September 27, 2016 (Onaway) Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue to generously assist area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings.  Member contributions to the Communities First Fund provide funds for grants and scholarships in their local communities within the PIE&G service area.

At a recent meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund Board of Directors finalized awards of $5,850 in grants to the following recipients:

District Health Department #4 ($2,000) to host the Girls on the Run Sunrise Side program in the spring for schools in Alpena, Cheboygan, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties. The program uses running to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and to build confidence. Sessions will be held bi-weekly for ten weeks after school for girls ages eight to eighteen.  The funds will be used to purchase the water bottles, t-shirts, and medals for girls who participate.

Alcona County

Hubbard Lake Sportsman & Improvement Association (HLSIA) ($500) to assist with the costs of constructing fifty (50) fish shelters for placement in the lake this fall to improve fish habitat. The Association works closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality to monitor fish populations and promote sport fishing. Shelter construction will start in September and the project is expected to be completed in October 2016.

Cheboygan County

Cheboygan Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) ($1,350) to purchase a new laptop for the Onaway office for VITA, an IRS sponsored program that works with community organizations to provide high quality tax preparation to low income tax filers and senior citizens. Federal, state, home heating credits and property tax credits are prepared and e-filed free of charge. For the 2015 tax season, 2,003 returns were processed and 1,346 returns in 2014.

Presque Isle County

Onaway United Methodist Church ($2,000)  for the Caring Closet to purchase certain non-food items that cannot be purchased by food stamps including laundry detergent, personal hygiene items and toiletries.  The Caring Closet will purchase and make these items available for local families in need.

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op provides electric and natural gas service to more than 42,000 member-owners, and serves a nine county area across northeast Michigan. PIE&G headquarters is located in Onaway.