News Release, SMECO
Hughesville, MD- SMECO recently received a $6,000 contribution from CoBank to award to local organizations that SMECO has supported. LifeStyles of Maryland, which is active in Charles County, received $2,500. Calvert Marine Museum, which is located in Solomons in Calvert County, received $2,500, and Southern Maryland Community Resources, also located in Solomons, received $1,000.
“SMECO supports these local organizations because they provide vital services to Southern Maryland residents,” said Natalie Cotton, SMECO government affairs and community relations director. “We are committed to our community and to advocating for charities that do good work. And these groups have worked long and hard to earn every dollar that CoBank has contributed.”
The Calvert Marine Museum tells the unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. The family-friendly museum offers live animals, fossils, and interactive exhibits, as well as the iconic cottage-style lighthouse. “In the museum’s Maritime Gallery, we’ve been renovating the Military and Solomons exhibits to tell local stories and display objects from our extensive local history collection. The contribution from SMECO and CoBank will go toward completion of this extensive project,” said Jeff Murray, Director of the Calvert Marine Museum.
LifeStyles of Maryland provides hope and help to women and children in crisis. Funds are used to provide housing to women and children who are victims of domestic violence, Van GO passes to assist with transportation to work and medical appointments, daycare, the purchase of work uniforms, and more. “Contributions from the community help us to transform lives,” said Sandy Washington, Executive Director of LifeStyles of Maryland. “By lifting up people who need our support, we are creating a solid foundation that will strengthen them and our community. We appreciate SMECO’s donation and the vital role the co-op plays in Southern Maryland.”
Southern Maryland Community Resources, Inc. (SMCR) works to include persons with developmental differences into the life of the community. SMCR promotes social, recreational, and educational opportunities at little to no cost for members. “People of all ages with developmental differences can enjoy bowling and movie nights, but we also collaborate with two local high schools to bring Arts4All to students. Through this unique program, students with disabilities participate with Arts4All artists, musicians, and performers at school,” said Bonnie Elward, Executive Director of SMCR. She added, “We will use the contribution from SMECO and CoBank to help fund the kinds of activities that enrich the lives of our members and that help them feel like they are part of the greater Southern Maryland community.”
CoBank’s Sharing Success program is a $4 million fund to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support. As a CoBank customer, SMECO was eligible to receive matching funds to be awarded to organizations it supports. CoBank and its customers have partnered to contribute $36 million in combined donations since 2012.