Oil companies help elderly


LEWISTON – As the price of heating fuel rose this winter, Larry Lachance and Tim Heutz made an agreement to help elderly people stay warm.

A long-time volunteer with the Catholic Charities Maine SEARCH program, Lachance was concerned about the ability of elderly people to pay for fuel. Heutz, vice president of Heutz Oil Co., offered to reduce the price per gallon as a special consideration for SEARCH program clients.

The result was that 14 elderly homeowners each received 100 gallons of oil or kerosene paid for by SEARCH funds and contributions from Carmen and Sam Evrard and the Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club.

“I want to express my thanks to everyone for making it a priority to help our elderly clients stay warm,” said Lachance.

Dead River Oil Co. offered 100 gallons of free fuel last fall. The company gave certificates for free oil to Gov. John Baldacci, who selected Catholic Charities Maine as one of the recipients.

CEO John Kerry chose an elderly client of the SEARCH program to receive the oil. Carmen Dostie, 97 and a resident of Auburn, thanked Dead River Oil and referred to the oil as “a gift from Heaven.”

Kerry expressed his appreciation by saying “I want to thank Gerry Tracy and Dead River Oil Co. for helping us to serve people in need. We are very thankful for this community partnership.”

Tracy, district manager of Dead River Oil, said, “We take our corporate citizenship seriously and are pleased to help people who are really in need of help.”

SEARCH stands for Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope. Its mission is to enable frail, vulnerable elderly and those with disabilities to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.

SEARCH is looking for interested persons of all ages and religious denominations who would like to be a friendly telephone caller, visitor or part-time helper for an elderly person in Androscoggin County.

For more information about becoming a short-term or longer-term SEARCH volunteer or to refer someone as a client, call the program office at 784-0157.

Financial donations from individuals, businesses and civic groups are encouraged and may be sent to SEARCH, 15 Westminster St., Lewiston, ME 04240.