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

January 21st, 2020


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.

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