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BizCOMMUNITY continued from page 30 Sharon Foltz, manager of community relations for TEP and UniSource Energy, helped start the CAT program in 1993. Driving around the city, she sees hundreds of projects touched by company volunteers. Among them – brightly-painted waste bins at parks across Pima County, the first energy-efficient Habitat for Humanity home, revamped animal habitats at Reid Park Zoo, a new playground and community garden at the Community Food Bank and ramped-up efforts to educate young people about the dangers of drinking and driving. “We have expertise and enthusiasm,” Foltz said. “We like to get things done.” It’s the people – employees and their families – who drive the mission. “Every project we do has a connection to a group of employees,” Foltz said. “Our people know teamwork, how to run projects, and they are just amazing to volunteer with. They care so very much.” TEP donates from shareholder dollars – about $2 million annually. One grant opportunity, led by a committee of volunteers, conducts a competitive review to decide which organizations receive funding through TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference program. Annually, $100,000 is donated to nonprofit organizations that serve at-risk Tucsonans impacted by homelessness, domestic violence, poverty, child abuse and other social problems. The grants seek opportunities to leverage collaboration and other funds. “I’ve never worked for a company that did as much for a community as this one,” Bonavia said. “Yes, we give money to things, but we also spend a lot of time helping people do things. It’s great for the community and great in helping us make personal connections.” CAT volunteers recently held a baby shower at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, donating clothing, diapers, blankets and car seats to the women’s wellness program. A dozen TEP volunteers painted motivational words in hospital stairwells as part of “take the stairs” wellness project. “I think the spirit of TEP runs pretty deep,” Bonavia said. “We’re here, there and everywhere. These are our neighbors, this is our community, and we want to make a difference.”


Thanks, TEP Tucson Electric Power has received national recognition for community service. Among the awards:

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Edison Electric Institute Award for the “Driving Drunk Will Put Your Lights Out” awareness campaign, 1996

Award for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs Points of Light Foundation, 2004

National Corporate Advocate of the Year National Child Welfare League, 2006

Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2012

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