Minnesota Celebrates 8/11 Day

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Minnesota Celebrates 8/11 Day

June 15, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS— CenterPoint Energy (CNP) is gearing up to host the annual 811 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Bde Maka Ska, formerly known as Lake Calhoun. CNP is partnering with Twin Cities Firefighters to raise money for Operation Warm Coats for Kids, a non-profit that gives new, warm coats to children in need.

In addition to the 5K run/walk, the event will feature a run for children, a demonstration safety fair, fire truck tours, and other safety-themed games and activities. The 5K run/walk starts at 8:11 a.m. on 8/11 to raise awareness of the 811 one-call service and the importance of calling 811 reaching Gopher State One Call (GSOC) two working days in advance of any digging project.

“75 percent of our gas leaks are a result of unsafe digging activities” said CNP Spokesperson Becca Virden, “The demonstrations at the safety fair will help educate people on safe digging practices and encourage them to inform their friends and neighbors on what to do in the event of a utility damage emergency. We want to create a domino effect that prevents damage to people and property though education.”

2018 marks the fifth consecutive year that CNP has worked with GSOC, Xcel Energy and other utilities to organize the 811 5K Walk/Run. In its first year, all proceeds were donated to Kevin Grutzmacher, public relations & education coordinator for GSOC, Minnesota’s state-wide one-call center, who was paralyzed in 2013 after falling from a tree stand while deer hunting. Together, CNP, Rhino Markers and Infrastructure Resources, Minneapolis Fire Department, and other Minnesota utility companies raised over $20,000 to purchase an electric wheelchair for Grutzmacher and pay for his medical bills.

In the years after 2013, CNP partnered with Twin Cities Firefighters to raise money for Operation Warm Coats for Kids. Last year, CenterPoint Energy and other utility companies donated over $18,000 towards providing brand-new winter coats for children in need in the Twin Cities.

“When temperatures go below freezing, a lot of times parents won’t send their kids to school because it is dangerous for them to be outside without a coat. When we provide those kids with warm winter coats, we’ve found that it actually increases attendance at schools in low-income areas” said Virden.

This August, dozens of CenterPoint employee volunteers will work together to organize this event. Local news anchors will be emceeing the event and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will also be participating in the run/walk. For more information on how to get involved with the 811 5K Walk/Run, visit Facebook.com/811RunWalk.