HERSHEY, PA, Dec. 18, 2013 -- On Wednesday, Dec. 11, winners of Pennsylvania American Water's "Community Investment Challenge" were announced.
The contest allowed voters on the company's Facebook page to determine grant awards to support environmental projects and community improvement programs. In all, 17 organizations from across the commonwealth entered projects in the project, and Facebook users were able to vote once each day between Nov. 8 and Dec. 8 for their favorite projects.
After a total of 2,689 votes were cast during the month-long contest, the top three winners are:
- First place (737 votes): Downtown Scranton Spring Planter Beautification Project will receive a $1,000 grant for cleaning up debris and planting flowers and bushes throughout the planters in Scranton's Main Street district. The University of Scranton's Office of Community Relations and student government is partnering with Scranton Tomorrow and Penn State Master Gardeners in Lackawanna County to extend its annual spring "Street Sweep" neighborhood clean-up event into downtown Scranton.
- Second place (695 votes): Derry Township Environmental Action Committee will receive a $700 grant for its Rain Barrel Workshop, where attendees can purchase high-quality rain barrels at a reduced cost and learn about stormwater runoff and water conservation.
- Third place (247 votes): Mt. Lebanon Environmental Sustainability Board will receive a $300 grant for its Energy Camels Project to reward residents who make documented progress in energy or water conservation. Energy Camels, when placed in residents' front yards, are designed to engage the community by making behavior change "fun" through education about conservation.
"We are excited and honored to earn first place in Pennsylvania American Water's Community Investment Challenge," said Julie Schumacher Cohen, director of Community and Government Relations at The University of Scranton. "This grant will make a significant impact in helping to beautify downtown Scranton, thanks to Pennsylvania American Water's generosity and the support of our Facebook community."
Eligible projects fell into one of four categories: Water and the Environment, Water and Healthy Living, Environmental Education or Community Sustainability, and will take place within Pennsylvania American Water's service areas in 2014.
"We are very pleased with how the contest engaged a broad range of civic, non-profit and environmental groups, who rallied and mobilized their social media networks to earn support for their local projects," said Pennsylvania American Water Director of Communications and External Affairs Terry M. Maenza. "While we congratulate the winners, we also applaud the other entries for the innovative projects and terrific work they are doing in their communities."
See also: "PA American Water employs social media efforts to support environmental projects."
About Pennsylvania American Water
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. For more information, visit www.amwater.com.