Categories: Volunteers & Charity

Hot program needs names

Cory and Carmal Huppie, co-owners of True North Heating and Cooling, with a high efficiency furnace like the one they plan to give to a family in need.

The heat is on for a new program aimed at helping one worthy St. Albertan with a new furnace. It’s the first time that Lennox is offering Heat Up in this province and it’s expected to make the winter more comfortable for up to 12 families throughout Alberta.

“It actually started in 2008 with one man from Lennox, with one Lennox dealer saying ‘yes’ to installing one free furnace. Now it’s been 500 furnaces and millions of dollars later,” said Carmal Huppie, the business administrator of True North Heating and Cooling, a small St. Albert furnace installing company and recent winner of the Gazette’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favourite HVAC Service provider.

“As of right now, Lennox has brought this program to Alberta whereas before it was just in certain states. We’re really excited about that. It’s an ongoing thing, not a one-time contest. It’s not even just our company. This is quite a large concept. This is something that, year after year, we’re going to be participating in. ”

The Heat Up program offers 100 furnaces each year, aiming to help either people in need or those who deserve a big thank you. Fall, after all, is the time when many people start turning their furnaces back on after the summer reprieve. People are being asked to nominate those who work to make the community better or if they have hit hard times or if they are otherwise deemed to be deserving of a hand up before the cold season rolls in.

“Some people are in a position where they need a helping hand whether they have lost their job or are struggling in some way. Although someone in this position might own a home, they can’t always afford to replace their old or unsafe or unreliable furnace, or perhaps the nomination is because they’re the type of person or family that puts others’ needs in front of their own and deserves to be recognized for that, such as serving their own community or serving their country.”

The deadline is coming up fast: Tues., Sept. 5. Nominations can be made online at www.heatupalberta.ca. Huppie noted that the program was organized quickly, offering a scant period of time for important things like telling people about it or giving them a chance to respond.

“We didn’t get the word out until recently because we weren’t part of the program. They just brought it into Alberta and got all their ducks in a row. The one negative is we don’t have the ideal amount of time to put the word out.”

The chosen nominee will receive their new Lennox High Efficiency furnace on Sat., Oct. 7, an appropriate day for the gift since it’s the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s unlikely that there will be snow on the ground already, but it could happen.

“It’s on everybody’s minds because Alberta winters can be brutal and unpredictable. You just don’t know. You need a reliable furnace living here. There’s no other way about it.”

She added how excited that True North is to participate in this community program. The company is donating all costs associated with the installation of that furnace including the necessary permit, plus everyone on site that day will be donating their time too.

“This is something that is very important to us.”

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.