Rural Electric Youth Day at Capitol

The 2017 Illinois Rural Electric Youth Day introduced 240 high school students to several of our state’s elected leaders, along with some insights about electric and telephone cooperatives.

Youth Day was sponsored on March 29 by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, with 25 co-ops from across the state participating. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative sponsored six students from area schools at the day-long event. The group included Payton Allen and Savannah Norris from Auburn; Sophia Sanguedolce and Hailey Winslow from Glenwood High School, Jacob Harris from Pawnee, and Emily Huxtable from North Mac.

At the State Capitol, the RECC group met with Representatives Avery Bourne and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, along with Senator Sam McCann. During lunch, Comptroller Susana Mendoza addressed students and chaperones and challenged them to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to use their voice and reach out to their representatives and senators. Sophia Marcolla, the 2016-17 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Adams Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experience on the Youth to Washington tour and the importance of leadership. While in Springfield, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

RECC 80th Annual Meeting

RECC will celebrate its 80th Annual Meeting on June 8, 2017 at Glenwood High School in Chatham.  The free dinner will start at 5 p.m., with displays and activities open to both adults and youngsters. The business meeting begins at 7 p.m., followed by door prize drawings and a Grand Prize award of $300. Just like our early Annual Meetings, we will have election of directors and a report on the business standing of the cooperative. It’s still also a social gathering of the membership with a chance to visit with co-op employees, directors and fellow members.  A $10 bill credit for all registered members is a more recent addition that’s been appreciated by our attendees.
We hope to see you at our Annual Meeting, to help celebrate the past and plan the future of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative!

$500 School Grants Awarded

Two area schools have additional learning opportunities for their students this year, thanks to Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants Program from Rural Electric! RECC has awarded $500 mini-grants for projects that will extend beyond their classrooms and broaden the scope of their teaching efforts.

The two grants were presented to:

Sarah Jennings, Morrisonville Grade School – to purchase historical fiction novels for 5th and 6th graders as a literacy and history tool, and to help pay for tickets to a theatrical production based on the book at Sangamon Auditorium in Springfield. As a winner of a classroom grant last year, Sarah will also be continuing projects on fossil excavations and a school flowerbed with her students.

Erin Nicolas, South Fork Elementary School School – to purchase a projector for her special education classroom to share spreadsheets, websites and videos with all her students.

As a Touchstone Energy electric cooperative, RECC’s focus is on our communities, and these projects will enhance the education and experiences of youngsters in our area. We’re looking forward to hearing the positive results that will come from these schools!

2017 Scholarship Applications Due Dec. 31

The IEC Memorial Scholarship Program offers ten co-op scholarships for 2017, with $2,000 awarded to each winner! RECC member families are eligible for nine of the academic scholarships, with one offered for co-op employee or director families. All information is available online and applications are due by December 31, 2016.

Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants

Teachers! Looking to add a little more spark to your education program? RECC is offering four $500 grants to help you! The Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants Program will award four area teachers for education enhancement projects.

Public and private schools in the general service area of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative can receive a grant of up to $500 for grades K-8. Up to two grants may be given for different grade levels within the same school district.

Application forms are available at the link below, and are due by November 4, 2016. Winners will be announced on December 1, and the project must be completed by May 20, 2017.While electricity and energy are not required to be the central topics of any project, entries that do include energy education will be weighted more favorably.

All applications should include the following details:

  1. A description of the project and what it will accomplish
  2. The estimated cost of the project
  3. An explanation of why outside funds are necessary to carry out the project
  4. When the project would be completed
  5. The number of people affected by the project
  6. If the project’s goals are measurable, and how
  7. How the project ties in with Touchstone Energy’s four core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

Deadline: Grant applications deadline was November 4, 2016. 

Mail, deliver or e-mail your application to:

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative
3973 W. State Route 104
P.O. Box 19
Auburn, IL 62615

For more information, contact Dana Smith, Manager of Member and Public Relations, at dana.smith@recc.coop, or at his direct phone line 217-438-6516.

Download Application Form
(Contest is closed for 2016)

Download List of Eligible Schools

Download Judging Sheet

2015 Capital Credit Equity allocated to members

On members’ July electric bills, which were mailed on August 4, there was a message on the left hand side of the billing statement indicating the amount of capital credit equity allocated to each member for electricity purchased in 2015. This message only appears on your master account and only appears if you had an active account in 2015.

As a member-owner of your cooperative, you share in any annual margins. Your share of these margins is called “capital credits.” At the end of each year, these net margins are allocated to each member on a basis of the dollar amount of energy used during that year. We provided you with the amount of the allocation for the year on your electric billing statement.

These allocations are not available as cash nor can they be applied as payments on your electric bill. These monies are used by your cooperative for long-term debt retirement, reserves, emergencies, system improvements and other contingencies.

Capital credits may be paid to members as the board of directors deems appropriate and as the financial condition of the cooperative permits. RECC has returned over $3 million in capital credits to members, for all margins earned since our beginning in 1937 through 1982.

For more background on capital credits, click here.

Local Youths Travel to Washington

Youth Tour at Gettysburg

RECC sent three students (middle) to Washington, with a stop at the Gettysburg Memorial Cemetery in Pennsylvania. Lucas Motley from Palmyra, Hannah Gudgel from Pawnee, and Riley Jennings from Litchfield represented Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative, with chaperones John and Sandy Lex. Sandy is RECC’s Executive Assistant.

Three local students were among the 64 Illinois high schoolers attending the 2016 Youth Tour to Washington for a week of education and fun in the nation’s capital. Illinois electric cooperatives sent 64 students on the trip, June 10-17, with nearly 1,700 students from 43 states in Washington for the annual event.

RECC sponsored Hannah Gudgel from Pawnee and Lucas Motley from Palmyra on the Youth Tour trip, and Riley Jennings from Litchfield was a self-sponsored “Willie Wiredhand” attendee. RECC’s Executive Assistant Sandy Lex was a chaperone for the trip, along with her husband, John.

RECC students and Congressman RodneyDavis

Lucas Motley, Riley Jennings, Congressman Rodney Davis, and Sarah Gudgel

The Youth Tour, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois, is an introduction to our democratic form of government and cooperatives for rural youth. Over 51,000 high school students from across the country have taken part in the Youth Tour since its start in the 1950s.

In addition to the U.S. Capitol, students visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington National Cathedral, Smithsonian Museums, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the World War II Memorial, memorials to Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington and Roosevelt, the National Archives, and a number of other historical sites.

The Illinois group also visited the Saudi Arabian Embassy, and met with Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood during the busy week.

Youth Tour group and Capitol

Illinois electric cooperative youths enjoyed many sites in Washington, D.C.

RECC Annual Meeting Report

Members of Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative gathered for their 79th annual meeting of members on Thursday, June 9 at Glenwood High School in Chatham. Before the meeting, about 550 members and guests enjoyed a pork chop dinner, vendor displays, bucket truck rides and a variety of activities for kids.

Chris Wilcox, Vice Chairman of the Board, welcomed members and recognized the service anniversaries for several co-op employees and directors. He congratulated Journeyman Lineman Craig Costello and Equipment Serviceman Clark Bowman on their impending retirements this year.


Re-elected directors from left, Jimmy Ayers, Chris Wilcox and Clayton Bloome

Elections were held for three positions on the Board of Directors, with Clayton Bloome of Pawnee (District 1), Chris Wilcox of Waverly (District 2) and Jimmy Ayers of Rochester (District 3) running unopposed for new three-year terms.

In the officers’ reports, Treasurer Mel Repscher said that revenue for 2015 totaled $15,166,616 resulting in net margins of $364,548. He pointed out that capital credit equity earned by Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative members in 1982 was retired in December, with $268,957 returned to present and former members. To date, he said the co-op has paid back over $3.4 million in capital credit equity to its members.

RECC Chairman of the Board Jimmy Ayers and President/CEO David Stuva provided updates on member programs including SmartHub, which allows members to pay bills or track daily or hourly use. They also discussed the shortened collection period for unpaid bills, and explained a new payment option available to members, Prepaid Electric Service.

Two area students were introduced who were planning to leave on June 10 on the annual Rural Electric Youth To Washington trip. Hannah Gudgel of Pawnee and Riley Jennings of Litchfield were at the meeting, and Lucas Motley of Palmyra is also being sponsored on the week-long trip.

The Youth Tour has been a big part of co-op members Harold and Linda Peper’s family, with a strong commitment that reached its conclusion this year with grandson Riley Jennings. Harold Peper served on the RECC Board from 1972-1984, so his children weren’t eligible to win the sponsored trip to our nation’s capital. He and Linda paid for their five children (Bethany, Cindy, Jerry, Lorinda and Tom) to go on the trip during their high school years.

Harold passed away in 2002, but Linda continued the family tradition by paying the way for all four of their grandchildren on the Youth To Washington trip in recent years. Riley Jennings, son of Lorinda and Mark Jennings of Litchfield, was the last grandchild to attend the trip this year. Linda Peper was recognized at the meeting, and presented with a flower bouquet and a gift card.


2016 Rural Electric Youth Day

Local state representatives met with students from area schools during the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 13 in Springfield. More than 225 students from around Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues.
Pictured (L-R) are: Dana Smith, Manager of Member and Public Relations; Riley Jennings from Litchfield High School, Lucas Motley from Northwestern High School, Rep. Sara Wojcicki-Jimenez, Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, Hannah Gudgel from Pawnee, and Sandy Lex, Executive Assistant at Rural Electric. The students also visited with Senators Sam McCann and Andy Manar at the Capitol.
Students also heard from Secretary of State Jesse White in his office. During lunch, Treasurer Michael Frerichs challenged the students to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to follow their dreams and do what interests them because life can take interesting turns and twists.
While in Springfield, the students also toured the Old State Capitol and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
Youth Day is designed to introduce young rural leaders to state government. There were 24 co-ops from across the state represented at the event, which has been held for nearly 50 years.
All three of the students in RECC’s group will be participating in the Youth to Washington Tour to be held June 10 – 17. Over 1,000 youths from around the country will be part of this educational event in our nation’s capital.

Capital Credit Equity For 1982 Retired

Mail_coupleRECC membersreceived refunds on their electric bills for December, for the retirement of $268,957 in capital credit equity earned in 1982. Over 1,000 members still served by the co-op saw a refund credit on their billing statements mailed January7, while 1,549 members who no longer have an active account received refund checks.

“Capital credits represent our members’ ownership in the cooperative,” says RECC Board chairman Jimmy Ayers. “As a not-for-profit cooperative, we strive for a relatively small operating margin each year, to meet our financial obligations and to be prepared for unexpected costs such as a large storm. When we have that margin at the end of the year, we re-invest the money in our system and can eventually pay it back to the members.” The latest capital credit retirement brings the total retirements made to RECC members to over $3.4 million.