Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue giving generously through their voluntary round-up of change on their electric and natural gas billings to assist area community organizations and individuals. These member contributions to the PIE&G Communities First Fund enable grants and scholarships in their local communities within PIE&G’s service area. 

At recent meetings, the PIE&G Communities First Fund Board of Directors finalized the review of applications. It made awards of $17,561 in grants and scholarships to the recipients below and on the back cover.

Alpena County

Alpena County Sheriff’s Office($1,361), toward the purchase of a portable, inflatable boat and related rescue equipment for the Alpena City Fire Department. The boat, commonly referred to as a “banana boat,” is stored on fire rescue trucks and inflates in less than a minute. It has the capacity to carry two personnel and at least one victim. Having the banana boat on hand will improve response times, and it will be available to assist other local fire departments during emergency ice-water rescues.

Cheboygan County

Cheboygan County Veterans Memorial Park($2,500), to assist with the Cheboygan County Veterans Memorial Park Improvement Project. A small group of volunteers are working to improve the Veterans Memorial Park on Court Street in Cheboygan. The project started in 2018, and the design includes monuments, benches, sidewalks, and landscaping to enhance the park’s appearance. The park will honor all veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The funds awarded will be used to assist with the costs of tablet footings or sidewalks.

Montmorency County

Atlanta Area Little League($1,500), to purchase one of three scoreboards as part of their ball field upgrades. The little league is planning to improve the fields by adding three scoreboards and a set of bleachers, and installing an irrigation system at one of the fields.

Hillman Community Schools($1,000), to assist with the purchase of percussion instruments for the Hillman Elementary beginning band. The school reinstated its band program two years ago for K-12 students and purchased wind instruments to develop the elementary beginning band program. The next phase of development to grow the elementary band is to purchase percussion instruments. Due to the cost, maintenance expense, and storage requirements of actual snare drums, the school will instead purchase percussion instrument sets. One set includes a pair of drumsticks, a practice pad, and a stand for the practice pad. The band program’s goal is to purchase 35 percussion sets, or enough for an entire class to use them and play at the same time. 

New Beginnings Ministries ($500), to purchase food for the all-volunteer Hillman Area Resource Pantry (HARP). The Feed the Hungry project at HARP has served 15,993 meals in the last year and over 94,725 meals during the previous five years to people in need of assistance in the county.

Northern Michigan

Voices Without Borders ($200), for the purchase of choir music. Voices Without Borders draws students from all over northern Michigan and is comprised of two choirs: the Great Lakes Youth Choir, whose members are students from Cheboygan, Pellston, Harbor Springs and Petoskey; and the Treble Choir, comprised of younger children from Cheboygan, Indian River, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, and Alanson.