With a history that spans more than 80 years of operation, Southeast Colorado Power Association (SECPA) has been providing service to the residents of Southeastern Colorado through the dry years and the wet, the good and the bad. Its structure as a not-for-profit cooperative electric utility means that the organization is owned by its coop members and functions under the guidance of a Board of Directors those coop members elect.
SECPA’s mission statement includes reference to being a “visible and active member of the community”, a goal achieved, in part, through the company’s annual “Golf Tourney”. Now entering its 30th year, the purpose of the golf tournament is to raise funds which are then donated to that year’s selection of charities, causes and/or not for profit organizations, all of which are located in Southeast Colorado. A total of roughly $190,000 has been raised over the years, benefiting more than 150 different organizations.
The Kiowa County Fire Protection District was among the 2017 tournament’s beneficiaries. For decades, Kiowa County residents relied on an all-volunteer fire department until 2016 when, by vote of the majority of the county’s registered voters, the Kiowa County Fire Protection District was voted into existence. The following year, voters once again returned to the ballot box, as the saying goes, where they passed an initiative that would provide funds—via a mill levy—to operate the fire department on an on-going basis. Donations to the fire district are always welcome, but they are especially appreciated during their first year “in business” when the flow of special district funding is still in the process of becoming a reality.
The donation was recently made official when SECPA Foreman Jason Lucius presented Kiowa County Fire Chief A.J. McCracken with a check for $500. Town of Eads Fire Chief A.J. Bolin and Lineman Apprentice John Jackson were also in attendance.
In addition to donation of funds raised at the SECPA golf tournament, the company has other programs for its coop community, including $1,000 tuition scholarships awarded to three deserving students each year plus sponsorship of several students to leadership camps, one of which is held in Washington D.C. and the other in Steamboat Springs.
Finally, SECPA is not about to ignore their linemen, those individuals who comprise the lifeblood of their company. This year, April 9th was designated as National Lineman Appreciation Day, and, in recognition for their service, SECPA linemen were treated to breakfast provided by the company and a specially engraved pocketknife in recognition for their service.
As stated in the SECPA slogan, “When the power goes out, so do they”, and anyone who’s had the power go out in the middle of a true Southeastern Colorado storm knows those men are going into less than (like hugely less than) ideal weather conditions.
So, here’s a big thank you to SECPA for their generosity and the SECPA linemen for keeping the lights on!