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EN employees mark 41 years of spreading holiday joy

News Release

(Above) Richard Garcia, Regulatory Affairs,​ drops off gifts with coworker Amie Bootsma, Supply Chain Services, Dec. 8 at EN’s “North Pole.” 

Richland, Wash.– Thanks to the generosity of Energy Northwest employees, 374 Tri-Cities area children will receive both toys and needed clothing items this holiday season.

For 41 years, EN has partnered with the Benton Franklin Head Start program to provide gifts for program participants. Head Start focuses on early child education and kindergarten readiness for income-eligible children and families.

“It is an absolute privilege to participate in this program each year with Head Start," said CEO Bob Schuetz. In past years, Schuetz played the role of Santa Claus for area classroom parties. “The smile on the faces of these kids is just priceless. This is really what the season is all about – making a difference for people in our community. It is a core part of who we are as Energy Northwest."

Because of ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa was unable to make classroom visits again this year. He did provide a special video greeting from the North Pole, with appearances from Mrs. Claus and one of his workshop elves.

The Head Start children who are sponsored by EN employees receive gifts of toys, as well as warm clothing.

A committee of employees manage the distribution of wish lists and collect, label and deliver gifts to classrooms. Kristine Darling, a specialist in Construction & Projects Management, served as chair this year.

“Helping children, especially those in the Head Start program each year is such a joy. To know that I am part of bringing a smile to a child on Christmas morning is fulfilling and makes me grateful to work for a company that helps our community," Darling said.

About Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar, battery storage and wind projects – and the Northwest's only nuclear power facility. These projects provide carbon-free electricity at the cost of generation – enough clean, cost-effective and reliable energy to power more than a million homes each year. As an independent joint operating agency of Washington state, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million customers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members' needs. 

Kelly Rae, Public Affairs, 509-372-5376

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