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Dakota Electric Association had a total of 7,081 people attend the company’s 18th annual Member Appreciation Event at the Minnesota Zoo on July 30. During the event, zoo admission was free to all Dakota Electric members and their families. 


As part of the event, Dakota Electric, a member-owned cooperative, asked attendees to bring food donations for area food shelves, and visitors donated 1,985 pounds of food along with $1,000 in cash. The cash donations were the largest amount collected since Dakota Electric began collecting food and cash. 


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


Since Dakota Electric began collecting food at the event, Dakota Electric’s members have donated more than 14 tons of food and nearly $10,000 to the local food shelves.


At the Member Appreciation Event at the zoo, cooperative members enjoyed the new Hawaiian Monk Seals. Children also enjoyed the newly opened Hanifl Wild Woods nature-based play area. Zoo visitors saw many other exhibits, including Russia’s Grizzly Coast, the Minnesota Trail, Tiger Lair and World of Birds Show and more. Dakota Electric members were also entertained with music by the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band and close-up magic performed by Bob Miller. LED Lucy, Dakota Electric’s new mascot was on hand for added fun for the children, and many people enjoyed discounted tickets to the IMAX. Members can see photographs from the event on the company’s Facebook page