Walking around the Ramkota Hotel Ballroom in Bismarck, ND, the evening of April 24 was like a walk through Basin Electric’s history book. The room was filled with the state’s electric cooperative giants; community and state leaders, past and present; and cooperative employees and members.
All came out to pay tribute to the early investors in a 97,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of North Dakota’s state museum – among them the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of North Dakota – as well as celebrate North Dakota history and the significant impact rural electrification had on the state.
Of the private funding given for the new facility, Basin Electric and other state Touchstone Energy cooperatives grabbed hold of the project early and provided much needed lead donations to initiate the fundraising process. Basin Electric committed to $250,000 in funds and $250,000 in in-kind services to the project. Other cooperatives provided donations as well and the collective $1.3 million contribution has resulted in the Touchstone Energy Cooperative Governors Gallery. The 5,000 square-foot gallery will feature changing exhibits, both temporary and traveling. In fact, the first exhibit will depict the history of rural electrification in North Dakota.
Under the Touchstone Energy umbrella, Basin Electric and its family of cooperatives, Great River Energy, Minnkota Power Cooperative, the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) and the National Information Solutions Cooperative, were all recognized and paid tribute during the evening event.
Read more about this in the May-June issue of Basin Today, Paying Tribute for gifts of historical significance.