Marietta church seeks more solar panels

MARIETTA — An anonymous donor has challenged the community to be more environmentally conscious with a promise of a matching grant for solar panels.

“The panels that power our sanctuary have room for a few more,” said Katherine Hawbaker, minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta. “So we’re holding a ‘Just Dinner’ fundraiser with locally sourced, organic and free-trade foods to continue our theme of justice-based action and learn more about being environmentally friendly while raising funds for the panels.”

The dinner will take place Friday at 6 p.m. in the church’s fellowship hall at the corner of Third and Butler streets in Marietta. Tickets in advance cost $15, and cost $20 at the door with all funds raised going to the church’s Solar Match Fund.

Dawn Hewitt, chair of the church’s Green Sanctuary Committee, said the funds raised will be matched up to $10,000 by an anonymous donor to install the additional panels.

“While what we have powers the sanctuary it’s not enough to power the church offices as well so this would meet that need and on a net basis we would generate as much as we use,” she said.

The project is expected to be completed before April 22, 2018, at a total cost of $20,000. That amount includes the cost of added and updated weather proofing and insulation for the church.

“It’s a great way for those concerned about the community’s carbon footprint to get involved even if you can’t install on your own home,” said Hawbaker. “Those that are environmentally conscious are welcome to help, and I know others like the city (of Marietta) and (Marietta College) are also looking at ways to be more environmentally conscious.”

The original panels were installed in October 2016 at a cost of $45,000. For more information contact Dawn Hewitt at