Cool Down St. Louis Invited to Greet the President at Air Force
One With Missouri Congressional Delegation.
Chairman Rev. Earl E. Nance, Jr. of Area's Cooling Assistance Charity Responds
And Encourages Area Citizens to Check on Their Neighbors This Summer
We are pleased to be honored today, on one of St. Louis' hottest and deadly dog days of summer to greet and meet the President of the United States of America, Mr. George W. Bush. We deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness of Senator Christopher S. Bond, the senior member of the Missouri Congressional Delegation for his efforts.
There is nothing like Cool Down St. Louis, a non-partisan, all-volunteer regional cooling assistance charity covering about 19 counties in Missouri and Illinois, and the City of St. Louis who raises public awareness on checking on senior and disabled neighbors, provide air-conditioners and cooling grants to assist in the payment of electric bills, and provide utility assistance counseling over our resource hotline. The St. Louis media continues to be one of our strongest partners in helping to avoid heat-related deaths and illnesses.
Since our inception about three years ago, we have reached out to more than 35,000 individuals, who have been impacted by some sort of cooling assistance. This summer alone we have given out about 300 new and used air-conditioners, and distributed about $30,000 in cooling grants to assist with electric bills within the St. Louis region. It is tough, because there are fewer state and federal subsidies available during the summer months.
Anytime one of us has the opportunity to stand next to any U.S. President, especially during this energy crisis era, it is an honor, and gives us a chance to let the President know that government can't do it all, it's also going to take neighbors helping neighbors.
We however, are concerned that due to heavy Washington budget cuts that the President and the Missouri and Illinois Congressional leadership must increase federal funding this winter with the low energy assistance home heating program, due to anticipated higher increases of natural gas and home heating oil prices.
I have asked that our founder and president be selected to meet Mr. Bush. Inspired by the late Sister Patricia Kelley and Reverend Larry Rice to become a volunteer advocate for the needy and an independent voice, Gentry W. Trotter, founded Cool Down St. Louis and Heat-Up St. Louis. He oversees the operations of the group, supported by a 37 member, all-volunteer board of directors.