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Kids ‘n Kinship, Apple Valley, accepted the 2010 statewide Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Community Award during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s annual meeting in St. Paul on March 1. Jan Belmore, Kids ‘n Kinship director, accepted the award in front of the audience of electric cooperative board and staff members.

“We are thankful for this award,” Belmore said. “We are happy to be recognized for our efforts at improving the lives of children through mentoring. Kids ‘n Kinship is hopeful that this award will bring attention to the many children waiting and that people will be moved to respond.”

Kids ‘n Kinship ( connects adult mentors with children who are in need of a positive role model in their lives. The organization serves about 170 children each year and currently has a waiting list of more than 75 youth. More than 400 people are involved in some aspect of this program. Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives selected Kids ‘n Kinship for the special honor from all local award winners throughout the state. The organization received $1,000 to further its work.
“Kids ‘n Kinship clearly demonstrates the strong commitment to community that we value as a Touchstone Energy cooperative,” Janet Lekson, Dakota Electric board member, said in presenting the award to Belmore.

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.

Touchstone Energy is a nationwide alliance of more than 700 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 43 electric distribution cooperatives are part of the national Touchstone Energy brand.

A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, your Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member/owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.