Giving Back

Science Mill, Twin Sisters Dance Hall complete projects with PEC Community Grants

How the cooperative and its members helped 2 local nonprofits continue to enrich their community

Community is at the core of everything we do, and our PEC Community Grant program is just one of the many ways we support the local nonprofits working to make the Texas Hill Country an even better place to live. Just ask our spring 2017 grant recipients, the Science Mill in Johnson City and the Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco.

“PEC is our neighbor in Johnson City, and they’ve always been a fantastic supporter of the Science Mill,” Science Mill Director of Operations Holly Barton said. “Thanks to the PEC Community Grant, we were able to provide a new engagement tool between the kids and the exhibits. The very reason why we’re able to provide these wonderful features is through the generosity of PEC.”

Each organization was awarded $5,000 in June to complete a capital improvement project. The Science Mill purchased 30 digital tablets to display and deliver the museum’s 3-D Avatar experience, which helps students engage with museum exhibits and earn virtual stickers for completing tasks. The Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco replaced the historic building’s old, leaky roof with a new, tin one.

Both projects were finished early this year, and for President of Twin Sisters Dance Hall Jo Nell Haas, watching the community come together to complete the project from start to finish was emotional.

“Between funding and getting a contractor to complete the project, it’s been a roller coaster ride,” Haas said. “We now have way better insulation in the building and have a great tin roof that’s going to last us for the next 100 years. It’s just been beautiful watching the community come together and have PEC support us in this endeavor.”

We award grants in the spring and fall each year, and in fall 2017, more than $28,000 total was awarded to the Bergheim Volunteer Fire Department, Candlelight Ranch, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Marble Falls Senior Activity Center, Texas Museum of Science and Technology and YMCA of Austin. For many nonprofits, the cooperative’s support truly means the world. It’s the reason they’re able to survive, Haas said.

“There’s not much money out here in rural areas,” she added, “which is why grants like PEC’s are crucial for us. We’re able to preserve history because of PEC, and I hope more nonprofits apply for these grants to keep their organizations alive, too.”