Rapunzel could spin straw into gold. Southeast Energizers have their own take on the beloved children’s tale: They turn homemade items into donations for their community.
Earnings from the Southeast Energizers’ annual charitable auctions allowed members to donate $9,250 to several worthy nonprofit groups this summer. Energizers is the charitable arm for retiree volunteers of Alabama Power, Southern Company Services and Southern Nuclear in Alabama.
In August, Southeast Energizers gave donations of $250 to $1,500 to these nonprofits:
- Coffee County Training Center, Enterprise.
- Communities of Transformation, Eufaula.
- Harvest Time Ministries, Clayton.
- House of Ruth Inc., Dothan.
- Landmark Park, Dothan.
- Project Lifesaver International, Alabama Division.
- Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center Inc., Dothan.
- Valley Haven School, Valley.
- Vivian B. Adams School, Ozark.
It’s all thanks to spirited bidding from attendees of Energizers’ auction in March at Alabama Power Southeast Division Headquarters in Eufaula. Bidders compete for pint-size jars of honey and syrup, as well as cakes, candies, handcrafted wooden items and other pieces.
Southeast Energizers Treasurer Dan Farmer presented a $500 check for Landmark Park in Dothan to Executive Director Laura Stakelum. Throughout the years, Farmer’s handcrafted items, such as a mirror with a coat rack, swings, University of Alabama- and Auburn University-themed cornhole games and stools, helped with the donation.
Stakelum said the gift will help with operating costs. The 135-acre Landmark Park, the state’s museum for agriculture, hosts some 50,000 visitors annually.
“We have about 10,000 to 14,000 schoolchildren from public, private and home schools who visit for field trips,” said Stakelum, who has worked at Landmark Park for 10 years.
The park’s Fall Farm Day on Oct. 19 will bring a crowd. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of an 1890s farmstead while volunteers demonstrate sugar cane grinding and syrup making, peanut picking, stacking and digging, an antique tractor pull and parade, household chores and more. Fall Farm Day is an Alabama 200 Bicentennial event.
“Southeast Energizers have been a great supporter of the park for several years,” Stakelum said.
For the House of Ruth in Dothan, the $1,000 gift from Southeast Energizers came at the “perfect time,” said Programming Coordinator Tera Vinson. House of Ruth normally accommodates about 20 women and children but has recently housed about 30 people. With more women and their kids at the shelter, the funds will go to buy paper products, toiletries and food. The facility assists residents in a nine-county area.
“We don’t turn individuals away,” said Vinson, who has worked at House of Ruth for eight years. “If they say they’re a victim of domestic abuse or a victim of assault, we serve them.”
“We are truly appreciative of this gift from Southeast Energizers to help women and families,” she said.