Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

2023 Shine the Light winners honored with $2,500 donations to their local charities

September 7, 2023

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Earlier this summer, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa sponsored their third annual Shine the Light contest to highlight our cooperative commitment to community. During the month of June, member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives were invited to nominate volunteers in their communities who are working to improve quality of life.

We received 126 nominations from across the state, highlighting the work of many incredible Iowans. Three winners were chosen by our judges, and they each received a $2,500 donation to their local charity: 

  • Heather Weers of Center Junction was nominated by Megan Ruley of Anamosa, who is a member-consumer and employee of Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative. Heather was selected as a 2023 Shine the Light winner for her work with the Jones County chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP). Heather started the local chapter of SHP in 2019 and is committed to their mission of making sure no child in the community sleeps on the floor. Shine the Light’s $2,500 donation to Sleep in Heavenly Peace will be used to purchase bedding, mattresses and other materials for children in need. Click to watch a short video about Heather.
  • Betty Throndson of New Hampton was nominated by Shirley Hoffman of Ionia, who is her sister and a member-consumer of Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative. Betty was selected as a 2023 Shine the Light winner for her work with Project Flo, named in memory of her mother, Florence “Flo” Throndson. Betty and her 14 siblings established Project Flo in 2011 as a way to honor their mother’s spirit of volunteerism. Each year in June, Betty coordinates family, friends and neighbors to make home improvements for those in need throughout Chickasaw County. Project Flo will use the $2,500 donation for renovation equipment and supplies. Click to watch a short video about Project Flo.
  • Erica Lindaman of Clarion was nominated by several member-consumers and employees of Prairie Energy Cooperative. Erica was named as a 2023 Shine the Light contest winner for her work with Gift of Giving. A fourth-grade teacher, Erica is well aware of the need for clothes, food, furniture and other vital resources in the community. During the COVID pandemic, Erica was instrumental in collecting items and sponsoring families in need during the holiday season. She has continued to organize resources without judgement for those in Wright County ever since. Gift of Giving will put the $2,500 donation to good use to keep this local program running. Click to watch a short video about Erica.

Our 2023 winners are also featured in the September issue of Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine and on the contest website at; all of the 126 nominators and nominees were listed in the August issue.

The Shine the Light contest will return next summer to celebrate our cooperative commitment to community; electric cooperative member-consumers will be invited to nominate a local volunteer during the month of June at

For More Information:

Erin Campbell, IAEC Director of Communications

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