Archive: Jan 2020

Cool Down for Warmth raises $315,000 to help families in need

Posted on: January 29, 2020

Dollar Energy Fund raised more than $315,000 during its Cool Down for Warmth event on January 23 and 24, all with the help of local business leaders, sponsors, utility partners and many generous community individuals. The amount raised will provide assistance for approximately 877 families in Western Pennsylvania who are struggling to afford safe utility service this winter. Though the event is over, donations are still coming in! Those who wish to help local families in need may continue to donate online at

Cool Down for Warmth

Over the course of the two-day event, many supporters sat in Dollar Energy Fund’s giant ice house in Market Square to raise funds and awareness for the thousands of families in our region without heat-related utility service. Many individuals and teams exceeded their fundraising goals, including Morgan O’Brien from Peoples Natural Gas, Duquesne Light Company’s Subzero Heroes, FirstEnergy, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Dave Spigelmyer of Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Walter Bridges of Proforma. Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors Team also exceeded its fundraising goal with the help of members, Paul Atencio, Kyle O’Connor, Joseph Ott, Doug Papa and Michael McGrath. Others showed their support by touring the house and participating in our Bowls for Warmth event.

Morgan O’Brien from Peoples Natural Gas and his supporters quickly surpassed his initial goal and raised a stunning $85,000! Duquesne Light’s Subzero Heroes and their CEO Steve Malnight also surpassed their goal to raise a total of approximately $39,000.

During construction of the ice house and throughout the event, hundreds of downtown Pittsburgh employees passed through Market Square to see the house, take a tour and contribute to the event. Attendees also enjoyed the Dunkin’ Selfie Wall of Ice, Citizens Bank Ice ATM, Re/Max Select Realty Open House Sign, Dormont Appliance Custom Ice Kitchen, and the Ice Garage sponsored by Jim Shorkey Auto Group. Attendees also received numerous giveaways from Dynegy, Dunkin’, Chick-fil-A, McCormick & Schmicks, Eat’n Park, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Pitt Athletics. New this year, our sponsor Dynegy kept our volunteers and ice house attendees warm with a Warming Tent!

Cool Down for Warmth

Many restaurants donated their time and resources to participate in the Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting, presented by BNY Mellon. This year’s participating restaurants included The Apollo Cafe, Bluebird Kitchen, Braddock’s Rebellion, City Works, Coughlin’s Law, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse, Harris Grill, Las Velas, McCormick & Schmick’s, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, OTB Bicycle Cafe, Patti’s Pasticceria, Primanti Bros., Revel + Roost, Sienna on the Square, The Smiling Moose, Ten Penny, Union Standard, and Vallozzi’s. Bowls for Warmth received a great response from the community, causing the event to bring in an additional $25,000 in donations. After tasting, attendees voted for their favorite soup. The reigning champions, Revel + Roost, secured their spot once again as winner of the People’s Choice Award with their delicious Polenta-Beer Cheese Soup.

Dollar Energy Fund is grateful for the overwhelming support of our generous utility partners and sponsors, including Dynegy, UPMC, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, FirstEnergy, Peoples Natural Gas, BNY Mellon, Dunkin’, Citizens Bank, Brian Carothers with Re/Max Select Realty, Dormont Appliance, Jim Shorkey Auto Group, Fidelity National Title, Range Resources, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Athletics, Chick-fil-A, McCormick & Schmick’s, Eat’n Park, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Mastro Gourmet Quality Ice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 94.5 3WS, and Clark’s Studio.

On behalf of the limited-income households we will continue to assist this year, thank you to everyone who supported our event! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on future fundraisers, like our Warmathon taking place on February 13 and 14.

Click here to view more Cool Down for Warmth photos.

Cool Down for Warmth

Dollar Energy Fund’s Ice House Returns Larger in Size and With Many New Twists

Posted on: January 21, 2020


Cool Down for Warmth

For the 6th year, Dollar Energy Fund’s Cool Down for Warmth, powered by Dynegy, will return to Market Square on Thursday, January 23, and Friday, January 24, to raise funds and awareness for those in our region who struggle to afford the cost of heat-related utility services. Dollar Energy Fund, a national leader in providing utility assistance to limited-income households, invites the community to visit the1,000 square-foot ice house, participate in the Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting, receive giveaways, and donate to support their neighbors in need between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. both days of the event.

The house, constructed by Mastro Gourmet Ice and made possible through sponsorships from Dynegy, UPMC, Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, Dunkin’ and Dormont Appliance, will be a multi-room, 20’x50’ ice structure and will include an attached garage containing a car from Jim Shorkey Automotive Group. Crews from Mastro Ice began construction of the house in Market Square on Monday, January 20, placing each ice block individually to form the interior and exterior walls, but preparations began in September as they started forming the 249 blocks needed to build the structure. Each block of ice weighs 300 lbs.

Visitors can see the Dormont Appliance kitchen, which will feature appliances and counters carved from ice, and a Citizens Bank Ice ATM will be located near the house entrance. There will also be a dining and living room area with a table and couch carved from ice. New this year, Brian Carothers of RE/MAX Select Realty will feature the ice house in a real estate listing and a carved-ice open house sign will be placed near the entrance.

The Bowls for Warmth Soup Tasting presented by BNY Mellon will return this year from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. both days, with twenty local restaurants providing soup options. While supplies last, attendees will receive a cup of soup from their choice of three of the participating vendors and a bottle of water in exchange for a $10 donation. Bowls for Warmth patrons will also receive a Smiley cookie courtesy of Eat ‘n’ Park.

“We bring Cool Down for Warmth to Market Square to draw attention to the many households in this region who struggle to afford the basic costs of heat-related utility service,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer for Dollar Energy Fund. “Each year, this event serves as a way for us to spread the warmth to our neighbors in need. We encourage the community to support Dollar Energy Fund and this event by visiting the ice house, enjoying soup during Bowls for Warmth, and making a contribution to benefit this cause to ensure no one is at risk of facing a Pittsburgh winter without utility service.”

Both days, visitors may receive one of the many giveaways available, including gloves courtesy of Dynegy, a coupon for a free item from Dunkin’, an appetizer voucher from McCormick & Schmick’s, and Chick-fil-A sandwich coupon.

University of Pittsburgh fans are invited to tour the house on Friday at 12:00 noon when members of the University’s football team will be in the ice house to assist with distribution of a ticket giveaway for Saturday, February 5, when the men’s basketball team takes on Georgia Tech.

All coupons and giveaways will be available while supplies last.

Our “ice selfie wall” is sponsored by Dunkin’ and will be available each day for visitors to have a free photo taken inside the house.

iHeartMedia’s 94.5 FM 3WS will provide music daily between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and on-air personality Jonny Hartwell will be in Market Square.

Pittsburgh community members and business leaders, including teams from West Penn Power, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, Peoples Natural Gas, members of Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors and other supporters, will sit in the house during the event to raise funds for local families, children and elderly individuals in need. These individuals and teams will stay in the house until they reach a fundraising goal, which then allows them to get out and “feel the warmth.”

Throughout the event, donation boxes will be available for visitors to contribute financially to families in need. Contributions can also be made online at or by texting COOLDOWN to 41411. All proceeds will receive a dollar-for-dollar match from Dollar Energy Fund’s partnering utility companies, which include Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, Peoples Natural Gas and West Penn Power, A FirstEnergy Company. Funds collected will go directly to support local families who are struggling to restore or maintain basic utility service.

Additional event details and a full event schedule is available at

Since the first Cool Down for Warmth in 2015, $840,000 has been raised to benefit more than 2,400 households in western Pennsylvania.

Counting down to the Cool Down

Posted on: January 17, 2020

Dollar Energy Fund is hosting its 6th annual Cool Down for Warmth event in Market Square on January 23 & 24. The giant ice house is much more than a “cool” sculpture. Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for local families struggling to afford their heating bills this winter. We have a lot going on during the two-day event, so we put together some reasons we think you should join us in the cold.


 Tour the Ice House

January 23 & 24: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

A massive 1,000-square-foot ice house will be constructed in Market Square. The house will be made entirely from ice and feature a garage, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Everyone is welcome to tour the ice house.


 We are Freezin’ for a Reason

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Cold Weather Survey has revealed that more than 18,350 PA households entered the winter season without heat-related utility service or using unsafe heating sources. Many community leaders and supporters will sit inside the ice house to reach their fundraising goal and raise awareness for these Pittsburgh families in need. They are counting on you to contribute and help them “feel the warmth”! Click here to see who is participating.


Daily Giveaways

Visitors have the chance to receive a variety of giveaway items during both days of the Cool Down for Warmth event, including coupons from Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Giveaways are only available while supplies last. Tour the ice house and visit an information kiosk in Market Square to request your free item.


Dynegy Warming Tent

New this year! After you cool down, make sure you warm up in our Warming Tent, powered by Dynegy. You will also receive a pair of free gloves, while supplies last.


Selfie Ice Wall

If you didn’t take a selfie, did it really happen? We’ve got you covered. Dunkin’ has a photo booth set up inside the ice house. Grab your friends and receive a free digital photo.


Bowls for Warmth, presented by BNY Mellon

January 23 & 24: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This popular event only happens once a year. You don’t want to miss it! Twenty local restaurants participate in a soup challenge, serving cups of soup to the lunchtime crowd in Market Square. Tickets will be sold for $10 and attendees get to sample three soups from participating vendors and vote for their favorite. Attendees will also receive a bottle of water and an Eat’n Park Smiley cookie, with the purchase of a ticket. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free soup options are available. First come, first served. Soup is only available while supplies last. Click here to view the list of vendors and soups.


Pitt Basketball Tickets

January 24 only: Noon

Attention Pitt fans! Tour the ice house with Pitt football players and receive a pair of tickets to the Pitt v. Georgia Tech basketball game on February 5, 2020. Tickets are limited and only available while supplies last.

Music from 3WS Radio

Our friends at 3WS will be on site throughout the event. Tune in to 94.5!


Dollar-for-Dollar Match

Do we even need to go on? Between the ice house, soup tasting, and free giveaways, you’re basically making money while building awareness. But seriously, while you’re cooling down with us, consider making a donation to help your neighbors in need. Whether you’re downing bowls of soup, touring the ice house or just have a few extra dollars in your pocket. All donations from this event will receive a dollar-for-dollar match from our partnering utility companies: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, FirstEnergy and Peoples Natural Gas. 100% of all donations and matching funds will be used to provide utility assistance grants to local families in need through Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program.

  • Visit a kiosk in Market Square during the event to make a cash or credit card donation;
  • Text COOLDOWN to 41411 to receive a mobile donation link; or
  • Go to to donate to an individual or team before or during the event.


For more information about Cool Down for Warmth, visit





January 2020

14 States Served