The “Deflategate” Ball Generates $20,000 for Utility Assistance Grants

February 2nd, 2015


January 31, 2015 

Proceeds from a donated chocolate football will help 65 families

PITTSBURGH, PA – Dollar Energy Fund, Pennsylvania’s largest hardship fund, has generated $20,000 as a result of a 2.5-pound, slightly deflated chocolate football, which was auctioned this morning on KDKA Radio by host Marty Griffin.  Richard Bazzy of Shults Ford was the lucky winner with a $5,000 bid. The bid was matched by Bill Sarris, of Sarris Candies – the creator of the prized piece.  An additional $10,000 will be matched by utility partners of Dollar Energy Fund, which provide utility assistance grants to families throughout Pennsylvania, along with seven other states.

Sarris Candies made the chocolate football as a light-hearted jab regarding the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots and its use of underinflated footballs during their AFC championship game victory. The story has since been picked up by news media across the country and through social media outlets, with mostly positive feedback, minus a few Patriot fans opinions.

“What started out as an internal little joke ended up picking up momentum and excitement,” said Bill Sarris, owner of Sarris Candies in Washington, PA. “It’s going to a good cause, so that’s the best thing.”

In addition to the “Deflategate” ball, Sarris is providing two regular chocolate footballs and two chocolate football helmets -a total package valued at about $500.


“It’s doesn’t get any better when you can poke fun of an AFC rival, while knowing that you are also helping families in need, said Richard Bazzy, owner of Shults Ford in Pittsburgh, PA.  “We expect to display the football in one of our dealerships with pride.”

Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency. Since 1983, DEF has provided over $118 million in assistance to more than 416,000 families.  Help approximately 12,500 families in PA per year with utility assistance.  The organization also assists low-income households in West
Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana and Texas.

Individuals interested in contributing to Dollar Energy Fund can do so through their utility bills, by sending donations directly to Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 or through the organization’s website.  Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website,

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