MOREHEAD CITY — Christine Jonas and Don Helsabeck walked away with the top prizes at the Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting of the Membership May 2 at Glad Tidings Church in Morehead City.

Ms. Jonas won the Ford Ranger pickup truck retired from the co-op’s fleet and Mr. Helsabeck won six months of free electricity. Another 18 people won $75 cash prizes and one attendee won nearly $780 in the 50/50 drawing sponsored by CCEC’s Relay for Life team.

“The prizes are always one of the highlights at the meeting, but there was a lot to do, see and learn at this year’s event,” CCEC Communications Director Lisa Galizia said in a release.

Those who attended were treated to a hot dog meal provided by the Relay for Life team. The team prepares the meal to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and for many years has been the top fundraising team in Carteret County, according to a release. Dozens of CCEC employees volunteered their time to prepare and serve the meal.

Attendees also learned about home efficiency, electrical safety and the Carteret-Craven Electric Foundation from displays and employees. A popular new feature at the meeting this year was a CCEC line truck bucket photo booth, with a life-size backdrop of powerlines, according to the release.

Havelock High School’s jazz band and chorus provided musical entertainment with tunes from yesterday and today.

The annual business meeting provided an overview of the cooperative’s activities over the past year, including a reminder of the challenges the co-op and communities faced with Hurricane Florence.

Board President Deloria Irby linked the early days of rural electrification to last year’s  storm.

“Our cooperative was founded in August 1940 by 444 area fishermen and farmers, who had a dream that, with electricity, we could prosper here on the Crystal Coast. When those members came together 79 years ago to form our cooperative, life got easier and families began to flourish,” Ms. Irby said.

“Last September, during Florence, we all got a taste of what it’s like to not have electricity. Yet, similar in spirt to our early founders, our committed employees worked long, hard hours, and at last power was restored,” she continued.

CEO and General Manager Jake Joplin discussed the co-op’s new PrePay program and the flexibility it provides to members who want more control of their electricity usage and billing.

“The co-op started Prepay last November and found that our members on Prepay like its flexibility,” Mr. Joplin said. “With PrePay, there are no surprises with your bill. You can choose your own payment schedule and buy electricity as you need it. I am on Prepay and can attest to its flexibility and convenience.”

Also at the meeting, three board members’ seats were up for reelection, but the candidates – Ben Ball, Amy Lock and Thom Styron – were unopposed.

CCEC is a not-for-profit, member-owned organization that provides power to more than 33,000 members in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties. It is part of Touchstone Energy, a nationwide family of co-ops exhibiting the core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

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