MidAmerican Energy has pledged to donate money to the Knoxville Streetscape Committee to purchase a bench for the city on behalf of the 2009 and 2010 Knoxville Nationals volunteers. Nationals Chair and MidAmerican Energy representative Ky Boyle presented the pledge to Streetscape member Larry Formanek and several volunteers Tuesday evening. Formanek says the the new bench will be one of five that will be soon added to downtown Knoxville as he and Chamber Board Member Dick Reed plan to each purchase one. The committee is in search of other individuals or businesses who would be willing to contribute as well, and says the city’s Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) will pay for half the cost of the benches. Formanek says the goal is to purchase large benches that are roughly $1,450 each and once they are ordered the Streetscape Committee will decide where to place them.
Boyle says MidAmerican Energy strives to recognize volunteers who are committeed to helping to better their communities. He says what this donation will allow Knoxville National volunteers from the past two years do is see a tangible item that can be used by the community and be able to say they helped make this improvement happen. Boyle says now not only have the volunteers donated countless hours flipping pancakes, parking cars and doing other various tasks they now see an item that beautifies the downtown and will be there a long after their volunteer hours are over.
Boyle adds that MidAmerican’s donation allows the volunteers to move some of the money they would usually use on themselves or a celebration and put it back into the community which is a terrific positive for all involved. MidAmerican Energy also sponsors the Chamber of Commerce’s annual volunteer appreciation luncheon that was rained out this past weekend and will be rescheduled for a later date. Boyle says usually when it comes to volunteers, organizations like the chamber are there with their hand out asking for time or donations, but this is a time where they can just say thanks. He says he believes celebrations like these are one of the most important functions that the chamber and the nationals committee does, just to take a moment and show appreciation for those who make these events possible. And thanks to MidAmerican’s generosity, the money that would be used for these types of celebrations can instead turn around and go even further to better the community.