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      PIE&G community fund awards $24,000 in grants

      Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue assisting area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings.

      Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue assisting area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings. Member contributions to the Communities First Fund provide funds for grants and scholarships for use in their local communities within the PIE&G service area.

      At their recent meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund Board of Directors awarded $24,000 in grants to the following recipients:

      Hillman High School ($1100): to purchase a ??SawStop?? table saw for the Career & Technical Education Program. This table top saw is the only one on the market with technology to detect, stop and retreat the blade in a millisecond when someone accidentally makes contact with the spinning saw blade. In most cases, such an accident would result in just a nick rather than a devastating injury which would likely occur with an ordinary table saw. Students who participate in this program learn skills that allow them to enter the workforce or pursue higher education.

      Glawe Schools, Ocqueoc ($2,500): to assist with the cost of roof replacement on this historic building located on the grounds at 40 Mile Point Lighthouse Park. The school house was moved to this location in 2000.

      Cheboygan Long Lake Area Association ($350): to be used to control the rapid expansion of the Eurasian Milfoil, a non-native, invasive aquatic weed. The Eurasian Milfoil has invaded a number of northern Michigan lakes. The Association began their aggressive quest to control the plant in 2006. The lake does allow for public access.

      Cheboygan Music Boosters ($2,025): to assist with the cost associated with the annual marching band camp. Monies will be applied toward the purchase of sheet music and a choreographed drill that are performed at home football games at half-time, as well as the Marching Band Expo held in Traverse City.

      Rogers City Area Schools ($3,000): for technology device upgrades. The new Acer ??Chromebook?? computers will be utilized by approximately 120-150 students on a daily basis in conjunction with their Math and English curriculum.

      Maple Ridge Township Volunteer Fire Department ($750): to purchase an ??Ice Commander?? suit to be utilized for ice and water rescues in the township and to assist with rescues in other communities when an incident requires this special equipment. The ??Ice Commander?? is the personal protective equipment (PPE) of choice by search and rescue teams, firefighters and EMTs as it provides thermal and flotation protection as well as mobility and ease of use to enhance job performance of these professionals.

      Boy Scouts of America Troop #81 ($750): as part of an Eagle Scout project, the funds will provide the materials necessary to establish a community garden within the Village of Hillman. This allows organizations and individuals to come together for the benefit of the community.

      Aloha Township Historical Society ($750): to be used toward the restoration of the original Welcome Garden at the original train depot location. The Historical Society works to preserve sites to their original form to allow local residents to reconnect with the past. The Society also provides visitors an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the unique history of northern Michigan. .

      United Way of NE Michigan ($3,000): to provide funds for food and hygiene supplies distributed to those in need at the Project Connect events in Montmorency and Presque Isle counties. No one is denied service. Attendance ranges from 150-250 people or more. The event brings together people in crisis and facilitates the process for those seeking help with basic needs.

      Case Township-Millersburg ($1,250): to assist with food and art supply expenses for the summer youth program. The goal of the program is to strengthen children??s minds and bodies and help keep youth active for the summer. The program has been in existence since 2005.

      Michigan Crossroads Council/Water & Woods Field Service Council ($1,000): to provide necessary training to adults and youth leaders and to ensure the continued successful operation of local "Boy Scouts of America" units within PIE&G??s service area in Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle counties.

      Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department ($2,500): to purchase the necessary equipment to be installed on a fire truck that will be utilized to drive to and access hard-to-reach locations in the surrounding wooded areas.

      Onaway Area Community Schools ($1,725) : to provide a summer activity for area students in grades 1-5. The "Life is a Trip, Learn to Navigate It" program will provide an environment for the development of personal and social skills. The program is collaborative between Thunder Bay Community Health Services and the Onaway Elementary School.

      Tri Rivers Little League-Indian River ($1,000): to be used for the upgrade of the concession stand to meet new health services regulations and to purchase a shed for equipment at the softball field. Students from the Inland Lakes building arts program will assist with construction of the shed.

      Cheboygan County Equine Youth & Family ($1,300): to assist with expenses associated with the newly created volunteer mounted Search and Rescue Unit in conjunction with the Cheboygan County Sheriff Department. The funds will be used for first aid kits and breast plates for the horses.

      Albert Township-Lewiston ($1,000): to assist with replacement of the tennis courts at Village Park. The tennis courts provide outdoor recreational options for residents and visitors in an area with limited opportunities.

      Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op provides electric and natural gas service to more than 40,500 member-owners. PIE&G serves a nine county area across northeast Michigan and its headquarters is located in Onaway.