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Dakota Electric Association is known for its community volunteer efforts, but in honor of the cooperative’s 75th anniversary in 2012, directors and employees increased their volunteer activities for the milestone year by discovering new opportunities with a variety of local organizations.

“Since we are an electric cooperative, we take pride in our connection to the area we serve,” said President and CEO Greg Miller. “Our employees live and work here and they care about this area. The increased volunteer efforts this year seemed an appropriate way to celebrate our anniversary.”

Some of the volunteer efforts included packaging food for Feed My Starving Children, laboring on odd jobs at the local YMCA camp, cleaning windows and more at CommonBond Communities in Hastings, shopping with children for school items, cooking and serving a meal for veterans, packaging 500 pounds of beans and rice for local food shelves, assisting with a Bowl-a-Thon for Kids ‘N Kinship and much more.

Two final events will wrap up the efforts for 2012: Bell ringing for the Salvation Army and a mitten tree for the homeless. The bell ringing will take place in front of Rainbow and Cub in Lakeville and Walmart in Apple Valley on Dec. 5 and 6. The mitten tree is located in Dakota Electric’s lobby at its Farmington office. Employees plan to donate at least 75 pairs to the mitten tree; however, the public is invited to participate as well. New or gently used gloves, hats or mittens can be dropped of at Dakota Electric through December 14. The donations of winter items will be given to Joseph’s Coat.

“It was great to learn about the many volunteer opportunities available in our service territory,” said Malinda Mehrhoff, human resources manager. “Employees enjoyed the opportunities and had a chance to work with coworkers whom they don’t work with normally. Due to the positive employee feedback, we will continue to support and promote volunteer opportunities to employees going forward.”

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.