Duke Energy's Commitment To Florida Communities Amplified By More Than $5 Million Of Grant Funding In 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy is powering its communities with more than electricity. In 2017, the company invested more than $5 million in Sunshine State nonprofit organizations.

New Duke Energy logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy)

The grants were awarded by the Duke Energy Foundation, which provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities, with a focus on "K to Career" educational and workforce development initiatives, the environment and community impact.

"We are committed to our communities," said Harry Sideris, president, Duke Energy Florida. "Giving back is an integral part of our company's philosophy. We live, work and raise our children in the communities we serve, and we look forward to continuing our legacy of charitable giving and employee volunteerism."

Florida's 2017 grant recipients included organizations from across the state including Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, United Arts of Central Florida, Orlando Science Center, Bok Tower Gardens, CareerSource Pinellas, Inc./The Science Center, 35 education foundations supporting schools and dozens of others.

Duke Energy's philanthropy helped fund projects such as providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-focused after school classes for underserved elementary and middle school students, assisting conservancy initiatives and supporting cultural arts and arts education.

The company also partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays on its Victories for Veterans program for the second consecutive year, through which the Duke Energy Foundation donated more than $79,000 to charities that support veterans across the state.

The Duke Energy Foundation also responded to emergent needs that arose in 2017, including $1 million to assist communities, customers and neighbors impacted by Hurricane Irma. The funds were distributed through state, regional and local organizations, such as the Volunteer Florida Foundation, 14 United Way agencies, the Energy Neighbor Fund and several community agencies.

The foundation awarded a $1 million grant to United Way Suncoast for the Campbell Park community and its surrounding neighborhoods in St. Petersburg, Fla. Duke Energy Florida's commitment is enabling United Way Suncoast to rapidly expand and increase capacity at the center that empowers individuals and families with resources and training to work toward long-term stability.

"Lives will be changed for the better thanks to Duke Energy Foundation's investment in the Campbell Park community," said Suzanne McCormick, president and CEO of United Way Suncoast. "Their generosity continues to inspire others to take action and we are proud to have them as partners in the newly opened Campbell Park Resource Center Annex, serving children and families across the community."

Employee Volunteerism Duke Energy's financial support solidifies its commitment to the communities it serves.  Florida employees have also rolled up their sleeves to help their neighbors. Last year, employees volunteered more than 15,000 hours in their communities.

In 2017, employees participated in dozens of volunteer events in Florida, including restoring native habitats by planting critically-endangered species at Bok Tower, cleaning the Port St. Joe coast for sea turtle nesting season, helping children get to school safely with the "walking school bus" program, painting and enhancement projects in the Campbell Park neighborhood, completing landscaping and beautification projects at Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and organizing food, clothing and school supply drives for those in need. A wrap-up video highlighting Duke Energy volunteer events in Florida is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMwcHboEnyQ https://youtu.be/GzMRPsaCNxM.

The foundation annually funds more than $30 million to communities throughout Duke Energy's seven-state service area. In 2016, the company donated more than $3 million to nonprofit organizations in Florida.

For additional information on Duke Energy's community giving programs visit duke-energy.com/foundation.

About Duke Energy Foundation The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit  duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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SOURCE Duke Energy

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