Cool Down for Warmth: Range Supports Dollar Energy Fund

Feb 22, 2016

Dollar Energy Fund

This winter, In the middle of downtown Pittsburgh's Market Square, a three room "ice house" temporarily welcomed winter residents. It was part of a two-day effort called "Cool Down for Warmth" and it was all for a good cause – raising funds for and awareness of the Dollar Energy Fund.

The Dollar Energy Fund's mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency. Cool Down for Warmth is one of their many fundraising efforts.

"We help people who have fallen on hard times and need a little extra help through the winter to keep the heat in their home," says Dollar Energy Fund CEO Chad Quinn. 

Range is a long-time sponsor of the Dollar Energy fund, and is in fact the largest non-utility supporter helping to provide energy assistance to qualifying households. This year, as Range participated in the Cool Down for Warmth effort, Manager of Community Development Mike Mackin was at the ice house. Each participant is asked to spend thirty minutes in the house, with a fundraising goal of between $1,000 to $2,500. The idea is that after participants feel the cold, they can then leave the house and "feel the warmth". All donations are matched dollar for dollar, and 100 percent of donations and matching funds are used to provide utility assistance grants to local families in need. 

Dollar Energy Fund

"For me, having lived my whole life here in Western Pennsylvania, I know how bitterly cold it can get this time of year…and that's a great thing for those of us in the natural gas industry!  But while it's easy for many of us to just turn the furnace up a notch when we're cold, there are also many people in this region who can't do that – or who need to decide between keeping their family warm, or providing groceries that month.  So it's wonderful to see so many energy companies and individuals step up to provide energy assistance to those who truly need it," said Mackin. 

And as far as actually spending time in the ice house, Mike had this to say: "Having the ice house set up in Market Square was tremendous for visibility in the middle of downtown, and to provide awareness for the cause – and it was definitely cold. The wind whips between the buildings surrounding the square, so after sitting in the ice house, it took a little while to thaw out and warm up. But it was for a great cause, and it was a lot of fun to partner with Dave Spigelmyer from the Marcellus Shale Coalition this year. Rather than each of us spending 30-minutes in the house individually, we did a full hour together. We had a lot of great interaction with folks walking by, and a lot of support from other MSC members who stopped by to support the effort."

The ice house is built on location in the days leading up to the event, and each block weighs 300 pounds.  During construction, builders utilize a method that involves drilling a hole and pouring hot water between each block, resulting in a quick melt and re-freeze that "welds" the blocks together.   

Last year, the "Cool Down for Warmth" event raised $140 thousand; enabling organizers to provide immediate assistance to 500 local families. Dollar Energy Fund was created in 1983 and over the years has offered help to approximately half a million families in the greater Pittsburgh area, with the distribution of $125 million in grants. 

Range's support of the Dollar Energy Fund is part of a continuing commitment to Corporate Giving and Community Engagement. Our civic engagement programs are designed to have long-term sustainable positive impacts on organizations tied to our industry and our communities. We pride ourselves on supporting and improving the quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work. Our corporate giving program has donated nearly $10 million to nonprofit and civic organizations in the areas where we operate in recent years.