Duke Energy awards $260,000 to power community needs in Florida

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  • Grants fund the arts, diversity, storm preparedness and COVID-19 issues.

  • 19 nonprofit organizations to receive awards.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Duke Energy Foundation is powering Florida communities with nearly $260,000 in grants to fund accessibility to the arts, promote diversity and inclusion, and address storm preparedness and COVID-19 challenges.

“Giving back to communities where we live and work is fundamental to who we are at Duke Energy,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. “These grants will support 19 nonprofits that are critical to the vitality of the communities we serve and will help them continue to deliver important services during a pandemic that is reshaping all of our daily lives.”

Among this year’s recipients is Prospera, an economic development organization offering bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business. Based in Orlando, Prospera provides Hispanic entrepreneurs with training, support and resources to help their businesses grow and prosper.

“Duke Energy has been a supporter and partner of Prospera for several years,” said Prospera President and CEO Augusto Sanabria. “We value their belief in our mission and appreciate every investment they make to help us start, sustain and grow more Hispanic-owned businesses to achieve community prosperity. Duke Energy’s 2020 grant will enable us to serve and invest resources in more small businesses in Florida that can benefit more than ever from a trusted guide and a helping hand.”

Grant recipients, programs and awards


  • Prospera – Help Hispanic-owned businesses achieve greater disaster preparedness and resiliency, reopen or recover more quickly from the impacts of COVID-19 ($50,000)

Tampa Bay area

  • Clearwater Jazz Holiday – Support the virtual Journey through Jazz afterschool program in economically challenged communities ($15,000)
  • Holocaust Museum – Support free virtual lessons for grades 1 to 12 to promote civility and embracing differences between people ($15,000)
  • John Morroni Legacy Foundation – Support first responder mental health initiative ($15,000)

Greater Orlando area

  • Council on Aging of Volusia County – Provide hurricane preparedness kits for seniors ($9,800)
  • Museum of Art -Deland – Support classroom arts collaboration program in Title I schools ($10,000)
  • Orlando Ballet – Provide free lessons for underserved children ($5,000)
  • Orlando Philharmonic, Young People’s Concerts – Introduce elementary students to the arts in Title I schools in Volusia and Seminole counties ($10,000)
  • Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment – Address affordable housing ($5,000)
  • Seminole County Schools Foundation – Provide digital tools for Take Stock in Children program ($5,000)
  • United Arts of Central Florida – Address the underrepresentation of people of color in the arts in Central Florida ($50,000)
  • Volusia Schools FUTUTRES Foundation – Provide digital tools for Take Stock in Children program ($5,000)

Greater Tallahassee; Gainesville area

  • Apalachicola Main Street – Develop educational programming that chronicles the life and legacy of abolitionist, author and lecturer Moses Roper ($10,000)
  • Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce – Assist 40 women- and minority-owned businesses with business continuity planning workshops ($10,000)
  • Council on Culture and Arts – Tallahassee-Leon County Cultural Resources Commission ($5,000)
  • Forgotten Coast en Plein Air 2021 – Support artist residencies in the Forgotten Coast to explore a community issue or challenge ($19,000)
  • Gainesville Area Chamber: Greater Gainesville Coalition for Change – Increase equity in business community ($10,000)
  • Hillside Coalition of Labor – Support educational materials for African-American History Festival ($5,000)
  • Ocala Marion Chamber of Economic Partnership – Provide direct technical assistance to businesses in Ocala’s majority-minority communities ($5,000)

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Allison Barker
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AllisonB