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Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association Receives Ripple Effect Grant

Independent Telecom to help Manson Hometown Grocery

Pictured are (l to r) Kent Atha, Aureon; Steven Benne, IADG; Justin Widlund, Board Member; Amanda Bates, Assistant Store Manager; Dave Anderson, Mayor of Manson; Carly Cran, Store Manager; Marcie Boerner, WCCTA; Todd Van Epps, Aureon. (Photo was provided from the Manson Journal Herald)

WEST DES MOINES, IA (December 15, 2021)Aureon has announced Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association (WCCTA) as the recipient of a $5,000 Ripple Effect grant to assist with the rural grocery store in Manson, Iowa.

Manson, a community of 1,867 in Calhoun County, rallied together to save their local grocery store after the former owner closed its doors. The vision for the community to create a non-profit grocery store for the community has become a reality and almost a year after it closed the new Manson Hometown Grocery opened in November of 2020.

The Ripple Effect grant application was made to Aureon on behalf of Manson Hometown Grocery by Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association, a new provider of internet, cable, and phone services in Manson. In addition to the $5,000 Ripple Effect grant from the Iowa Area Development Group and Aureon, WCCTA will provide a matching grant of $5,000 for a total of $10,000 in grant funding. Plans are to make changes to the air handling system to more efficiently heat the store.

“The ability to keep a grocery store in the community is vital as it serves as a cornerstone to the downtown and attracts people from surrounding rural communities,” says Marcie Boerner, COO of Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association. “It’s a great thing when a community comes together around a project – and that’s just what happened in Manson. WCCTA is honored to give this Ripple Effect grant award to a project that will have a positive effect on the residents, businesses, and surrounding rural communities for years to come.”

About Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association

Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association is the leading provider of voice, video, and data services in North Central Iowa. With headquarters in Gowrie, IA, WCCTA provides 20 communities with local and long-distance voice services, high-speed Internet, and cable television programming. As a certified Gig Capable provider from the NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, WCCTA provides up to Gigabit and symmetrical Internet speeds. WCCTA is increasing broadband in rural Iowa and is staying in touch with the needs of the residents and businesses providing Landline Telephone, Internet and digital television service to the Iowa communities of Gowrie, Pilot Mound, Vincent, Thor, Churdan, Knierim, Somers, Barnum, Duncombe, Farnhamville, Badger, Clare, Moorland, Boxholm, Lanyon, Paton, Lohrville, Manson, Rockwell City, and Lake City. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and their website at

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About Aureon ( Aureon is a business solutions provider who connects possibilities to productivity by providing unique and scalable business support services for organizations – small and large. Headquartered in the heart of the Midwest, and serving clients nationally with a presence in 48 states, Aureon offers a comprehensive suite of support solutions, with a focus on Technology, HR and Contact Center services. Aureon’s unique combination of talent, technology and tools enable clients to focus on their core business.

About Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect program, a partnership alliance between Aureon and Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), is designed to advance the business and community development vitality of rural Iowa by joining local Independent Telecommunications Companies and partnering municipalities in their economic development initiatives. The program provides financial and technical assistance to businesses and industries and communities, through local telecommunication providers, to stimulate growth and development in rural Iowa. The program makes available low-interest loans to business applicants and planning grants to communities and their economic development partners for various types of community development projects. At a minimum, the Independent Telecommunications Companies are required to match the local financial assistance provided by Ripple Effect.

Other Ripple Effect services include financial packaging for development projects; research and education; awareness and training; business marketing and outreach; and development project facilitation including direct financial assistance through loans and grants from Aureon. For decades Aureon, through Iowa’s Independent Telecommunications Companies and IADG, on behalf of the Rural Electric Cooperatives, has provided leadership, vision and commitment to rural communities. For more information about this grant or the Ripple Effect program, contact IADG; and on Twitter @RippleEffectIA; 515-777-7308.

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