BAD AXE – Thursday’s Citizens for Wind Energy barbecue drew about 400 people within its first hour.
The four-hour barbecue, which was held Thursday, was the second barbecue Citizens for Wind Energy (CWE) has sponsored.
And organizers anticipated Thursday’s turnout would exceed the turnout of the first barbecue, which drew between 500 and 600 people last summer.
Citizens for Wind Energy (CWE) Chairman Scott Krohn was excited by the large turnout on Thursday, noting it shows the vast majority of people in Huron County support wind energy.
“We all care about the future of Huron County,” he said.
Randy Elenbaum, who sits on the CWE Steering Committee, said wind energy is an important issue “for the future of our kids and grandkids.”
Steering Committee member Tom Ziel said Thursday’s barbecue was held as a thank-you and pat-on-the-back for everybody who has supported CWE.
CWE held its first barbecue last summer, in efforts to drum up support for wind energy and to get voters to approve ballot proposals to create two wind districts, one in Bloomfield, Rubicon and Sigel townships, and another in McKinley Township. During last November’s general election, each proposal passed by more than 600 votes.
Thursday’s barbecue, which was held at the Knights of Columbus, featured inflatables, live musical entertainment and a variety of information relating to wind energy and CWE membership, which Krohn said has grown over the past year.
“New memberships come in all the time,” he said, noting there’s no charge to be a member.
CWE was formed to promote the benefits of wind energy.
“We were tired of being the silent majority,” Krohn said.
In addition to Krohn, Ziel and Elenbaum, CWE’s leadership team consists of Upper Thumb residents Yvonne Bushey, Bruce Baur, Keith Iseler, Blaine Buchholz, Gil Tinsey and Ted Leipprandt.
Krohn said CWE is supported by a number of different wind developers and contractors, including Exelon Wind, Heritage Sustainable Energy, RES Americas, Barton Malow Co. and Geronimo Wind Energy.
“We all work together,” he said.
David Shiflett, wind development associate from Geronimo Wind Energy, said CWE is an extremely unique organization because it is a collaboration between citizens and developers.
“This doesn’t happen anywhere else in the country,” he said.
DTE Energy Renewable Energy Director Chuck Conlen also attended Thursday’s barbecue. He said it was amazing to see the turnout and what CWE and the community have done to support wind energy.
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