MONTICELLO — Kevin Bender, Carroll White REMC board president, welcomed nearly 300 members June 23 to the 10th annual meeting conducted at Twin Lakes High School.
2021 TL graduate Grace Fry sang the National Anthem. Pastor John Westfall, from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Delphi, gave the invocation.
Bender recognized CW REMC board members. A special tribute was given to Milt Rodgers, who served CW REMC District 1 from 2011 until he passed away Oct. 9, 2020. Rodgers also served as board representative to Wabash Valley Power Alliance. A plaque was given to his widow, Pat, in honor his service to Carroll White REMC.
CW REMC Attorney Patrick Manahan conducted the board election results. Two board members were elected and were administered the Oath of Office: Gary Gerlach, serving District 6, and Aaron Anderson, serving District 1.
Gerlach has served 42 years on the Carroll White REMC (CW REMC) Board of Directors. This will be Anderson's first term on the CW REMC Board of Directors.
Bender announced that CW REMC will not enter into the Broadband Fiber business.
“We spoke with major broadband providers in our service territory,” he said. “We surveyed members and conducted a feasibility study. At this time, the high cost, millions of dollars, to provide broadband is a risk to our members.
“We are confident that existing providers are looking into expansion to better serve the underserved in rural areas. With their efforts and new technology, such as satellite and wireless, these local providers are making huge strides.”
CW REMC CEO Randy W. Price addressed members, bringing them up to date on the strategic plan that focuses on safety, service and community. He talked about the technology work plan that ties the financial and physical success of the cooperative together to excel in serving members and communities in the company's service territory.
Four new member programs that have been recently introduced to members and highlighted by Price included: The Partnership for Efficiency, Looped In, a new text notification program and an innovative tool, the Virtual Lobby.
“All these innovative tools will benefit members,” Price said.
Bender presented grants to area non-profit organizations in conjunction with Co-Bank, one of REMC’s lending institutions.
“The Sharing Success Award consists of $10,000 donated by Co Bank and matched by CW REMC with $10,000,” he said.
Four local organizations received grants: The White County Boys & Girls Club was awarded $8,000 to assist with summer youth programs; Abby & Libby Park Foundation in Delphi received $2,300 to assist in purchasing a special swing designed for handicapped use; the Town of Yeoman received $5,700 to assist with building a new community shelter; and Adams Mill received $4,000 to help with a restoration project at this historic site.
“During the past three school years, Carroll White REMC has sponsored a youth engagement program, the Junior Board of Directors,” Bender said.
Junior Board chairman Avery Dawson, from Tri-County High School, introduced the young leaders who comprise the Junior Board of Directors.
Senior Members included:
- Katlyn Sherinian, vce chairman, Delphi Community High School
- Guadalupe Amador, secretary, Twin Lakes High School
- Jaden Long, treasurer, Delphi Community High School
- Nathaniel Burns, Twin Lakes High School
- Emily Johnson, Carroll High School
Junior Members include:
- Clayton Bridwell, Twin Lakes High School
- Elyse Perry, Delphi Community High School
- Leah Schneider, Tri-County High School
- Emily Hagen, Winamac High School
- Sarah Padilla, Winamac High School
This school year, the Junior Board spent more than 70 hours collectively volunteering in White, Carroll and Pulaski counties. Carroll White REMC logs these volunteer hours and money is placed in a special account that cannot exceed $1,000. These funds are donated to an area non-profit organization.
The Junior Board of Directors donated the $1,000 to the Abby and Libby Memorial Park in Delphi. Abigail Williams and Liberty German would have graduated high school in 2021. To celebrate their lives, the Junior Board remembered and honored the girls with the donation. Abby’s mother, Anna Williams, accepted the donation.
A committee comprised of CW REMC board members and leadership team members select annual scholarship winners. Students must receive service on the CW REMC system to qualify for the scholarships.
Carroll White REMC awarded 10 $1,000 scholarships to the following seniors: Miranda Thompson, West Central High School; Kinsey Westerhouse, North White High School; Guadalupe Amador, Twin Lakes High School; Haley Nelson, Delphi Community High School; Thomas Tullius, Frontier High School; Evan Fritz, Delphi Community High School; Delaney Zeck, Lewis Cass High School; Branden Buschman, North White High School; Jacob Roller, Pioneer High School; Jenna Swaim, Twin Lakes High School.
Annual meeting door prizes were awarded the following members:
Kid’s door prize winners included:
- Nintendo Switch: Austin Pritts
- X-Box “S”: Corbin Brown
- Huffy 20-inch Bicycle, Issabella Owens
Other door prizes included:
- $25 bill credit: Barbara J. Disney
- $25 bill credit: Ag Venture Inc.
- $25 bill credit: Brian and Heather Burns
- $50 bill credit: Donna Romein
- $75 bill credit: John and Julie Danford
- $100 cash: Paul and Shirley Pretorious
- $100 cash: Kenneth Berkshire
- $100 cash: Linda Whitney
- $250 cash: Gary and Janis Johns
- $500 cash: Deloris Alma