This post contains outdated information and is kept for archived purposes only.

A large crowd of 8,884 Dakota Electric Association members and their families attended the company’s 15th annual Member Appreciation Event at the Minnesota Zoo on July 26 from 4 to 8 p.m. During the event, zoo admission was free to all who purchase electricity from Dakota Electric, a member-owned cooperative.

As part of the event, Dakota Electric asked attendees to bring food donations for area food shelves, and visitors donated 2,315 pounds of food along with $963 in cash.

“Dakota Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, so this member-only event is our way of showing our appreciation to our members,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “People were very generous in giving food and cash donations this year, which will help feed a lot of people in this local area.”

Since Dakota Electric began hosting this event, Dakota Electric’s members have donated nearly eleven tons of food and more than $7,000 to the local food shelves.

At the Member Appreciation Event at the zoo, cooperative members enjoyed the Penguins of the African Coast exhibit, along with many other exhibits and fun things to do, including Russia’s Grizzly Coast, the Minnesota Trail, Tiger Lair, World of Birds Show, monorail rides, the Woodland Adventure Playground and more. Zoo visitors were also entertained with music by the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band and close-up magic performed by Bob Miller. Louie the Lightning Bug was on hand for added fun for the children, and many people enjoyed discounted tickets to the IMAX.

Some of zoo-goers paid an additional fee to visit the Dinosaurs! exhibit, where they walked a trail and saw a variety of animatronic dinosaurs up close.

See pictures on Dakota Electric’s Facebook page.

Celebrating 75 years of service in 2012, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member/owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.