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For Immediate Release: Monday, January 28, 2002

St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition Invites 1,700 Area Congregations
to Honor the Needy During Super Bowl Weekend With
A Special Super Heat Weekend Collection

The St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition has announced that its membership is encouraging more than 1,700 congregations of various faiths to remember the bi-state area needy, who have difficulty paying their gas, electric, propane and oil home heating bills this winter. During Super Bowl Weekend, February 2, and 3, area congregations may participate in the Special Super Heat Weekend Collection. This year's campaign theme, is "Don't Sack The Needy," and is sponsored by Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., a regional non-profit energy assistance and advocacy organization covering Missouri and Illinois.

"This is a great time for St. Louis to celebrate a hopeful victory, by one of the best teams in the NFL," said Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., president of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition and pastor of the Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, and a sports enthusiast. "But as a charitable region, which must not sack the needy, as many of us celebrate with jubilant parties, we know that our needy neighbors have nothing to celebrate." The organization also announced that energy assistance donations are dramatically off since the September 11 crisis, as the region continues to experience long periods of warm winter weather.

Individuals who will not be attending a worship service this Super Bowl Weekend can send their donations to Heat-Up St. Louis, c/o Truman Bank, P. O. Box 9330, St. Louis, MO 63117, or log on the website at www.heatupstlouis.org or call 314-241-7668. All donations are tax-deductible and should be made by March 15, 2002. All administrative costs are underwritten so that every dollar donated goes to charity.

Nance believes that the Heat-Up St. Louis Super Heat Collection is another productive way of having congregations of all faiths joins forces to help many parishioners who still have the challenge of paying last year's outrageously heating bills, and as well as finding funds for this winter.

Gentry W. Trotter, founder and president of Heat-Up St. Louis, also noted that it is very fortunate to have the St. Louis Rams competing for the football championship. "However, many needy people are still tackling their outrageous utility bills from last year," said Trotter.

"Families should not have to resort to unsafe means of heating their homes this winter, and no matter how high the temperature climbs, people are still cold on those consistent waves of cold snaps, and this too is extremely unhealthy," said Trotter.

Heat-Up St. Louis officials also announced that despite the warm temperatures this winter, the organization has directed the same high level of calls since December of last year when the costs of utility bills soared. So far, the organization has counseled more than 1,500 people who were seeking some sort of home energy assistance. These people were either disconnected or were being threatened with shut-offs.

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