SMECO Holds 66th Annual Meeting

More than 2,700 people turned out for the 66th Annual Meeting of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), held Wednesday, September 1. The outdoor event featured the voting for bylaw amendments and election of directors for SMECO's Board, as well as food, music, informational displays, and prize giveaways.

Nearly 1,400 members registered to vote in the Board of Directors election. Re-elected for three-year terms were incumbents W. Michael Phipps of Calvert County; Gilbert O. Bowling and Francis J. Nimmerrichter of Charles County; James A. Richards of Prince George's County; and Francis E. Hewitt of St. Mary's County. Members also voted to make language changes to SMECO's bylaws.

Entertainment for the audience included music from the band Solid Brass and folk singer Tom Wisner. Local high school student Lauren Young sang the U.S. national anthem at the start of the business portion of the meeting. SMECO personnel conducted a hot-line demonstration to educate customers about the dangers of electricity. Also featured were displays by several community organizations, including the Accokeek Foundation (National Colonial Farm), Calvert Marine Museum, St. Clement's Island-Potomac River Museum, Sotterley Foundation, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House, the Great Mills High School Engineering Club's electric car, and the Year of the River, among others. Sales of hot dogs, nachos, and bottled water at the meeting raised money for the Charles County Hospice.

During the Annual Meeting, SMECO invited member-owners to participate in ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action. This program enables members to support the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE), the political action committee for the nation's electric cooperatives.

Members who registered at the meeting were eligible to win fifty small prizes and six grand prizes--two gas grills, three U.S. Savings Bonds, and a used SMECO vehicle. Members who signed up for ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action were eligible to win two $50 American Express gift checks. The prize winners were:

- Jean and Vincent Glista of Indian Head, $50 gift check
- Dorothy Loretta McIver of Waldorf, $50 gift check
- Kelly Gatton of California, gas grill
- Leann Keech of La Plata, gas grill
- Stanley Jones of Waldorf, $500 U.S. Savings Bond
- Sonny Burch of Mechanicsville, $500 U.S. Savings Bond
- Joseph Strickland of Charlotte Hall, $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond
- Albert and Marie Watson of Brandywine, 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck

PHOTO: SMECO lineman William Hill demonstrates the importance of safe work procedures around high voltages, as part of the Hot Line Demonstration at the Cooperative's Annual Meeting.

SMECO is a customer-owned electric cooperative providing electricity to over 134,000 services in southern Prince George's County, and in Charles County, St. Mary's County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County.

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