Powering Strong Communities

APPA Members Encouraged To Apply For Sue Kelly Community Service Award

Member utilities of the American Public Power Association (APPA) are encouraged to apply for the Sue Kelly Community Service Award. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31, 2022. 

APPA’s Sue Kelly Community Service Award recognizes “good neighbor” activities that demonstrate the commitment of the utility and its employees to the community. Any APPA member utility that has not received the award in the past five years is eligible. 

Nominees should have achievement or sustained performance showing commitment by the utility and its employees to enhancing the quality of life in the community through activities that: address a community need or improve the community’s social, cultural, educational, or economic environment; and provide an opportunity for employee involvement.

Award winners are selected by a board committee of APPA. Recipients will be recognized at APPA’s National Conference in June. 

The 2021 Sue Kelly Community Service Award recipients were EPB of Chattanooga, Tennessee, North Carolina public power utility Fayetteville Public Works Commission (PWC), Wisconsin’s Kaukauna Utilities (KU), Washington State’s Mason County Public Utility District (PUD) 1, and the City of Philippi in West Virginia. 

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic began, EPB joined a local school district and other community partners to launch a program that provided high-speed fiber optic internet services to every economically disadvantaged K-12 student in the county at no charge. As a result, the program was made available to more than 28,000 students. 

KU and Mason County PUD 1 focused on providing pandemic relief in its communities. KU donated $30,000 to area non-profits that help community members in need with rent or mortgage payments and other expenses. Mason County PUD 1 implemented a COVID-19 response program to safeguard employee health, customer health, and the continuity of utility services for its customers by suspending all disconnections, fees, and rate increases, offering long-term payment plans for any customer that kept in communication with them.

The City of Philippi’s Municipal Electric Department supported its community’s overall economic growth by taking part in various beautification projects like lining its historic downtown’s buildings with lights.

Fayetteville PWC partnered with the city’s downtown district to bring an interactive public art installation to light up the area after the city reopened following the COVID-19 shutdowns. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized by APPA for the activities that we have been committed to for so many years- giving back to our community,” Fayetteville PWC Communications/Community Relations Officer Carolyn Justice-Hinson said. “We have continued to find ways to support our community in powerful ways despite COVID limiting many in-person service projects.” 

Justice-Hinson said Fayetteville PWC encourages its staff to volunteer by looking for community service opportunities that fit its employees’ interests and abilities. The public power utility promotes and organizes many service events such as the ‘Field of Honor’ flag setup and takedown for Veterans Day and a community cleanup coordinated in conjunction with APPA’s Day of Giving.

Additional details about the award are available here