Dollar Energy Fund presented one Betty Ann Simon Memorial Award and three Golden Eagle Awards at our Annual Luncheon held on Friday, September 6, 2019. Roxanne Squillante and Joe Ott, members of Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors, both had the pleasure of announcing the 36th Annual Luncheon award recipients at this year’s event. These awards are granted each year to individuals and organizations that have worked to bring Dollar Energy Fund’s mission to life. These people and groups care deeply about the limited-income community we serve and spent countless hours promoting their welfare and striving for their benefit.
2019 Betty Ann Simon Memorial Award Recipient: Morgan O’Brien, Peoples Natural Gas
The Betty Ann Simon Memorial Award, named for Dollar Energy Fund’s founder, is given each year to an individual or organization for making significant contributions to the limited-income community through advocacy, limited-income program advancements, program creation, and program funding attainment.
For his contributions to our organization and the community at-large, we were proud to present Morgan O’Brien with this honor. As Chief Executive Officer of Peoples Natural Gas, Morgan O’Brien has channeled his leadership and compassion to impact the culture of his organization, particularly regarding how employees view the importance of limited-income programs and how the company supports the communities it serves. Morgan looks at those in the community who face challenges and approaches their needs with compassion because he knows any one of us could be in their shoes. Whether he’s supporting a cause personally or Peoples is participating in an initiative to help the region in the long-term, his compassion sends a message to his employees, inspiring them to do more to make a difference for those in need, find new ways to reduce barriers and expand programs, and increase outreach in the community.
Peoples has partnered with Dollar Energy Fund for more than 35 years and the company has significantly increased its engagement, promotion and collaboration with Dollar Energy Fund in the years that Morgan has led the organization. He also understands that those struggling to pay for utilities are often struggling to afford other basic needs, such as rent or food. His desire to support these needs led to a key partnership between Peoples and United Way’s 2-1-1. This important collaboration allows for a holistic approach to helping stabilize households and improve our community as a whole.
Each year, Morgan leads the fundraising efforts for Dollar Energy Fund’s Cool Down for Warmth event. Not only does he set the bar high for funds raised, he visits the ice house, often early in the morning before he starts his work day, to raise awareness for the cause because he truly believes in the importance of making Hardship grants available for those struggling to afford their utility service. Over the last five years, his personal fundraising efforts through the Cool Down for Warmth campaign have resulted in $153,000 in utility assistance for 440 households in this region. Through his many initiatives, both personally and through Peoples, it’s clear that Morgan is invested in supporting limited-income communities and his efforts have resulted in a significant impact on our region and beyond.
The first Hardship Program assistance grant of the 2019-2020 program year will be made in the name of Morgan O’Brien to commemorate his selection as the 2019 Betty Ann Simon Memorial Award winner. Congrats, Morgan!
2019 Golden Eagle Award Recipients
The Golden Eagle Awards provide an opportunity for Dollar Energy Fund to recognize our partners and friends who soar above and beyond for Dollar Energy Fund and our limited-income clients. This year, our winners have made a significant impact for our organization and in their communities, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to recognize them.
Devin Cunningham, Center for Community Resources | “In his role at Center for Community Resources, Devin strives to provide solutions for those who are in need of utility assistance and breaks down the barriers that prevent them from getting the assistance they need, including working after hours and on weekends to process applications for Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program, and going into the community to help those in need complete applications, especially for those who live in rural areas or lack transportation. He has organized outreach events focused on utility assistance programs and treats those he encounters with dignity and respect while providing a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment.”
Ed Peterson, Holy Family Institute | “Ed has spent more than 20 years assisting clients through connecting them with Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program. Each year, as the October 1st start of Dollar Energy Fund’s program year approaches, Ed prepares by identifying existing clients who are considered vulnerable or who may lack transportation, then he reviews their eligibility status for Dollar Energy Fund assistance and proactively reaches out to them to help them complete an application. He’s always willing to travel to clients to ensure everyone has the opportunity to apply for assistance. And, he conducts thorough follow-up to ensure all documentation is provided in a timely manner. He also delivers hygiene kits and grocery store gift cards to these individuals and families as a way to provide tangible and immediate support. Ed had a hand in assisting Holy Family Institute process the most Dollar Energy Fund applications of all agency sites in Pennsylvania this past year.”
Family Crisis Support Services | “This community-based agency partner works tirelessly to combat the transportation issues in its five-county service territory. Centered in Norton, Virginia, Family Crisis Support Services reaches the rural communities by traveling to clients’ homes, many over an hour from their offices, to ensure they have access to utility assistance programs and other services. They also provide food boxes, thrift store vouchers and hygiene kits to households because they realize how few public transportation options are available to help those in need obtain necessities.”
Congratulations to all of our 36th Annual Luncheon award recipients! Click here to read more about the event.
On Friday, September 6, we joined our partners in celebration at the Rivers Casino for our 36th Annual Luncheon. We gathered with approximately 180 guests to honor the utility partners, employees, community organizations and leaders who worked diligently this year to bring Dollar Energy Fund’s mission to life.
The day started when more than a dozen Dollar Energy Fund employees headed to the Grand Ballroom on the second level of the casino to set up the silent auction, ticket auction, and awards. Guests started to arrive at registration around 11 a.m., found their tables, mingled with friends and placed bids through our online auction.
Ron Giulianelli, president of Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors, began the program at noon by welcoming everyone and sharing opening remarks. Afterward, guests enjoyed a delicious buffet-style lunch that included salad, baked ziti, chicken parmesan, smoked sausage, broccoli presto pizza and more, along with an array of mini desserts.
After lunch, Dollar Energy Fund CEO Chad Quinn recognized utility partners that achieved milestone years of partnership with us. Citizens’ Electric Company and Wellsboro Electric both celebrated 20 years of partnership with Dollar Energy Fund this year. AEP Ohio, Kingsport Power Company and Appalachian Power Virginia each achieved their 10-year milestone of partnership. California Water Service Company and Kentucky American Water both partnered with Dollar Energy Fund in 2014, making this year their 5th year of partnership. The continued support from all of our utility partners allows Dollar Energy Fund to assist thousands of limited-income households in 13 different states each year.
Lisa Stoebener, Dollar Energy Fund Chief Human Resources Officer, recognized our Board of Directors, who each bring unique strengths and benefits in supporting Dollar Energy Fund’s mission and growth. Overall, we currently have 19 members serving on the Board. However, we have one member whose final term is coming to an end. Ron Giulianelli has served as the President of our Board for three years. He is also completing his second three-year term as a Board Member. At the end of this term, Ron will assume a new role as our immediate past president once a new president is elected.
Before the keynote address, Roxanne Squillante, Secretary of Dollar Energy Fund’s Board of Directors, began our awards presentation. She presented three Golden Eagle Awards, which go to community partners and friends who have “soared above and beyond” in their efforts to help the limited-income community this year. Next up, Joe Ott, who is currently serving as the Vice President of our Board of Directors, presented the Betty Ann Simon Award to an individual who has made significant contributions to the low-income community. This year, Dollar Energy Fund was proud to present the award to Peoples Natural Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien. Click here to read more about our award recipients!
Dollar Energy Fund Chief Financial Officer Dan Caponi had the pleasure of introducing Lance White to present the keynote address. Lance is entering his second year as head coach for the University of Pittsburgh Women’s Basketball Team. He delivered a motivational speech that discussed overcoming hardships and offered praise to our hardworking agency partners.
At the end of the event, we closed the online silent auction and announced winners of the ticket auction. Many people took home beautiful silent auction items; the proceeds for which will help the local, limited-income community stay warm this winter.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 36th Annual Luncheon, and a special thank you to our sponsors who made this all possible: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Duquesne Light Company, FirstEnergy, Peoples Natural Gas, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, and our presenting sponsor, Pennsylvania American Water. We look forward to another successful year together!
Dollar Energy Fund CEO Chad Quinn presents Brook Bogaczyk from Citizens’ Electric Company with a milestone award for 20 years of partnership.
Dollar Energy Fund CEO Chad Quinn presents Dwight Linkous from Appalachian Power Company with a milestone award for 10 years of partnership.
Peoples Natural Gas staff members stand to celebrate Morgan O’Brien, recipient of the Betty Ann Simon Memorial Award.
Lance White, University of Pittsburgh Women’s Basketball Coach, delivers the keynote address.
Dollar Energy Fund is proud to return as the presenting sponsor of the Pat Narduzzi Show. Pitt Football Coach Pat Narduzzi will join host Larry Richert for his weekly radio show on SportsRadio 93.7 The FAN from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. The show airs live each game week from Pitt Studios in the Petersen Events Center. New this year, the Pat Narduzzi Show will be re-aired as a telecast on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh each Friday at 4:30 p.m.
As presenting sponsor, Dollar Energy Fund is giving away a VIP package to attend a live broadcast of the show at the new Pitt Studios! This exclusive fan experience gives you an intimate look at the production of the show and an opportunity to interact with Coach Narduzzi without the crowded atmosphere of a bar or restaurant. To be entered to win, simply like Dollar Energy Fund on Facebook (www.facebook.com/dollarenergyfund) or follow us on Twitter (@DollarEnergyFnd). A winner will be chosen for each show throughout the season and the weekly prize includes VIP access to the show for four people, free parking, complimentary food and drinks, and Pitt Panther merchandise.
The complete 12-show schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, August 28 (airing on KDKA 1020)
Wednesday, Sept. 4 (airing on KDKA 1020)
Wednesday, Sept. 11
Wednesday, Sept. 18 (airing on KDKA 1020)
Wednesday, Sept. 25 (airing on KDKA 1020)
Wednesday, Oct. 2
Tuesday, Oct. 15 (Week of Friday night Syracuse game)
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Wednesday, Oct. 30
Monday, November 11 (Week of Thursday night North Carolina game)
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Wednesday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving week)
Show schedule subject to change.
Like or follow today for your chance to win every week!
The Pittsburgh region has experienced a dangerously hot summer this year. July clocked in as the hottest month ever recorded. While winter might feel far off for some, it’s all many of our struggling Pittsburgh neighbors can think about. The stress of approaching the cold months is a reality for thousands of households in our area. Instead of worrying about snowy roads and shoveling their walkways, limited-income families are wondering if they will make it through the winter. They will stretch their thin incomes and still not come up with the necessary funds to keep their homes warm and their pipes from freezing. With your help, we can assist these families on a path to self-sufficiency.
Who does Dollar Energy Fund help?
Dollar Energy Fund’s Pennsylvania Hardship Program assists eligible customers with their gas, electric and water service by providing a one-time grant that is applied directly to their utility bill. This program is a fund of last resort because it goes above and beyond what is available through federal, state and other programs. Many who receive a grant from the program are experiencing a temporary financial hardship, such as a job loss, medical emergency, or other circumstance beyond their control. An assistance grant can help keep them from enduring further financial hardship or having to choose between paying their monthly utility bills and purchasing food, medicine or other necessities.
$3.6 million was granted to 10,466 families in Pennsylvania during the 2017-2018 program year.
Dollar Energy Fund has assisted 7,042 families in the Greater Pittsburgh Region* with $2.49 million in utility assistance grants during the 2017-2018 program year.
1,775 households were without utility service before receiving a grant.
More than half of the households supported have children under the age of 18.
20% of households that receive a grant have seniors (62 years old or older).
Over 85% of grant recipients are either currently employed or receiving retirement or disability benefits.
*Counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland.
The demand for assistance from our program has grown significantly due to increased costs of everyday living expenses and severe weather conditions. To meet the need, we rely on the generosity of individual donors. Our unique funding model provides a dollar-for-dollar match from our partnering utility companies for every donation we receive. The utility companies also make a separate donation to cover our administrative fees, so 100 percent of all individual donations are used to provide utility assistance grants to limited-income households.
Registration is now open for Dollar Energy Fund’s 36th Annual Luncheon on Friday, September 6, 2019. The event will be held inside Rivers Casino. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and the program will begin at noon.
Join us for this special event as we celebrate the success of Dollar Energy Fund and our partners over the past year. This year’s event will include lunch, words from our CEO, a keynote address, an awards presentation, online silent auction, raffle and much more.
Please RSVP by Friday, August 23, 2019. You can do so online by visiting our event website. Individual tickets for the event cost $50 (partnering agencies receive two free tickets). VIP Tables are also available, including 10 tickets and sponsorship signage.
Our Annual Luncheon will celebrate the efforts our partners, donors and friends have extended to help Dollar Energy Fund meet its mission. We will continue to take this opportunity to present awards to recognize those who are making a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. This is an excellent opportunity to recognize leaders who strive to assist the limited-income community and soar above and beyond for Dollar Energy Fund’s mission.
Click here to learn more about our awards and access nomination forms. Please submit your nominations no later than Friday, August 9, 2019, to be eligible for consideration. They may be electronically submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 412-431-2085.
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is now accepting applications for utility assistance grants for the 2019 summer cooling season. Through a partnership between AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, and Dollar Energy Fund, eligible AEP Ohio customers who need help during the summer months can apply for assistance to maintain or restore their electric service.
Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program – one of the largest in the country – helps eligible families facing an immediate utility crisis. The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program supports families in need with a grant applied directly to their AEP Ohio account to prevent disconnection of, or restore, their electric service. Cooling assistance is available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible account holders may apply through August 31, 2019, while funds are available.
This year marks 10 years since AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009. The AEP Ohio program has provided more than $13.5 million in assistance to more than 56,000 customers during this time.
“We’ve made a commitment to the communities we serve to be a good community partner and neighbor,” said Katie Grayem, director of customer experience for AEP Ohio. “Summer heat can contribute to dangerous conditions, especially for the elderly and those with health problems. The Summer Cooling Program is one of many ways we help our customers who may struggle to afford keeping their homes cool during the summer.”
To apply, customers may contact one of the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program’s network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations. To qualify, an applicant’s total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
For example, a family of four earning up to $51,500 per year is income-eligible for the program. Households must have made payments to AEP Ohio totaling at least $75 in the last 90 days and owe a minimum of $50 on their AEP Ohio bill. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor.
“For 10 years, Dollar Energy Fund has been proud to support AEP Ohio’s efforts to serve families who find themselves in a temporary financial situation and need help making ends meet,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund. “The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program has become a very useful resource for thousands of households across Ohio, enabling them to maintain utility service when blindsided by an unexpected expense.”
The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations also can be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor or by sending a check directly to The AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, Box 42329, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program is used to assist eligible families residing in Ohio. Every dollar donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will be matched by AEP Ohio. These matching funds and 100% of your donation will assist limited-income families residing in Ohio to afford utility service. With AEP Ohio’s generous match, your tax-deductible donation will have twice the impact!
For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergy.org.
Dollar Energy Fund hosted its annual Golf Classic on Friday, June 21, 2019. We welcomed 26 foursomes and more than 100 guests at Quicksilver Golf Club for a great day on the course.
The day started off with our renowned Bloody Mary bar and a light breakfast. Golfers set out on the course at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. With friendly competitions along the way, such as hole-in-one challenges, longest drive contests and more, golfers remained engaged and entertained for all 18 holes. Our staff worked diligently to provide golfers with cold drinks as they tackled the course. Hot dogs were also served at the turn.
After all teams finished the course, guests returned to the clubhouse for lunch, sponsored by CBTS and Dell EMC, and networked with friends as they viewed over 40 silent auction items. Burgers, grilled chicken, coleslaw and potato salad were just a few of the delicious lunch options to choose from. Shortly after, Dollar Energy Fund’s CEO, Chad Quinn, and Director of Communications, Jody Robertson, presented awards.
A foursome from Peoples Natural Gas beat out reigning champions, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, to win the Utility Cup. As a prize, Peoples’ hardship fund will receive an additional $1,000 contribution from Dollar Energy Fund’s general fundraising. In addition, the winners will have their name engraved on the cup and will be able to keep the trophy until they defend the title during next year’s outing.
We want to thank everyone who helped with the 2019 Dollar Energy Fund Golf Classic. From those who golfed, to those who donated a silent auction item – we couldn’t have done it without you. As always, 100 percent of the proceeds from this event will be matched by our partnering utility companies and will go directly to help families in need.
Dollar Energy Fund would also like to thank all of our Golf Classic sponsors. Their involvement was an integral part of making our event a success, and it goes a long way towards helping the families we serve. Our efforts would not be possible without their support and generosity. We are also grateful to everyone at Quicksilver Golf Club for their excellent service and accommodations.
At Dollar Energy Fund, we always encourage our supporters to have fun while raising money for families and individuals who are on their path to self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for future events by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.
Click here to view more photos from our Golf Classic.
The sun is shining and summer is right around the corner. During these warmer months, we spend more time outdoors tending to our lawns, growing gardens, and washing our cars. All of these activities require water. More than half of the average household’s water occurs outdoors. As a result, your water bill can see a significant increase during the next few months. Using these simple tips will reduce your water bill and save you money.
Inspect your garden hose and irrigation system for leaks. Check hose connectors to make sure rubber washers are in place.
Add a shut-off nozzle to your hose. You can save about 5-7 gallons each minute your hose is on.
Put out a rain barrel. Collecting rain water is an excellent (and FREE) way to water your indoor plants or wash your car.
Water outdoor plants in the morning or late evening. Due to the colder temperatures, less water will be lost from evaporation. Avoid watering on windy and hot days.
Use a broom to clean off outside living areas (decks, porches, driveways), rather than hosing them off.
When cutting the lawn, set the mower blade to 2-3 inches high. The longer grass will shade the soil, allowing for better moisture retention.
Keep your mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear grass, making it susceptible to disease, and causing it to appear tan and worn.
Only water your lawn when necessary. Over-watering results in the growth of shallow root systems that are easily damaged. If rainfall isn’t sufficient, water your lawn once a week. This routine will encourage healthier and deeper grass roots.
Mulch around plants and flower beds to keep the soil cool, reduce moisture evaporation, promote growth and control weeds.
Take your car to the car wash, rather than washing it at home. Most commercial car washes recycle the water.
Wash your pet outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs watering.
Don’t water your lawn during a drought. The grass may turn brown, but it is not dead. Your lawn will turn dormant during dry and hot spells, but it will revive itself when wetter weather returns.
Dollar Energy Fund hosted its second annual fishing tournament, Fishing for a Cause, on Sunday, May 5, 2019. The weather didn’t stop dozens of anglers from coming out to support their neighbors in need. We welcomed 40 boats to Smith Mountain Lake – Parkway Marina, Virginia. The event raised nearly $20,000, including a utility partner match, to assist limited-income customers of Appalachian Power Company maintain or restore basic electric service through our Virginia Neighbor to Neighbor Program.
The day started off before dawn with registration and check-in. Our anglers set out on the lake at 7 a.m. and didn’t return until the afternoon. When boats arrived back at the marina, our guests enjoyed lunch and an award presentation, where they received great giveaways and prizes.
Everyone who entered the tournament was eligible to win a grand prize of $2,000, courtesy of New River Electrical Corp. Our lucky grand prize winners were Erin & Kristina Smith. The first place team with the biggest catch was Mike and Michael Nichols, with a total weight of 19.82 pounds. The tournament payout guaranteed a cash prize for the top five anglers. Congratulations to all of our winners!
Mike Nichols – Michael Nichols
Michael Thomas – Taylor Thomas
J Draper – Tatum
B Humpreyes – M Oaks
Jason Adams – Zach Peaslee
T Hatcher – M Henxley
T Bowling – Lythgoe
T Vallastro – Bates
David Witt – Mike Lemaster
T Miles – Sawyer
T Weeks – T Gray
D Smathers – Suhy
T Smith – Smith
Dale Wood – Steve Bright
T Massie – Arrington
J Holdren – B Giles
T Wooldridge – T Akers
T Ashley – T Johnson
B Wright – T Wright
We want to thank everyone who helped with our Fishing for a Cause fundraiser. This event was made possible through a partnership with Appalachian Power Company and Conrad Brothers Marine. We are grateful to everyone at Conrad Brothers Marine, BassQuest SML, Parkway Marina and Appalachian Power for their excellent service and support – we could not have done it without you.
Dollar Energy Fund would also like to thank all of our sponsors for their generosity, including New River Electrical Corp., Elliot, Integrity Tree Services, Townsend, Hapco, Osmose, Orvis, Uttermost and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Their involvement was an integral part of making our event a success, and it goes a long way towards helping the families we serve.
At Dollar Energy Fund, we always encourage you to have fun while raising money for families and individuals who are on their path to self-sufficiency. Stay tuned for future events in Virginia by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
To view more photos from our fishing tournament, click here.
Congratulations to our first place team, Mike and Michael Nichols, with a total weight of 19.82 pounds.
UPDATE: Thank you for a successful Critical Needs Alert giving event! With a match from The Pittsburgh Foundation and our generous utility partners, the #ONEDAY campaign raised nearly $4,000 for local families in need of utility assistance. We rely on neighbors helping neighbors and every dollar raised makes a huge impact on our community.
Dollar Energy Fund will be participating in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert online giving event on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. #ONEDAY benefits nonprofits that provide essential human services across Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Your contribution will ensure that residents who live at or near the federal poverty line – at least one-third of the region’s population – have access to basic needs, such as utility assistance.
This year’s event will include its largest-ever incentive pool of $788,000. Every donation ($25 minimum) will trigger additional funding from the incentive pool. All donations to Dollar Energy Fund will also receive a dollar-for-dollar match from our utility partners, making your donation go further to help even more families. As usual, 100% of all donations and matching funds to Dollar Energy Fund will go directly to assist our most vulnerable neighbors in need with utility assistance. Through our unique arrangement with our utility partners, we are able to direct all charitable contributions towards providing assistance grants through our Hardship Program. No organizational operating expenses are paid through donated funds.
The #ONEDAY event officially begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Donations may be prescheduled by visiting www.pittsburghgives.org beginning Thursday, May 2, 2019.
We hope we can count on your support during #ONEDAY. Please mark your calendars and visit our profile page on www.pittsburghgives.org to make a contribution.