Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative announces community group awards – Jamestown Sun


Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative (DVEC) is celebrating volunteerism and community service by funding a new Touchstone Energy Community Award to recognize non-profit, community-based groups that have shown a strong commitment to improving the life in their community.

“As an electric cooperative serving this area, we have a high regard for community involvement,” said Arden Fuher, DVEC Board president. “This award allows us to highlight and encourage organizations that have shown outstanding commitment to their community.”

The recognition program, approved at DVEC’s May board meeting, will fund a $5,000 Dakota Valley Electric Touchstone Energy Community Award to one organization located in each of the cooperative’s three regions. The award recipients will receive $2,500 per year with a two-year commitment.

Mark Kinzler, DVEC’s general manager, said DVEC is proud to recognize local organizations for their accomplishments, noting DVEC is a member of the national Touchstone Energy Cooperative alliance of more than 750 electric cooperatives that adhere to the values ​​of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to the community.

“We salute these organizations and the work of their volunteers who ‘go the extra mile’ to make rural America a better place to live, and who have had such a positive impact on our communities and members,” Kinzler said.

The Touchstone Energy Community Award recipients for 2022-2023 are as follows:

West Region: Dickey County Heritage Center and Historical Park, Oakes

The Dickey County Heritage Center & Historical Park is a community-based non-profit volunteer organization managed by the Dickey County Historical Society.

The Heritage Center, located in the historical First National Bank building on Oakes’ Main Street, features many lifelike 1880s-era exhibits and historical records. The three-story building is filled with exhibits of an 1880s dental office, doctor’s office, military history room, 1900s prairie kitchen, antique farm tool display, vintage wringer washing machine collection and a complete collection of the Oakes Times dating back to 1906, many of which have been digitized for viewing ease.

The Dickey County Historical Park, located on the west side of Oakes, includes a village-like display of an early 1900s Soo Line caboose, the Bear Creek Climax schoolhouse, an 1891 Methodist church, a 1909 security bridge and a Northern Pacific train depot.

Central Region: Sargent County Museum, Forman

The Sargent County Museum is a non-profit, community-based volunteer organization that researches and preserves the historical impact of Sargent County.

The museum has four large buildings with over 36,000 square feet that are handicapped accessible; two are climate controlled. It also features a one-room school and a log cabin. Its collections include early Keller/Melroe/Bobcat skid steer loaders and a collection of more than thirty 1900 to 1950’s era tractors & other farm equipment, as well as many other historical items that would be lost or forgotten, if not for the museum.

East Region: Chahinkapa Zoo and Prairie Rose Carousel, Wahpeton

Chahinkapa Zoo is a non-profit organization that rests on the support of generous people and businesses. It features 200 animals from 70 species and six continents. Education is the core philosophy of the zoo and visitors go out more informed about conserving the animal world.

The family-oriented zoo offers special events throughout the year for all members of the community, including classes and camps for children and school field trips. It has a petting zoo and nature center and is home to the historic Prairie Rose Carousel. The fully restored 1926 antique carousel is one of only three antique Spillman carousels still operating in the United States. Twenty-two wooden horses, two chariots, and mechanisms were meticulously restored. The carousel is open to the public daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, and is located next to the zoo.

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