Ashe County Helping Agencies Receive Foundation Grants

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 5:41 pm

Ashe County citizens will benefit from four grants worth $30,000 awarded recently to local helping agencies from Blue Ridge Energy Members Foundation for the 2023 grant cycle.

The grants are examples of why Blue Ridge Energy established the Members Foundation in 2007 to support the work of community organizations providing services that are vital to the quality of life for the cooperative’s members. Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded over $1.7 million in community grants. Projects in the areas of health, wellness, education, youth, and economic and community development are the Foundation’s priorities for support.

A total of $130,000 was awarded to 22 organizations across the Blue Ridge Energy service area for the 2023 grant cycle. Local Ashe County agencies receiving grant awards include:

  • Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) – $15,000 will help fund a greenhouse project near the Creeper Trail Park that the citizens of Lansing will use for education, entrepreneurship, and GLAD’s annual plant sale;
  • CARE Network, Inc. – $5,000 to assist Ashe County families in an emergency or crisis situation;
  • Partnership of Ashe – $5,000 to assist childcare facilities and their staff to ensure developmentally appropriate activities and materials are available in childcare facilities in Ashe County;
  • Wilkes Community Partnership for Children– $5,000 grant to help fund two critical projects: “Ready, Set, Learn,” a Kindergarten readiness program, and “Camp, Jump Start,” a summer day camp at Wilkes County elementary schools.

During 2023, the Foundation also provided crisis funding assistance to more than 1,200 Blue Ridge Energy members needing emergency help to pay their electric and fuel bills. While the Foundation funds crisis assistance, local helping agencies evaluate needs and determine who qualifies for assistance.

Funding for Foundation grants and crisis assistance comes from members participating in Blue Ridge Energy’s Operation Round Up® and Operation Round Up Plus® programs and an annual contribution from profits of the cooperative’s subsidiaries, Blue Ridge Energy, Propane and Fuels,

LLC, and RidgeLink, LLC. Over 23,500 members are either rounding up their monthly electric bill with Operation Round Up or adding a dollar or more with Operation Round Up Plus. Members also contribute by donating some or all of their annual capital credits.

Anyone with questions about the Foundation or agencies interested in applying for grants may contact Tasha Rountree director of community relations, at 828-759-8994 or

(front row l-r): April Blevins, Blue Ridge Energy Ashe District Manager holding check on behalf of CARE Network, Inc.; Rene Shuford, Greater Lansing Area Development; Kim Barnes, Partnership of Ashe; Jean Hefner, Wilkes Community Partnership for Children; (back row l-r): James Littlejohn, Greater Lansing Area Development; Cindy Price, Blue Ridge Energy Board of Directors

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