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Program helps elderly citizens stay cool in summer heat

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RALEIGH -- Gov. Mike Easley today announced that Operation Fan/Heat Relief is underway for the summer of 2007. The program provides free fans to eligible seniors living in North Carolina to help them better cope with the summer heat.

“Many of our state’s older citizens have health conditions that can be greatly affected by heat and humidity,” Easley said. “They can become especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion. These fans can help our seniors stay more comfortable and healthier in their own home.”

People age 60 and older in most counties in North Carolina who meet the program’s guidelines may obtain a fan. Air conditioners are available in certain areas for individuals who have more serious health problems. The project is managed through the Division of Aging and Adult Services in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The 17 Area Agency on Aging offices across the state work with service providers to operate the program locally. Operation Fan/Heat Relief runs through September 2007.

The fans for this summer are purchased through donations from Dominion North Carolina Power ($5,000), Duke Energy Foundation ($40,000), Progress Energy Foundation, Inc. ($20,000), and Valassis Giving Committee ($500). Many counties also accept private donations from individuals or civic groups to purchase additional fans.

Last summer, Operation Fan/Heat Relief received an additional $52,500 in donated funds, and seniors received 9,002 fans and 43 air conditioners, an increase of almost 3,900 from the year before.

Visit the Division of Aging and Adult Services website at www.ncdhhs.gov/aging or contact the local aging office to apply or get more information.

LIST OF LOCATIONS BY COUNTY

http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/fancolst.htm

Bladen County
Division on Aging
Elizabethton
Marjorie Brobisky
910-862-6930

Brunswick
Senior Resources
Bolivia
Melody Stephens
910-253-2179

Columbus
Department of Aging
Whiteville
Judy Ward
910-640-6602

New Hanover
Department of Aging
Wilmington
Gayle Ginsberg
910-798-6400

Onslow
Senior Services
Jacksonville
Sheri Slater
910-455-2747

Pender
Adult Services
Burgaw
Wes Davis
910-259-9119

http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/fanpress.htm

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