When the people at the Washington Hancock Community Agency [WHCA] realized that in addition to the spiraling cost of fuel oil (which by January 9 had reached $3.39 per gallon and kerosene, $3.80 per gallon) this year’s fuel assistance benefit would be less than that of previous years — they knew they had to go into action.

In some cases, Joseph Perkins, WHCA’s Enterprise Development Specialist, said, “It doesn’t buy a full tank.”

According to Ryan, of Gary’s Fuel in Penobscot, the standard residential inside tank holds about 250 gallons of fuel, and, he said, the average household uses 900 gallons each winter. That tankful, at $3.39/gal comes to $847.50. A season’s supply at that price, a shocking $3,051.

WHCA started its THAW (The Heat And Warmth) Fund “to take care of the crisis phone calls we get: about a thousand calls a season,” Perkins said. The definition of crisis, in this case, means the person calling is desperate: out of oil and money.

To raise money for the THAW fund, WHCA will hold its third “Night of Warm Hearts” dinner-dance. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the fund, Perkins emphasized, stating, “There are no administrative costs.”

He went on to say, “The [Danny Harper] band gives us a tremendous discount; the food service people discount their services; the Holiday Inn [in Ellsworth, where the event will be held] gives us a deal, but we still have to rent the Convention Center.”

Eleanor West, 23-year Director of Community Services, which includes the LiHEAP [Low income Heating Emergency Assistance] Program, added that Ellsworth’s Wallace Rental will donate the tables, chairs, dishes, and tableware, and that Chipper’s Restaurant, in Hancock, with three chefs donating their time, will present the menu and prepare the dinner.

WHCA hopes the public will do its part by supporting this year’s “Evening of Winter Warmth” on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the High Street, Ellsworth, Holiday Inn Convention Center.

Each $60-ticket entitles the holder to complimentary photographs, Hors d’oeuvres (cash bar) from 5:30 to 7 pm; Dinner from 7 to 8 pm; Remarks from Congressman Michael Michaud (D) 2nd District; and Dancing from 8:30 to midnight. West noted that some people support the THAW fund and the Night of Warm Hearts by buying an entire table, a wonderful way to entertain friends and help others in need.

To purchase tickets or for more information call 207-664-2424,
ext 4445, or visit www.whccap.org.