“We know they’re being delivered because we’ve started getting a few calls,” says Penelope Hinson, manager of public relations, marketing and energy management.
One phone call was from a member concerned about a typo on the postcard. “They just couldn’t believe we would be giving away a vehicle as old as a 1999 Ford Explorer,” Hinson says. “I assured them it wasn’t a typo.”
The vehicles used as the Grand Prize each year are retired from the Horry Electric fleet. “The vehicles we retire from the fleet are not up to the challenges that we put on them anymore, but they have enough life left in them for someone else to enjoy,” says Hinson.
“We’ve been using a retired fleet vehicle as a Grand Prize since the mid 80s,” explains Hinson. Other electric co-ops in South Carolina and all across the country do the same thing. “It’s proven to help draw a big crowd to Annual Meeting,” says Hinson, adding the importance of drawing a crowd to acheive quorum so business can be conducted.
Horry Electric’s bylaws require a quorum – equal to 5 percent of the membership – in order to conduct an official business meeting. With a preliminary estimate of 54,676 members of Horry Electric on Annual Meeting Day, a minimum of 2,734 members must register at the Annual Meeting.
Members must register, in person, in order to be considered present for the business meeting and to be eligible to receive $25 electric bill credit, which is this year’s Registration Gift. “There are absolutely no exceptions to the requirement that members must register in person for the electric bill credit to their account.
Other than a new site for the event, the biggest change to the Annual Meeting is the removal of the restriction that members must be present at the time of the prize drawing in order to win. “Each member who registers, in person, at the meeting during the designated hours for Registration, will not only qualify to get the Registration Gift, but will also be automatically entered into the prize drawing,” says Hinson. “Winners, if they are not present, will be notified by phone the following day.”
The restriction that members had to be present at the time of the prize drawing was lifted by the board of trustees during early planning stages for the 2013 event. Attendance records are expected to be broken. Co-op officials did not want traffic concerns to discourage members from attending.