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Madison Fritz earns Youth Tour trip

What we give to our community, we often get back. That’s the valuable lesson Madison Fritz learned through volunteering. She recently learned the member-owners of Capital Electric Cooperative are also committed to bettering their local communities — and she couldn’t be more proud to represent them and the co-op on this year’s Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

Madison researched her family’s electric cooperative prior to entering Capital Electric’s annual essay-writing contest. A junior at Century High School and recent transplant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Madison learned that electric cooperatives provide more than electric heat products and services. Many participate in the Operation Round Up program, in which members choose to round up their utility bills to the nearest dollar. The spare change is pooled and donated twice a year to worthy people and groups in the cooperative’s service area. She also noted that Capital Electric supports rural development through the Rural Electric and Telecommunications Development Center.

“Whether you flick those electrical switches up or down, when it comes to ‘lighting up’ our communities through service, our cooperative and its members POWER ON!” she wrote.

This year’s essay contest required students to answer the following question: “Pick one of the four Touchstone Energy® Cooperative core values — innovation, integrity, accountability or commitment to community — and describe how you see this in action at Capital Electric Cooperative.”

The daughter of co-op members Martin and Mary Fritz, Madison shared some of her experiences volunteering, and noted her support of the Touchstone Energy Cooperative value commitment to community.

“I learned the value of community service early on by designing a teaching garden for my former grade school as a Girl Scout, and by hosting weekly bingo and holiday parties at a local nursing home. In 8th grade I won nearly $800 in a Veterans of Foreign Wars essay program, and I donated it to a community homebuilding effort for a young veteran who lost both legs and suffered a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. I went on to organize two community fundraisers for the wounded vet that raised nearly $9,000 for the home that he and his family now occupy,” she wrote. More recently, Madison got a group of friends together and they bagged garbage next to Interstate 94, to do their part on Bismarck Clean-Up Day. She also enjoys volunteering at the Central Dakota Humane Society and Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.

“A wise person once said that you need just one ray of light to chase a shadow away. In a world increasingly shadowed by poverty and violence, I’m proud to say that in my community, we have many people chasing away those shadows,” she wrote.

Madison’s essay earned her a free trip to Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Capital Electric membership. From June 11 to 17, she will tour the nation’s capital with 1,500 peers from across the state and nation who are representing their family’s electric cooperative on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. On the trip, Madison will see the grand architecture, meaningful monuments and fast-paced people. In addition to touring attractions including the U.S. Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and the Smithsonian museum and research complex, she will learn about the cooperative business model, U.S. history and American government. The North Dakota students will also meet our state’s congressional delegation.

From working as the business manager of the Century Star, her school’s newspaper, to teaching figure skating classes to youth, Madison embodies the Touchstone Energy Cooperative value of commitment to community. With common sense and a caring heart, she is a mature young woman who will represent Capital Electric Cooperative well while on the tour.

We congratulate Madison for writing a thoughtful essay about how Capital Electric powers our economy and communities through its Touchstone Energy Cooperative value of commitment, and for earning the opportunity to go on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour trip. After she returns from Washington, D.C., we’ll visit with her again and learn the trip’s highlights.

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