 2. Kelly O’Rourke Johns, Cheerful Givers board chair, accepted the award in front of the audience of electric cooperative board and staff members.

“Cheerful Givers is honored to receive this award,” Johns said. “We are happy to have our work recognized in this way by organizations that understand what community involvement is all about.”

Cheerful Givers provides toy-filled birthday gift bags to food shelves and shelters so that low-income families can recognize children’s birthdays. In 2008, Cheerful Givers provided more than 44,000 gift bags throughout Minnesota. To find out more, visit

Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives selected Cheerful Givers for the special honor from all local award winners throughout the state. Cheerful Givers received $1,000 to further its work.

“Cheerful Givers clearly demonstrates the strong commitment to community that Touchstone Energy cooperatives value,” Greg Miller, CEO of Dakota Electric, said.

Last fall, Touchstone Energy cooperatives throughout Minnesota presented local awards to organizations for outstanding contributions to their communities. Local award recipients were automatically entered for the statewide recognition.

“Minnesota is blessed with many individuals, organizations and businesses willing to donate time and effort to better our communities,” Miller said. “As Touchstone Energy cooperatives, we are pleased to pay special tribute to those who impact our communities in so many positive ways.”

Touchstone Energy is a nationwide alliance of more than 660 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states dedicated to the values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Nearly all of Minnesota’s 44 electric distribution cooperatives are part of the national Touchstone Energy brand.