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People and Events

LED Lucy and Trustee Ron Johnson, right, greeted members at the annual meeting.

82nd Annual Meeting Draws 530 Attendees

82nd Annual Meeting Draws 530 Attendees For the first time since 1980, Benton REA held the annual meeting of members in West Richland. More than 530 attended the family event on July 13 at Leona Libby Middle School. Tethered hot air balloon rides began at 8 a.m., and 143 people rode the basket at least…

Shelby Moore, executive director of Heartlinks Hospice and Palliative Care, accepts a donation from Benton REA Board President Mike Freepons.

Balloon Rides for Charity

Balloon Rides for Charity The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives hot air balloon rose 50 feet in the air over and over again the morning of July 13. 143 members of Benton REA enjoyed an experience of a lifetime on a tethered hot air balloon ride at the 82nd Benton REA annual meeting. “Every day the Touchstone…

2019 Scholarship Recipients: Skyler Younkin, Parker Johnson, Emily Bonus, Joel Kartchner and Kate Whalen

2019 Scholarship Recipients Announced

Five graduating high school students from West Richland were awarded $8,000 Benton REA academic scholarships to aid with their college tuition. Each year, when unclaimed capital credit checks are returned to Benton REA, the money is used to help fund scholarships for students whose parents are members of Benton REA. The scholarship committee looks at…

Youth Tour students stand with Senator Patty Murray

Co-op Youth in D.C.

Nearly 2,000 children of electric cooperative members from across the nation traveled to Washington, D.C., June 13-20 for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Nathan Shibley and Michelle Bolling, both of West Richland, represented Benton REA. This year, four Washington delegates toured the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, war memorials and met with their state…

A woman hugs her daughter who needs a blood transfusion

Upcoming Community Blood Drives at Benton REA

Benton REA will host two community and employee blood drives with the American Red Cross in 2019. The first is August 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Benton REA West Richland office. The second will be at the Benton REA Prosser office October 24. “Hosting a blood drive coincides with the cooperative…

Taylor Smith with the Washington state flag.

Taylor Smith Represents Washington state in Youth Leadership Council

Some children born in rural communities choose to plant roots in their hometown. Others seek a “better life” in urban areas after high school. Benton REA believes a better life can be had in both scenarios by investing in the rural community leaders of tomorrow. Taylor Smith, daughter of Benton REA members Blake and Sheri…

Trustees Buddy Treadway, Mike Freepons and Bob Evans

Your 2019 Trustee Candidates

Benton REA is governed by eight trustees who each represent a district of members. These trustees are elected by you—our members—to serve three-year terms. In 2019, the three incumbent trustees up for election are Buddy Treadway, District 1; Mike Freepons, District 2; and Bob Evans, District 3. Trustee nominations for these districts closed April 1.…

A family takes a free, tethered hot air balloon ride

Free Family Fun at the Benton REA Annual Meeting

Free Family Fun at the Benton REA Annual Meeting Mark your calendars for July 13. You won’t want to miss Benton REA’s 82nd Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Lunch. Before the business meeting begins at 12:30 p.m., the morning will be full of family activities. Arrive at 8 a.m. to catch a tethered ride on…

Randy Suess, Inland Power & Light; Troy Berglund, Benton REA; Rep. Dan Newhouse and Danny Lee, Inland Power & Light

Talking Co-ops in Washington, D.C.

Talking Co-ops in Washington, D.C. Troy Berglund, community development and member relations manager, traveled to Washington, D.C., in April for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Conference. While there, he and other Washington electric cooperative employees met with legislators to discuss the needs of co-op members. During their meetings with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers…

Benton REA linemen pose for a photo in front of their trucks

The Dedication of an Electric Lineworker

April 18 is Lineworker Appreciation Day National studies consistently rank power-line installers and repairers among the most dangerous jobs in the country, and for good reason. Laboring high in the air, wearing heavy equipment and working directly with high voltage electricity creates the perfect storm of a dangerous and unforgiving profession. But electric lineworkers are…

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