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More Than 200 Volunteers from Area Firefighters, Citi and AmerenUE Brave The Deadly Heat To Take Special Collections For Seniors and the Disabled -- Also Volunteers Will Distribute Check On Your Neighbors Cooling Cards and Summer Cooling Tips In An Effort to Save Lives and Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses

On Friday August 1, Saturday August 2, and Sunday August 3, Cool Down St. Louis, a regional, all-volunteer, not-for-profit cooling charity providing air-conditioners, and paying electric bills for the elderly, disabled and needy households with sick infants, is having its annual Cards Shake Our Cans and Cool Down the Needy fundraiser in partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. All-Star Cardinal player Ryan Ludwick is this year's honorary chair.

More than 200 volunteers, including St Louis Firefighters, employees of CITI and AmerenUE and media personalities will be wearing yellow caps, toting red buckets stationed throughout the weekend outside of the ballpark, including some garages and Metro station exists, two hours before each game. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of soft drinks and French fries at the Hardees concessions all weekend at Busch will be donated to Cool Down St. Louis. This year for the first-time, Cool Down St. Louis has instituted a new on-line, Virtual Shake Our Can project. This project gives sports fans and all area residents, a chance to make safe credit card on-line donations, (www.cooldownstlouis.org) and see the Cool Down canister shake and fill with current donation amounts.

Cards fans and the general public may also drop off donations at the new CITI Cool Down Hospitality mini-tent located near Gate 2 at Busch. AmerenUE volunteers will also distribute educational materials at the hospitality mini-tent and all volunteers will hand out a Cool Down Check On Your Neighbors Card to donors. Also, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, chairwoman Melanie DiLeo, Richard Mark, SVP, AmerenUE, St. Louis Public Safety Director Charles Bryson, and Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., chair emeritus will lead a group of Cool Down St. Louis officials on the field for an annual ceremony on Friday, August 1st before the game between the Cards and Phillies.  They will also be taking up collections from the general public around Busch.

"As the summer heats-up, Missouri and Illinois residents need to check on their neighbors," said Kevin X. McGowan, board president of Cool Down St. Louis." Hot weather can literally zap the life right out of many area elderly and disabled people, and critically-ill infants."

This year Cool Down St. Louis is encouraging only seniors and disabled people to contact its resource hotline, at 314-241-7668, if they feel that they cant afford to pay their July or August electric bill. A disconnection notice is not required this summer for seniors and the disabled seeking help. The charity is working with AmerenUE to keep customers connected, if they can make some sort of payment plan, including using a one-time Cool Down pledge.

While the summer weather has been somewhat bearable for many area residents, it hasn't been for seniors, the disabled and needy households with sick infants. Even when the temperatures climb into the 80s, many brick houses exceed those temperatures. If a senior or disabled person is challenged with other escalating medical, food and rental costs, it only adds to their physical and mental stress, according to Dr. James Knight, board vice chair, and chair of the health and safety committee for the energy assistance charity.

So, far this summer Cool Down St. Louis has joined partnership efforts which have distributed more than 500 brand new and slightly used air conditioners. During the month of August the general public can still drop-off brand new and slightly used air conditioners on campuses at area Vatterott Colleges in Sunset Hills, North County, and OFallon in St. Charles County. Drop-off hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Locations and phone numbers are available on-line at www.cooldownstlouis.org.

Larger tax-deductible donations may also be sent to: Cool Down St. Louis, c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, St. Louis, MO 63188, or through the secured website, at www.cooldownstlouis.org. Also smaller, cash donations may be dropped off any UMB Bank Center in Missouri or Illinois.

100% of all Cool Down St. Louis public donations service the needy, as operational expenses are underwritten by an all-volunteer, board of directors. Cool Down St. Louis, is the summer program of Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc


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