One of Victory Electric’s most unique and exciting community programs is the CoBank Sharing Success program, a matching grant opportunity, capped at $15,000, open to local nonprofit organizations. Aimed at supporting local communities and people, the grant is made possible by Victory Electric’s governing board of trustees, in partnership with CoBank – a national nonprofit cooperative bank owned by the rural American cooperatives it services.
“Rural communities and cooperatives like Victory Electric are lucky to have the generous support of CoBank and we are thankful for the contributions enabling us to help make our communities a better place to live and work,” said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric vice president of communications. “In the last seven years, Victory Electric awarded $70k in Sharing Success grants and we are excited to offer the program again this year.”
CoBank’s $4 million Sharing Success fund matches charitable contributions made by its cooperative members to local nonprofits in their individual communities. The matching grant program is designed to celebrate the vital role that cooperatives play in individual communities across the country. CoBank states that collaborating with their customers to support worthy causes they care about is a great way for them to make a positive difference and fulfill its mission of service to rural America. Since its inception in 2012, the program has generated more than $36 million in total charitable donations, primarily in rural areas across the country. In early 2019, CoBank announced the board of directors increased the size of the bank’s annual Sharing Success charitable giving program from $3 million to $4 million per year and raised the maximum matching amount from $5,000 ($10,000 total grant) to $7,500 ($15,000 total grant).
“Thanks to the generosity of Victory Electric’s board of trustees and CoBank, the Sharing Success Grant enables us to give back to the communities we serve,” said Shane Laws, CEO of Victory Electric. “We urge all eligible nonprofits to take advantage of Sharing Success and together we can make a meaningful impact in rural Kansas.”
2020 will be the ninth year for Victory Electric to award a Sharing Success grant. The Bucklin Library received a $10,000 grant in 2012 to help fund the construction of their new library building. In 2013, the Mission of Mercy dental clinic in Dodge City was awarded $10,000. The grant funded the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma for the 2014 “Suits in Space” Smithsonian exhibit. In 2015, local shelter and food bank, the Manna House, was awarded the grant to repair and improve their facilities. The Depot Theater upgraded their theater sound system in 2016. In 2017, the Ford Country Historical Society made repairs to preserve the history in the Home of Stone - Mueller Schmidt House. In 2018 the Ford County Sheriff’s Office received $10,000 for security upgrades.
The Victory Electric Cooperative, Assn., Inc., is pleased to announce the Ingalls Recreation Commission as the recipient of this year’s Victory Electric/CoBank Sharing Success grant. The Ingalls Recreation Commission was awarded two checks totaling $15,000 – $7,500 from Victory Electric and $7,500 from CoBank – for repairs and upgrades to the Ingalls community swimming pool.
The Ingalls swimming pool is older, in need of expensive repairs, and requires extensive work on the lining of the pool. This affects the number of days the pool is open to the community.
“There are pools in nearby larger towns, but the problem is they all have fees and require transportation to get to,” said Leonard Rodenbur, president of the recreation commission. “The Ingalls pool is free and offers accessibility to the members of our community. This grant will ensure the availability of the pool and easy access to summer fun for our local kids.”
The grant will assist them in repairing the pool and extending the life of the pool for another 5-8 years until further plans can be implemented for more dramatic repairs.
“Victory Electric appreciates the hard work and dedication of the recreation commission,” said Kenny Wehkamp, Victory Electric board member. “The CoBank Sharing Success Grant is a great program that allow Victory Electric to match grants from CoBank and give back to the communities the cooperative serves.”
Any organization interested in applying for the 2020 CoBank Sharing Success grant must be a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The 2020 application is available to download and is due to Victory Electric’s office no later than 5 p.m. on July 24.