Crystal River Energy Complex workers sponsor underprivileged children this Christmas

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CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. – Two-year-old Brian likes Spiderman. Nine-year-old Logan is all about Legos, and 12-year-old Richelle wants an MP3 player. Their Christmas wish lists are like most children’s except these lists also include basic necessities: shoes, socks, underwear, toiletries, sheets, blankets and warm clothes.

To spread holiday cheer, workers at Duke Energy’s Crystal River Energy Complex, with significant contributions from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 433, are sponsoring about 150 of Citrus County’s most underprivileged children – ages newborn to 16. Each child will receive about 10 packages to open on Christmas day; that’s about $20,000 to $30,000 in gifts. This year, Duke Energy workers are also donating 56 bikes. 

“I’ve been participating in the Holiday Hope program for 17 years,” Duke Energy’s Carolle Butler said. “It’s been that many years since my oldest son died in a car accident. He died in July, and when Christmas rolled around, this program helped mend my broken heart. It brings joy to my soul to see the outpouring of support from the community. I am also proud of my co-workers. I can always count on them to make sure every child on the list is sponsored. To focus on others is truly a gift you give to yourself.”   

Workers fill children’s holiday wish lists in partnership with the Citrus County Family Resource Center in Hernando. In 2014, the center – with help from individuals, clubs and businesses – sponsored 1,977 local children. Similar numbers are expected this year.

“Duke has been involved with this project for about 30 years,” said Ginger West, director of the Citrus County Family Resource Center. “Each year, more than 100 children receive gifts from employees who sponsor them individually or in groups. Many employees also spend hours wrapping gifts and helping keep our Christmas shop in order. To say we appreciate them is such an understatement.”

To sponsor a child, workers either use their own money or participate in various fundraisers. For example, the IBEW 433 sponsors an annual golf tournament and this year raised more than $8,000 for the program.  

“Kids need to know they’re loved and someone is thinking about them, especially at Christmas,” the IBEW’s Tracy Johnson said. “This has been a team effort among the IBEW, Duke Energy employees and contractors and the Crystal River K-Mart (that provided significant discounts). This team has come together to help make kids’ lives better.”

As part of a Duke Energy In Action volunteer event on Dec. 7, 2015, about 20 energy complex elves will log about 80 volunteer hours helping the Family Resource Center with Christmas preps, including wrapping packages.  

Photo opportunity


Crystal River Energy Complex workers, including coal-fired units, nuclear plant decommissioning and combined-cycle natural gas plant project team


Duke Energy’s Holiday Hope program


Citrus County Family Resource Center | 2435 N. Florida Ave.,   Hernando

Center contact:

Ginger West | 352.344.1001 |


Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 | 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. (Bikes to be offloaded between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.)

About the Crystal River Energy Complex

The Crystal River Energy Complex is home to four coal-fired units, the decommissioning Crystal River Nuclear Plant, a Mariculture Center (fish hatchery) and the new combined-cycle natural gas plant construction project. The complex is 4,700 acres and represents the largest energy complex on the Duke Energy Florida system. The complex employs more than 600 people, not including contractors and security officers.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns coal-fired and natural gas generation providing about 9,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

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Contact: Heather Danenhower
24-Hour: 800.559.3853