EVART — Evart’s Chamber of Commerce team want to get recognition of the community and their efforts some better exposure  24-hours a day.

In order to help do so, board members hoped to get the Chamber billboard at the west entrance to the community lit throughout the evening hours each day.

But that takes money - money not easily expended on a project of this sort.

Until a friend and supporter stepped to the plate wearing the Consumer’s Energy logo.

A Consumer’s representative attended the most recent meeting of the Evart Chamber and brought a $3,000 grant donation check earmarked to pay for the lighting of the Evart billboard.

“Consumer’s Energy is very proud to be very involved in the communities we serve,’ said Jeff Mayes, area manager for Consumers. “We take our obligation to invest in and support the communities that do business with us very seriously.”

As a company, Consumer’s invests some $4 million in community support projects  each year.

“One of the areas were invest very heavily in is community economic development,” continued Mayes. “We seek out projects that folks are undertaking to better impact the economic growth in their community.

“Getting the message about what Evart is all about to drivers passing on U.S. 10 is certainly part of that informational and development mission.

“In short, we want to try and help communities that are looking to move forward and grow.”

A few months back, then Evart Chamber president Connie Douglas approached Mayes with the idea of applying for grant funding that would illuminate the informational billboard sign alongside U.S. 10.

The project involved bringing power across U.S. 10 creating in order to allow an electric lighting system hookup.

The Chamber ‘pitched’ the idea to the Consumer’s  team in charge of distributing charitable grant funding.

“We get a lot of requests every year, and unfortunately there is never enough money to go around in support of every single request,” said Mayes.

“This year, however, there was grant funding available to help with the Evart project and bring power from across the highway to the Chamber billboard, and we are very happy to be able to become a part of this project.

“We are proud to be able to provide this grant to support the Chamber’s investment in their community.”

Douglas expressed the Chamber’s gratitude to Consumer’s and told Chamber members the board was already in the process of moving the illumination project forward and had been in contact with local electricians to iron out practical wrinkles.

“We will contract with a company and get the lighting work done as soon as possible,’ said Douglas. “The city has graciously agreed to pick up the monthly bill for lighting the sign so we are looking forward to moving the project along as quickly as possible.”