NewsEarthrise Energy Awards $15,000 Grant to Continue to Expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Vermilion County

Earthrise Energy Awards $15,000 Grant to Continue to Expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Vermilion County

To empower the next generation with the gift of literacy, Earthrise Energy recently announced a $15,000 RISE Grant to fund the ongoing expansion of the United Way of Danville Area’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Program in Vermilion County.

This marks the second year the United Way of Danville Area has been awarded a RISE Grant to support increased enrollment in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program where free books are mailed every month to children from birth to age five, regardless of a family’s income.

The grant will help provide high-quality books to children in the Tilton, Catlin, Belgium, Westville, Georgetown, and Danville communities where Earthrise Energy operates and is developing renewable energy projects. The additional dollars will also enable the United Way to grow online program enrollment and open up the program to multiple children in a household, lifting a restriction that capped enrollment to one child per household.

“This program not only gives children a head start on their learning journey, it also helps strengthen the bond between the child and reader,” said Angie Lazzell, CEO of United Way of Danville Area. “We could not be more grateful for this gift and the continued partnership with Earthrise Energy. Now, even more children will have access to this wonderful opportunity.”

Since United Way of Danville Area launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Program in Vermilion County in 2011, more than 3,800 local Children have graduated from the program.

“We applaud the United Way of Danville’s efforts to get a book into the hands of every child and encourage childhood literacy,” said Emre Ozmen, Earthrise Energy’s Director of Development “I cherish my childhood memories of reading about the big red dog and other classic children’s books with my parents, and I am thrilled that Earthrise can help create those opportunities for families in Vermilion County.”

Founded to accelerate the clean energy transition, Earthrise Energy owns and operates five natural gas plants in Illinois, including the Tilton Energy power plant in Tilton, the Gibson City Energy Center in Gibson City, and the Shelby County Energy Center in Neoga. The company launched its RISE Grant program to help fund local initiatives that promote excellence in education, protect the environment, and support the communities where Earthrise Energy has operations.

“We are pleased to be able to make RISE Grants available to fund initiatives and organizations helping improve the quality of life for residents throughout Illinois. Education is one of our key focus areas for giving because we understand the transformative impact it can have on individuals, families, and communities,” added Will Fischer, Earthrise Energy’s Vice President of Development. “For many of us, our love of learning all started with the magic of opening a book.”

To learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and to sign up your child or children, visit