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Join us at Annual Meeting

Article was added on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Seventy-five years ago, this was a different world. But, when you look back, it's really a lovely story.

In the early 1930's rural families, mostly farmers in Florence, Clarendon, Williamsburg and Georgetown counties were heating their homes and cooking with wood, having dinner and maybe even reading the Bible at night by candlelight.

But the hard times of manual labor, ice cold baths and no news from the outside world for weeks at a time was no easy life for our grandparents and great-grandparents. They knew that standing still would always keep them behind in the grand scheme of things, so they came together in 1939 and formed Santee Electric Cooperative so they could begin to use many of the modern conveniences people living in town were already enjoying.

Think about the impact electricity made in rural areas. Women lived longer not having to work dusk to dawn at backbreaking chores. Farm production jumped. Things like running water, lights and stored food were possible-and with those leaps forward came new challenges and opportunities.

The membership was only $5 when the first 200 members saw the lights come on for the first time through the first 110 miles of line. More and more people in rural areas signed up to get electricity and the co-op grew and grew into what it is today.

We have more than 44,000 members and with a 2005 square mile territory, serve the largest geographical footprint of any co-op in the state.

None of what we enjoy today would have been possible without the hard work of many men and women along the way. Let's celebrate these accomplishments at our annual meeting on Tuesday, April 22 at the Kingstree Senior High School.  Gates open at noon, registration and voting 1-6 p.m., preferred registration time for the elderly and persons with disabilities is 3 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Cooperatives aren't like other businesses. We're not focused on making a profit. Cooperatives offer the perfect tool for tackling tasks too big for one person to handle alone, tasks based on a common purpose. That purpose is as solid as the ground under our feet at the Annual Meeting. Standing together, we are still building our communities, bringing dreams to reality and giving youth a better future.

Floyd L. Keels
President and  Chief Executive Officer

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