Watauga County Helping Agencies Receive Foundation Grants

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 1:24 pm

Boone, North Carolina (January 24, 2024) –Watauga County citizens will benefit from four grants worth $20,000 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 grand total of $130,000 was awarded to 22 organizations across the Blue Ridge Energy service area for the 2023 grant cycle. Local Watauga County agencies receiving grant awards include:

  • Watauga County Immigration Justice Coalition – $10,000 will help fund a collaborative project with the Community Care Clinic in Boone to provide an on-site interpreter for Spanish-speaking families in need of medical assistance;
  • Mountain Alliance – $5,000 to help fund the “School’s Out” after-school academic support program at Watauga High School; 
  • Community Care Clinic – $2,500 to offer patients access to Point-of-Care A1C testing, as well as supplement the cost of test strips and blood glucose meters for patients;
  • Foscoe Grandfather Community Center & Park – $2,500 grant to install rubber ground covering around new playground equipment;

During 2023, the Foundation also provided crisis funding assistance to more than 1,200 Blue Ridge Energy members in need of emergency help to pay their electric and fuel bills. While crisis assistance is funded by the Foundation, 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 as well as 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

Watauga County Community Grants Awarded

(front row l-r): Nate Wright, Foscoe Grandfather Community Center & Park; Marisa Sedlak, Mountain Alliance; Jaime Plude, Community Care Clinic; Meredith Sanchez-Sanchez, Watauga County Immigrant Justice Coalition; (back row l-r): Kelsey Wright, Foscoe Grandfather Community Center & Park; Heidi Ragan, Blue Ridge Energy Watauga District Manager; Angie Miller, Tom Trexler, and J. B. Lawrence, Blue Ridge Energy Board of Directors

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