February 9

Heat Dance in Farmington raises record $21,000 for emergency fuel aid

The 3-year-old fundraiser for the Farmington Area Ecumenical Council provides one-time fuel deliveries for Franklin County families.

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Attendees of the third annual Heat Dance in Farmington raised more than $21,000 for emergency fuel assistance, event organizers said.

About 225 people attended the Hollywood-themed dance Friday night at University of Maine at Farmington, raising 33 percent more than last year’s $16,000, said Tim Wallace, dance organizer and member of the event band, Shepherd’s Pie.

“It was so pressed at the door that we lost track of a formal count of attendance,” he said.

The money will go toward the heat delivery service Ecu Heat, which last winter served 255 households for a total cost of $48,382.68.

Ecu Heat is a ministry of Farmington Area Ecumenical Council, which also runs the Farmington warming center on Tuesdays.

“We surpassed the tally for last year’s dance by 33 percent,” said Susan Crane, who heads the heating assistance fund. “It’s an incredible achievement. Thanks to our incredible community, Heat Dance just gets better and better every year.”

At the dance, master of ceremonies Sen. Tom Saviello read a letter from Gov. Paul LePage that called the dance “distinctive in the state of Maine.”

Wallace said business support for the event expanded this year to include tellers from Franklin Savings Bank dressed as famous actresses, and there was a pre-dance dinner at the Homestead Restaurant. Attendees were shuttled from the dinner to the dance by limousine service that took them from a red carpet outside the restaurant to the University of Maine at Farmington, where the dance was held in the North Dining Hall.

“The Homestead pre-dance party was packed. They had to open the back room to accommodate the crowd,” he said.

Prior to the dance, Wallace said this year it was particularly important to be successful in fundraising because this winter has been colder than usual.

Demand for heating oil has helped drive up prices. The Governor’s Energy Office said Tuesday that its weekly heating fuel survey showed that the current cost of heating oil is 36 cents per gallon higher than it was a year ago. A survey on Tuesday reported that compared to a week earlier, the price of heating oil in Maine was up 2 cents per gallon, at an average of $3.89 per gallon.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 kschroeder@centralmaine.com
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