Hot Air Balloon Gives Free Rides for Charity

Kristi Thien, nutrition services director with Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, accepts a donation from the Cooperative Balloon Associates, presented by Benton REA Board President Connie Krull. Behind them, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives hot air balloon prepares for a tethered flight. PHOTO BY ELECIA COPENHAVER

Benton REA employees choose Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels for Cooperative Balloon Associates’ donation

The Cooperative Balloon Associates donated $510 to Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels on behalf of Benton REA.

Every day the hot air balloon is flown, a monetary contribution is made to a local charity on behalf of the sponsoring Touchstone Energy Cooperative. Benton REA employees nominated and voted to give Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels the $510 donation.

A total of 151 people enjoyed an experience of a lifetime as they rode on the tethered Touchstone Energy Cooperatives hot air balloon at the 85th Benton REA Annual Meeting on July 16.

“Meals on Wheels is grateful to Benton REA employees for selecting our agency to receive this generous donation,” says Kristi Thien, nutrition services director for Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels. “We will honor Benton REA’s commitment to community through the works of our agency, serving senior clients right here in our community.”

Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels serves nutritious meals to seniors ages 60+ throughout Benton and Franklin counties.

The organization hosts a lunchtime meal at eight senior dining sites Monday through Friday and offers home-delivered meals for

homebound clients. All meals are provided free of charge with donations gratefully accepted.

“Each year 500 volunteers help serve more than 200,000 meals to seniors,” says Kristi.

This nutrition service also includes social interaction, a daily wellness check and peace of mind for family and friends.

For more information or to volunteer, call 509-735-1911.

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives is a national network of electric cooperatives across 45 states that provides resources and leverages partnerships to help member cooperatives and their employees better engage and serve their members.

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