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Sawnee EMC members round bills up for Forsyth charities
Sawnee EMC


For more information about Sawnee EMC’s Operation Round Up, contact Cindy Badgett at (678) 455-1399 or

CUMMING — The Sawnee Electric Membership Foundation recently awarded thousands of dollars to local charities, teachers and classrooms that were collected through Operation Round Up.

The operation pools what Sawnee officials call “extra change” from more than 20,000 of the cooperative’s members who round their electric bills up to the next highest dollar each month.

This time, $23,727 went directly into the Sawnee Foundation and was returned to the community, according to Cindy Badgett, the agency’s director of external affairs.

The average donation a member makes annually is $6.

Pennies a month, Badgett said, but these small, yet generous, donations have allowed the foundation to donate more than $1.5 million back into the community since the program’s inception in 2003.

Local charitable organizations that received funding were:

* Lekotek of Georgia, Inc. (Cumming location)

* American Legion Auxiliary

* Camp Kudzu

* Forsyth County Family Haven

* MUST Ministries (Cherokee County)

Interested applicants are required to submit an application to the Foundation Board for their consideration. In order to qualify for a grant, the charity must be located in Sawnee EMC’s service area and/or provide a service to the community.

Cumming-based Sawnee provides electricity to nearly 159,000 accounts in seven north Georgia counties, including Forsyth.

Teachers can also apply for funds through the Bright Ideas program, which is part of Operation Round Up.

Classroom grants were awarded to six teachers, including two in Forsyth County:

* Lori Schwaemmle, Coal Mountain Elementary

* Adriene Carlisle, West Forsyth High

* A public or private school teacher is eligible to apply for funding as long as the school he or she teaches at is within the Sawnee EMC service area.