Charity clay shoot participants raise money to ‘Light the World’

Coweta-Fayette EMC takes top honors at the ninth annual Take Aim at Progress event, a charity clay shoot held in Griffin. Winning team members shown (L-R) are Anthony Walker, Andrew Betts, Robert McDonald, Brett Bone, Wayne Flournoy and Rusty Rainey. Photo/Coweta-Fayette EMC.

Coweta-Fayette Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) took top honors this year at the ninth annual Take Aim at Progress (TAAP) event, a charity clay shoot held recently at Cherokee Rose Sporting Resort in Griffin and organized by Georgia EMCs and vendors to benefit the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA’s) International Foundation.

Through the TAAP program and resulting fund-raising efforts, volunteers travel to impoverished countries in Central America to help build power lines.

For many who make the overseas journey – which is by no means a vacation, but rather hard work in harsh conditions – the impact of helping to electrify a rural community is deeply felt and its effects long-lasting.

“If you’ve ever seen the condition these villagers live in, you would know that having one light bulb or a place to plug in a refrigerator makes our participation worthwhile,” said Coweta-Fayette EMC team coordinator Rusty Rainey.

Rainey’s team, which came in first place, and two additional Coweta-Fayette teams competed against 43 other six-man groups from co-ops and vendors all over Georgia – the most since its inception in 2003.

According to event coordinator Chris Stephens, Coweta-Fayette EMC’s Vice President of Engineering, TAAP is similar to golf.

“Teams go from station to station shooting clay targets, trying to hit as many as possible to accumulate the best score,” he said.

Although the competitive aspects of TAAP are fun and rewarding, it’s the resulting charitable works that keep participants coming back year after year. Coweta-Fayette CEO Anthony “Tony” Sinclair called funds raised by the event integral to cooperatives’ efforts in Central America.

“This is a very important program,” he said. “In some of these villages, they have never had power to refrigerate food or medicine, to provide safety with public lighting. We are helping to light the world, one bulb at a time.”

Since its founding, TAAP and the Georgia cooperatives and sponsors involved have provided funds to electrify communities, schools and small businesses and run more than 17 miles of distribution line benefiting some 800 families in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 74,000 member accounts in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Clayton, Spalding, Troup and Meriwether counties. It is headquartered in in Palmetto.

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