Verendrye Electric Operation Round Up

It's been twenty years in the making, but a local electric cooperative has raised one million dollars for communities in North Dakota.

Hannah Davis visited the Norway Lutheran Church to find out how pennies turned into a million dollars.

North of Karlsruhe on a gravel road, a white steeple can be seen peeking through the trees.

The Norway Lutheran Church has stood for a little over one hundred years.

Now it is time to make repairs.

Thanks to Verendrye Electric Cooperative, they now have seventeen hundred dollars to fix up what has broken.

"Our Operation Round Up Program was actually started, endorsed by the membership back in 1995 and the program was launched in '96. And it's a volunteer program where members round up their bill to the next dollar. Today, ninety percent of our membership -and we have a roughly thirteen thousand members- agree that every month that their bill is ninety-nine dollars and fifty cents, it's rounded up to one hundred dollars and that fifty cents goes into a pot. So that pot raises close to seventy thousand dollars a year that we can assist projects like this across our six county, our six county service area." said Randy Hauck, General Manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative.

Operation Round Up has helped with numerous community programs and local emergency services.

"It's just a great grass roots program where pennies amounted to one million dollars over twenty years." said Randy Hauck, General Manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative.

Verendrye Electric Cooperative presented the Secretary Treasurer, Vera Nelson with the check.

She then presented a brief history on the church, including facts like how it had been struck by lightning in 2000 and that the Olympic Skier Sondre Norheim is buried in the cemetery.

North of Karlsruhe, Hannah Davis, KX News.

The guests were invited to enjoy food and drinks in the basement of the church to celebrate the event.


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