World of Energy announces Festival of Trees winners

UPSTATE — Duke Energy’s World of Energy at Oconee Nuclear Station recently presented the Oconee Humane Society a $1,000 donation as the winner of its fourth annual Festival of Trees.

Also, for the first time this year, Duke Energy provided donations to the second and third place winners. The Tribble Center received $750 for its second-place display, and the Alzheimer’s Association received $500 for its third-place tree.

humanesoc“The Oconee Humane Society is grateful for Duke Energy’s continued support of non-profit organizations in our community,” said Angel Newman, Communications Director of the Oconee Humane Society. “The Festival of Trees was a fun way to share our mission and we thank everyone who came out and voted for OHS. The new year is already looking brighter for Oconee County’s homeless pets.”

“The festival was a lot of fun, and great to see the enthusiastic support for the participants,” said Chris Rimel, manager of the World of Energy and Duke Energy’s South Carolina Communications Manager-Nuclear Generation. “It had very special meaning since we dedicated it in honor of B.J.”

B.J. Gatten was manager of the World of Energy. She started the Festival of Trees in 2013. She died a year ago.

For the fourth year, the World of Energy provided pre-lit, undecorated holiday trees and invited local organizations to decorate them for display throughout the month of December. Visitors to the World of Energy voted on their favorite, with the top three receiving a portion of $2,250 in grant funding from Duke Energy. Twenty-one organizations sponsored trees, and nearly 1,400 votes were cast.

tribblecenter“Thank you, Duke Energy, for your generous donation,” said Rosanne Weber, After Hours Activities Coordinator for the Tribble Center. “Our clients worked hard making decorations and decorating the tree, and felt a great sense of accomplishment to come in second place while securing these funds for the Tribble Center. Being a part of this festival added a sense of pride and acceptance in the community that is so important to their well-being and self-confidence. The Tribble Center Foundation is centered on fund-raising efforts for all programs associated with the Tribble Center. This prize will help us as we seek to ensure the future care and services of our clients.”

“The Alzheimer’s Association is truly appreciative of the generous donation from Duke Energy,” said Sam Wiley, Vice President of Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter.aa “This donation will go to towards our mission of the Association which is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. We are thankful for companies like Duke Energy who give back to their community to make a positive impact. This support helps the Association continue working towards our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”

Duke Energy’s World of Energy at Oconee Nuclear Station is an interactive education center that focuses on informing the public about energy production and the environment. All events and activities are free and open to the public. For more information, contact (864) 873-4600 or visit