Utility invests in communities
BANGOR and PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many events and programs from taking place in person in 2020, Versant Power invested more than $440,000 in local communities, with funds supporting basic human needs as well as socially distant events and economic development initiatives.
Early in the pandemic, the company devoted $65,000 to COVID-19 response funds at The United Way of Eastern Maine, The United Way of Aroostook and Good Shepherd Food Bank , while a $60,000 charitable gift to six regional YMCAs helped support children and families. The utility also donated $30,000 to the Eastern and Aroostook Area Agencies on Aging, which helped provide access to food, heating assistance and socialization opportunities, and gave laptops to children needing access to the technology for remote learning.
The company also helped cover the costs of local socially distant light displays during the holiday season.
“At Versant Power, we recognize the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented this year, and are pleased to provide support to our nonprofit partners at a time when it’s needed most,” said John Flynn, Versant Power president.
Historically, the company’s giving addresses a range of needs from food security to economic development. While a majority of charitable investments focused on the pandemic this year, sustainability and development were not overlooked. Through a multi-year partnership with the Maine Development Foundation, Versant continued to fund revitalization efforts in northern Maine communities as part of the Downtown Center initiative in 2020.
The company also helped fund a study of broadband expansion in the Katahdin region, continued support for University of Maine engineering students and programs, and is supporting Electrify MDI in efforts to encourage people how to use power more efficiently.
The company’s has aided nonprofit organizations and sponsored local programs and events. As part of its acquisition of the utility earlier this year, parent company ENMAX offered to support a 10 percent increase in community investment each year over the next five years.