Recipients of 2021 Blue Ridge Fest funds were treated to a Celebration Luncheon at the co-op’s Oconee community room. Long-time fest sponsor Chick-fil-A provided lunch. Each charity chosen last fall by a co-op employee committee to receive funding, was presented with a check for $9,000.
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative President and CEO Jim Lovinggood touched on the significance of Blue Ridge Fest over the past 24 years. He said, “More than $3,000,000 has been raised since Blue Ridge Fest began in 1998. Those funds have been distributed to more than 80 charities in our service area and used to assist countless individuals and families.” Mr. Lovinggood also announced that after 24 years, Blue Ridge Fest as it has been will be ending. “We will continue to provide for our communities, but we are uncertain of the platform that will take. Blue Ridge Electric Co-op has always invested in the areas we serve, and that will continue.”
For the past two years, because of the COVID pandemic, there has been no actual event associated with Blue Ridge Fest. However, faithful sponsors continue to support the Fest and donate to provide help to local charities. This year, $108,000 was awarded to twelve charities representing donations from 36 corporate and individual sponsors. Several charity representatives commented on the need for funding for their clients. There is still much demand in our area for the services provided by these agencies. Those receiving Blue Ridge Fest funds this year were Anderson Interfaith Ministries, Family Promise of Anderson, Feed a Hungry Child, Fostering Faithfully, Gleaning House Ministries, Golden Corner Food Pantry, Grace’s Closet, North Greenville Crisis Ministry, Oconee United Ministries, Samaritan Health Clinic, Service Dogs for Veterans, and United Christian Ministries.