Murray Electric System and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.
Home to Murray State University, Murray sits at the heart of Kentucky Lake, TVA’s largest reservoir and part of its environmental stewardship program. Camping, fishing and eagle-watching are just a few of the outdoor activities enjoyed by residents and tourists. Local schools have fishing teams that enjoy participating in tournaments on the lake.
Community energy benefits students in the classroom as well. Mary Beth Paschall, Marketing and Telephone Coordinator for MES, says that MES was proud to partner with TVA and Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization) to present Murray Independent School District (MISD) with a $5,000 2021 STEM grant. The grant provides funding that will be used to purchase Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology for the classroom to explore other cultures through virtual field trips. Paschall says that students will be able to interact with the digital world to see places and things they couldn’t experience otherwise.
Although MISD was one of only two school districts in Western Kentucky to receive a TVA STEM grant, 2021 marked the second year in a row that MISD earned this highly competitive award. Only schools that receive their power from a TVA distributor such as MES are eligible to receive a STEM grant. MES is proud that their partnership with TVA helps to make funding opportunities like these possible for the students in their community.
The team at Murray Electric System (MES) also enjoys reaching out to schools in fun, creative ways. “We have a tiny [model] city that our linemen built with power poles, houses and even cars. They teach the kids, mostly fourth graders, how electricity works and guiding principles of electrical safety,” says Paschall.
The value of community energy extends to all customers, especially when times are tough. Paschall says, “We had a major [company], Briggs & Stratton, shut down in the community. That shut-down, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, put a financial strain on a lot of our neighbors.” MES partnered with TVA twice in 2020 to donate a total of $40,000 through the TVA Community Cares Fund to both The United Way and Needline to help those in need. The funds were distributed to help customers struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic.
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