King grant fuels fund for heating in County

Posted March 12, 2009, at 9:48 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11 a.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Claudia Stevens admitted on Wednesday afternoon that she didn’t expect the United Way of Aroostook County to receive the full $50,000 the agency had applied for under a grant program.

So the executive director was both “thrilled” and “surprised” when she opened a letter from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and found a check for $50,000 inside.

The check will bolster the agency’s efforts to advance its newly implemented “Keep The County Warm” initiative.

The board of directors at the UWA instituted the program last fall to provide funding for 30,000 gallons of heating oil for Aroostook County families.

The program assists organizations that offer emergency heating assistance in the region. The campaign effort includes the Aroostook County Action Program, the Area Agency on Aging and Helping Hands of Aroostook.

So far, Stevens said Wednesday, the agency has raised more than $41,000 for the program, and the check from the foundation bumps the total to more than $91,000.

“We applied for this grant back in October or November,” Stevens recalled. “I didn’t expect to get all of the money we had asked for, so I was elated when I saw the check for $50,000.”

Stevens said the agencies that are distributing the money have used nearly all of the funds that have been raised locally.

“This money from the foundation is going to continue to help keep families warm this winter,” she said Wednesday. “This is a great day for the United Way.”

Stevens said that any money that is left over would be reserved to help families next year.

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