Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue giving generously through their voluntary round up of change on their electric and natural gas billings to assist area community organizations and individuals. These member contributions to the PIE&G Communities First Fund enable grants and scholarships in their local communities within PIE&G’s service area.

At their June meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors finalized review of applications and made awards of $11,628.50, and at their September meeting, the board awarded $11,743 in grants to recipients below.


Alpena Area Senior Citizens Council Inc. ($1,100) to purchase nutritional supplements for the Liquid Nutrition Program for frail, homebound, and the most nutritionally at-risk seniors participating in the Alpena County Meals on Wheels program. The grant will be distributed equally among the eleven participating seniors. The mission of the Alpena Senior Citizens Council is to promote and protect the dignity, independence, and welfare of older adults living in Alpena County.

Long Rapids Township Volunteer Fire Department ($2,500) to aid in the purchase of an on-site air tank pressure unit (Cascade system) to be installed at the emergency facility, capable of quickly refilling and pressurizing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBS) to full capacity so resources are quickly available when needed by the firefighters.

Thunder Bay River Restoration Inc. ($2,543) for equipment purchases for the Thunder Bay River Restoration Improvement Project, including three chain saws, four life vests, one life saving throw ring, two winch cables and two gallons of chain saw fuel. The group strives to keep the channel open by cleaning up fallen trees and debris, such as the stretch between the James Road access in Green Township and the Herron Road Bridge in Maple Ridge Township.


Black Lake Preservation Society (BLPS) ($300) for signage and brochures regarding their Invasive Species Education, Prevention & Control Program. The BLPS produced informational brochures to increase awareness of invasive species (mussels, weeds, and other marine plants and animals) and signs which were placed at locations around Black Lake, including at the boat launch in the Onaway State Park.


Brush Creek Mill ($323) towards the purchase of a new computer and monitor. The existing computer is failing and out-of-date. The all-volunteer organization relies on the computer to conduct operations, including accounting, maintaining membership data base, preparing meeting minutes and marketing materials, managing the gift shop consignment program and the video history project, and for archiving records.

Hillman Area Senior Citizen’s, Inc. ($1,500) toward the furnace replacement project at the Hillman Senior Center. The HASC Center has been in operation for 38 years and hosts a variety of events. It’s also used to prepare and serve meals both on site and for delivery to homebound seniors.

Hillman United Methodist Church ($700) to purchase school supplies and hygiene products for the “Back to School Bash”. At this one-day event, the church gives school supplies and hygiene products, and provides other services such as eye exams and haircuts to children returning to school. For seven years running, the Back to School Bash has grown from helping 32 children the first year to 141 last year. The event helps to alleviate the financial stress on families in need as the school year begins.

Lewiston Downtown Development Authority ($750) for the purchase of craft supplies (paintable fall ceramics) for the Lewiston Fall Fest. The Lewiston Fall Fest is a free event promoting family bonding and development. Every child receives a free pumpkin and goodie bag. Family activities include hayrides, a petting zoo, a hay maze, pumpkin bowling, craft projects, a balloon artist, and musical entertainment.

Montmorency County 4-H Fair Association ($705.50) for campground electrical service upgrades to enable families to use water heaters, air conditioners and space heaters in their campers while attending the fair. The improvements will make the twenty-five campsites safer and expand comfort options.

Village of Hillman ($500) to purchase sand to build new horseshoe pits at Emerick Park. The Emerick Park Horseshoe Pit Project was formed to construct professional horseshoe pits that meet National Horseshoe Pitchers Association standards so that tournaments can be hosted at Emerick Park. The pits will also be available for public use.


Together We Can Food Pantry ($2,400) to purchase a two-month supply of food from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for the Together We Can Food Distribution project. The Pantry distributes food to residents of Oscoda County and serves, on average, 193 three households or approximately 420 people each month.


Presque Isle Township ($2,780) to assist the Presque Isle Fire Department in purchasing four Mustang Ice Commander Rescue Suits. The Presque Isle Fire Department serves Long Lake and Grand Lake and the rescue suits allows the department to be prepared with the necessary equipment to perform emergency ice or water rescues.

Peace Lutheran Church ($1,000) to purchase personal hygiene items for the Peace Hygiene Pantry. The pantry is open every third Monday of the month and gives away about 40-50 bags of hygiene supplies such as shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, toilet paper, laundry soap, and dish soap to about 100 people (adults and children).

Rogers City Area Schools ($1,500) to purchase six (6) Wright Foam Plyo Cubes (20″x24″x30″) for the Weight Room Project. Additional equipment and improvements will accommodate students in a class or a team so all are able to use the equipment during the session or practice. The new exercise equipment will help students focus on their physical health.

Rogers City Community Theatre (RCCT) ($500) to cover the cost of costumes for the Junior Summer Jamboree -titled “Lions, Panthers and Pumbaas -Oh My!” Project. The jamboree is a three-day workshop where students age eight to seventeen participate in the Summer Youth Theatre program. Taught by professional actors and musicians, the program increases confidence and improves conflict resolution and team building skills. The RCCT cast approximately 20-30 youth in the Junior Summer Jamboree, and held rehearsals the following eight weeks leading up to the performance of “The Lion King Jr.”.

Since 1997, the PIE&G Communities First Fund has provided over $1.56 million in grants to local nonprofits. See this website (Community tab) for more information or call to enroll.