The Greater Twin Cities United Way recently presented Dakota Electric Association with its Best Caring Connection Involvement award in front of more than 800 United Way volunteers, donors and agency partners at the Campaign Victory Celebration and 2012 Best Of Awards at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The award recognized Dakota Electric’s community involvement and volunteer efforts last year. During 2012, Dakota Electric celebrated its 75th Anniversary and promoted volunteerism among its employees and board of directors. The cooperative personnel volunteered at many different events all year long, providing more than 366 hours of service.

“We were honored to receive this award,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “Even though we are a small company among many that were competing in the awards, we were elated that our community involvement efforts were recognized in such a significant way.”

The volunteer efforts were made up of a wide variety of services: packaging food for Feed My Starving Children, laboring on odd jobs at the local YMCA camp, cleaning windows and more at CommonBond Communities, shopping with children for school items, cooking and serving a meal for veterans, packaging laundry detergent and 500 pounds of beans and rice for local food shelves, ringing bells for The Salvation Army, filling birthday bags for Cheerful Givers, raking and fall cleanup at B. Robert Lewis House, assisting at a Bowl-a-Thon for Kids ‘N Kinship and collecting hats and mittens for Joseph’s Coat.

“Congratulations on your award,” United Way President and CEO Sarah Caruso said, “and thank you for setting the best example of corporate philanthropy in our community. We couldn’t do it without your leadership, your fantastic team and your support.”

While Dakota Electric has always been a strong community supporter, the anniversary volunteer efforts were focused on new opportunities for the company.

“We selected organizations and events that we hadn’t previously supported,” Human Resources Manager Malinda Mehrhoff said. “Due to the positive employee feedback, we will continue to support and promote volunteer opportunities to employees going forward.”

“The credit goes to our employees and directors who stepped up to the plate and gave of their time all year long,” Miller said.